Fresh, huge and great burgers at Zark’s

There are days when you just want to forget about greens and calorie counting (which to me is everyday) and sink your teeth into some sinful, hearty and greasy burgers.  These are times when a visit to this burger joint comes in.

Zark’s Burgers was named after its owner, Zark Espina Varona, a burger fan himself who put up his first store near De La Salle University along Taft Avenue in 2009 (all the better to cater to those hungry students, I guess), with the mission of offering burgers that are “FRESH. HUGE. GREAT.”  The chain has since grown to 29 stores with branches in Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas, Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod.

When my hubby and I craved for sinful burgers, we visited the branch in SM East Ortigas and treated ourselves to:

  • Chicken Fingers and Fries (Php159) for sharing
  • The Zark’s Classic Cheeseburger (Php109 + Php40 for fries and drink) for me.
  • The Zark’s Ultimate Burger (Php149 + Php40 for fried and drink) for hubby. It’s composed of a quarter-pounder burger with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, cheese sauce and, of course, bacon
  • Snickers Ala Mode (Php149) for sharing.  It’s a Snickers bar dipped in batter, deep-fried and served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup

In a later visit, I even tried out the heart-healthy (not! But YOLO – Uh-oh!) Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Burger (Php279), a burger completely wrapped in bacon strips, then deep-fried, giving it a crispy crust that gives way to a juicy burger as you bite into it. I didn’t even need the Mamba sauce that came with it.

This Zark’s Burgers branch is located at 2nd Floor, SM City East Ortigas, along Ortigas Avenue Extension in Pasig City.

More info at:

Zark's Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ginormous churros at Churreria La Lola

Churro is a traditional snack in Spain and Portugal.  Two theories exist about its origins: one states that it originated from China and was brought to Europe by the Portuguese while another traces its existence to Spanish shepherds who wanted a snack that was easy to prepare and cook by open fire in the mountains where they spend most of their time.  Either way, the churro found its way to other parts of the world.

The La Lola Group opened the first Churreria La Lola in Rockwell in 2014.  Since then, the chain has grown to twenty outlets situated in various parts of the country.

While waiting for the screening of Beauty and the Beast at SM East Ortigas in mid-March this year, we took advantage of a promo tie-in that the store had the with cinema which entitled us to 50% off on additional orders for Large Churro Classicos upon presentation of our cinema tickets.

Needless to say, we treated ourselves to the ginormous churro pieces, served freshly made (fried in 100% olive oil), which we dipped in the rich chocolate dip.

Large Churro Classicos are normally priced at Php195, while a medium-sized chocolate dip is at Php60.

This Churreria La Lola branch is located at the Ground Floor, SM City East Ortigas, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Pasig.

Churreria La Lola Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A feast among friends at Gerry’s Grill

I usually dine at Gerry’s Grill in Tomas Morato for quick, no-frills lunches with my coworkers but in this branch in SM Marikina, I feasted with new friends. After participating in an outreach activity in a nearby charity institution, hubby and his car-clubmates decided to have lunch at SM Marikina. After a considerable time waiting, a table was found for our large group.

Among the hearty fare we enjoyed were classic Filipino favorites:

  • Crispy Pata (Php635 for family size)
  • Nilagang Bulalo (Php345)
  • Gerry’s Fried Chicken (Php265)
  • Pancit Bihon (Php165)
  • Sizzling Sisig (Php207 – who would dare forget to order this at Gerry’s?!?)
  • Buko Pandan (Php85)

When dining in large groups, Gerry’s Grill seems like a great choice as practically everyone would have something to like. We ate family-style which also helps in fostering new friendships.

This branch is located at Ground Floor, SM City Marikina, Calumpang, Marikina City.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Gerry's Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Want to learn how to cook your favorite Filipino dishes at home? Check out these recipe books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Cozy hangout at Bon Appetea

Prior to his car-club’s outreach activity, Hubby met up with his friends in this free-standing cafe along Marcos Highway.

The place is clean with a minimalist feel to it. There are ample seating for around twenty people.

I ordered a hot chocolate and a PB&J waffle to munch on while Hubby meets up with his mates. It took some time getting to me (I don’t think the lone wait staff is used to a large group showing up on a Saturday morning.

The waffle and hot choco were okay; I won’t be hankering to go back here for the food, but it’s a serviceable place to hang out in.

This branch of Appetea is located at the Shell Gas Station along Marcos Highway, Masinag, Lower Antipolo.
Bon Appetea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pinoy Comfort Food at Luna J Filipino Gastropub

There’s something to be said for Filipino comfort foods. When dining out, you may usually opt for other more exotic fare but when you don’t want to stress yourself about food, you gravitate towards dishes your mom may have prepared for you before.

Luna J Filipino Gastropub offers tasty and reasonably priced personal meal sets that include a viand, rice, vegetables and soup.  During our lunch out with my coworkers, I ordered a Binagoongan Meal (Php150), which I found quite filling, while my companions ordered a Daing na Bangus Meal (Php180) and a Baby Back Ribs Meal (Php150).

Luna J Gastropub is located at Ground Floor, Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato corner Scout Madrinan Street, South Triangle, Quezon City.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Want to learn how to cook your favorite Filipino dishes at home? Check out these recipe books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Satisfying Japanese fare at Ariake

Japanese cuisine is characterized by fresh ingredients prepared in accordance to the season as well as simple yet artistic plating.  Both are present in Ariake such that it’s among go-to places for a Japanese meal for lunch.

Among its dishes that I recommend are:

  • Crunchy Tuna Sashimi (Php255) – raw tuna mixed with tempura flakes and a special dressing
  • Ebi Tempura (Php180 for 3 pieces)
  • Beef Teppan (Php355) – cubed tenderloin steak with sauteed vegetables
  • Tokyo Style Ramen (Php250) – shoyu-based soup, pork slices, boiled egg, leeks and cabbage

Ariake is located at Unit C Barretto Building, 284 Tomas Morato Corner Scout Rallos, Sacred Heart, Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

Why not try your hand at preparing Japanese cuisine at home?  Check out these recipe books from Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Beautiful decadence at Cafe Shibuya

Shibuya honey toast is the Japanese version of the French toast.  Consisting of thick stacks of buttery bread, syrup and toppings, it is a beautifully constructed and decadent treat.

Aside from this Japanese classic, Cafe Shibuya also offers savory variations of the toasts such as those approximating Eggs Benedict and pizzas, as well as salads, soups, pastas, main dishes and cakes.

During an event at the Glorietta Mall, my officemates and I hung out at the Cafe Shibuya stall for some snacks.  It occupies a small area with seating that can accommodate around 20-30 people.

I ordered a San Rival Toast (Php275) which I shared with the group: it consists of thick slices of crispy-on-the-outside but soft-on-the-inside buttery toasts interspersed with buttercream, cashew meringue and pistachio nuts topped with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream.

The others ordered a Beef Bulgogi Nachos (Php295), a Sardines in Olive Oil pasta (Php245) and a Spaghetti al Tonno (Php235) which we all shared. The beef bulgogi bits and cheese complemented the crunchy nachos quite well. The pastas were cooked al dente and the sauces are infused with flavor but not overpowering.

On my next visit, I’m looking forward to satisfying my sweet tooth with the Ghirardelli salted caramel mocha and the Banofee toast.

This Cafe Shibuya branch is located at 3rd Floor, Glorietta 2, Ayala Center, Makati City.

Cafe Shibuya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato