A French cafe experience at PAUL le cafe

France has a delicious history with coffee dating back to 17th century when cafes started opening up, offering not just coffee but also a feeling of community. Cafes encouraged the practice of slowing down, lingering and connecting with one’s neighbors and peers; they became focal points for conversation, artistic expression, and, at some point, even revolutionary sentiments.

With the opening of its first Philippine store in Greenbelt 5 in Makati, PAUL le cafe brings the French cafe experience center stage, much to the delight of coffee lovers in the metro.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

PAUL le cafe also incorporates classic coffee colors as well as black, the emblematic hue of the original family-owned PAUL bakeries in France, and terra-cotta red, the color of coffee cherries.

Its clean and modern look was developed with the help of interior and set designer Emilie Bonaventure. Its spectacular lighting, gleaming coffee machine and welcoming colors are accented by artfully placed photographs, all set against the PAUL trademark black and white flooring.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

In this stylish setting, coffee lovers can enjoy their favorite beverage expertly crafted by PAUL’s baristas, using 100% Arabica coffee sourced from sustainable Rain Forest Alliance producers.

The store also offers and expanded menu of hot coffee drinks that include classics such as espresso, latte and Americano, to gourmet recipes such as flat white, cappuccino, cafe Viennois and mochas, even vegan options made with almond or oat milk.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

To cool down on a hot day (which we have a lot of in this country), customers can also opt for iced versions of their coffee favorites.

The store also offers non-coffee beverages such as hot and iced teas, freshly squeezed juices and smoothies.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

Customers can also get a taste of the PAUL macaron frappe – a concoction made of milk, cream and a French macaron – blended together with ice, resulting to a sweet and brightly colored drink.

These drinks are best enjoyed with something delicious to nibble on. Luckily, savory lunch items such as freshly prepared sandwiches and salads, quiches and pizzas are on offer.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

However, the highlight for a sweet tooth like me has got to be the pattiserie – a collection of French pastries and cakes that appeal to the eyes and tastebuds of every dessert lover.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

Among the macarons, fruit tartlets, Napoleons, and more on display, all manner of sweet cravings can be sated.

At PAUL le cafe, coffee lovers can bask in the elegantly relaxed atmosphere of a French cafe while enjoying premium drinks and high quality pastries.

It is a place to relax, unwind and take a precious moment, whether to catch up with friends or enjoy one’s solitude in comfort.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

Drop by PAUL le cafe at Ground Floor, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City and say “Bonjour” to a posh yet relaxing coffee shop a la francaise experience.

For more details on its offers, follow PAUL Philippines on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended the Grand Opening of this restaurant where food and drink were served for honest feedback.

Filling sub sandwiches from Subway

Did you know that the submarine sandwich, also known as the hoagie, hero or grinder, is said to have originated from the Italian-American communities in northeastern US in the early to mid-20th century?

It got its most famous moniker due to its shape: the cylindrical bread roll housing its hearty fillings resembles the shape of a submarine.

Its nickname, the hoagie, came about in Philadelphia in the 1950s when Italian-Americans working at the Hog Island shipyard started putting various meats, cheeses and lettuce between two slices of bread.

Subway Delivery

Subway, the largest restaurant chain in the world, specializes in subs.

From its beginnings in the Fresno, California in 1978, Subway has steadily conquered the rest of the globe, setting up shops in Asia and even appearing prominently in popular K-Dramas.

Maybe it was its high visibility in his favorite Korean dramas that drove my Hubby to start ordering sandwiches from Subway to be delivered via GrabFood whenever he gets peckish while working from home.

Subway Delivery

And why would I complain when he so generously orders subs for the rest of the fam so that everyone has something to tide us over until dinnertime.

6″ Italian (Php138). Hubby’s go-to sub is made of spicy pepperoni and salami with crisp veggies and peppers in a toasted bun.

Subway Delivery

Subway Delivery

6″ BLT (Php138). One of my mottos is “Bacon makes everything better.” Well, it surely does! Sandwich some bacon slices together with lettuce and tomato in freshly toasted buns and you’ve got a great sub!

Subway Delivery

6″ Steak and Cheese (Php184). Inspired by the classic Philly hoagie, this sub features lean and tender steak with crisp lettuce, sliced onions and tomatoes and topped with melted cheese in a freshly toasted bun.

Subway Delivery

Subway Delivery

6″ Roast Beef (Php184). Lean and tender slices of roast beef with sliced cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and peppers in a freshly toasted bun.

Subway Delivery

Subway Delivery

With these tasty and filling subs, the wait for dinner doesn’t seem so long, right?

Subway Delivery

And with Metro Manila back on moderate enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), we don’t have to leave the safety of our homes to have our subs. We can just have them delivered right to our doorsteps just by ordering from GrabFood, LalaFood or FoodPanda.

Download the Grab App and get a discount on your first food order when you use my code: GRABJELLYBEANS.

Use this link to download the FoodPanda app and get Php100 off your first order.

Download the LalaFood App and get a free delivery coupon when you use my code: BEINGJMR53.

Subway Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Check out my blog posts on comfort food joints around the metro:

Healthy snackin’ with The Sandwich Guy

It’s been two weeks into the enhanced community quarantine, and some of us might be feeling confined within the four walls of our abode.

My first instinct was to stock up on chips and chocolates – yes, my kind of comfort food – but I do realize that there are healthier alternatives.

Some of those alternatives may be found at the nearest branch of The Sandwich Guy, the go-to destination of health-conscious folks – or those like me who should be a little more health-conscious, hehehe!

I recently got to snack on two of its tasty yet healthy offerings that prove the adage “Everything is better with bacon.”

The Sandwich Guy, Pioneer

Check them out:

Bacon & Egg Sandwich (Php72 Junior | Php115 Whole). Creamy egg spread punctuated by crunchy toasted bits of bacon accompanied by lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers in two slices of toasted bread.

The Sandwich Guy, Pioneer

The Sandwich Guy, Pioneer

Keto Bacon Bits (P150). A protein-filled package of bacon bits, cheese, egg, tofu cubes, lettuce, tomato and cucumbers to build up on energy and strength, but not necessarily the pounds.

The Sandwich Guy, Pioneer

So the next time you’re hankering for a healthy snack, you know who’s your guy, right?

The Sandwich Guy! (See what I did there?)

The Sandwich Guy, Pioneer

Many thanks to Harvard of AlwaysHungryPH for sharing these items from his snack stash!

This outlet of The Sandwich Guy is located at Ground Floor, Robinsons Cybergate 1, Pioneer Street, Buayang Bato, Mandaluyong City.

Other branches are located at:

  • Robinsons Cyberscape Alpha, Garnet Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
  • Second Floor, Techno Plaza One, Libis, Quezon City
  • Third Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • Lower Ground Floor, Building B, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Worldwide Corporate Center, Shaw Boulevard, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City
  • Times Square Food Court, Pacific Star Building, Senator Gil J. Puyat corner Makati Avenue, Makati City
  • Lower Ground Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati
  • Second Floor, Cash & Carry Mall, Palanan, Makati City
  • Third Floor, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati City
  • Dela Rosa Car Park 1, Dela Rosa Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
  • Ground Floor, Net Plaza Building, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ground Floor, One World Square, McKinley Hill, Taguig
  • One E-Com Center, Harbor Drive, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
  • Second Floor, Northgate Cyberzone, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa

The Sandwich Guy also delivers via GrabFood and FoodPanda. 

Download the Grab App on the App Store or Google Play. Get a discount on your first food order when you use my code: GRABJELLYBEANS.

Use this link to download the FoodPanda app and get Php100 off your first order.

The Sandwich Guy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my blog posts on other healthy eats in the metro:

Chocoholic indulgence at Maitre Chocolatier, Tomas Morato

Chocolate has long been associated with desserts and sweets, but its origins are decidedly and deliciously savory. Bitter fermented beverages made from cacao beans date back to 350 BC in Mesoamerica where it was believed to have magical properties. Cacao beans were considered so precious that they have been used as currency.

Chocolate’s sweetened variants came about due to European influence. Its unsweetened form was unappreciated by Europeans but once mixed with honey or sugar, it quickly grew in popularity which spread from Spain to rest of the continent.

The Industrial Revolution brought with machines and processes that sped up the production of this sweet confection and now, chocolate is a multi-billion industry.

Maitre Chocolatier (translates roughly to “master of chocolate making or selling”)is the first boutique chocolate cafe in the country wherein chocolate is creatively incorporated, not only in desserts and drinks, but also in salads, soups and entrees.

I was treated to a pre-birthday lunch here (such a suitable choice for a chocoholic like me). We split orders of the following chocolate creations:

  • Ham and Egg Sandwich with White Chocolate (Php136). The classic sandwich was given a chocolatey twist by adding creamy white chocolate to soft-boiled egg, mashed potato, smoked ham, lettuce leaves and cucumber slices between wheat bread slices. We found the smoked ham a bit tough to bite through, but the chocolate added some depth to the ham’s flavor which is further complemented by the freshness of the veggie ingredients.
  • Linguini in Pesto Sauce with Parm-Crusted Chicken (Php258). Al dente pasta noodles in pesto sauce made with fresh herbs and spices are accompanied by parmesan-crusted chicken strips to be dipped in a special white chocolate sauce. The portions are of good size and the chicken complemented the pasta quite well. I found the white chocolate sauce a little too sweet but could be improved with the addition a more mustard-y or citrus-y flavor.
  • Sweet Ebony – Lindt Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake (Php182). Definitely the highlight of the meal! Dark chocolate mousse layered on top of a moist and airy chocolate sponge cake, finished of with a generous swirl of whipped cream and piece of dark chocolate.

During an earlier visit to this joint, I was also able to sample the Golden Euphoria – Ferrero Hazelnut Crunch Cake (Php218). A velvety chocolate sponge layered under a chocolate hazelnut mousse and topped with a Ferrero Hazelnut ball.

Maitre Chocolatier is truly a haven for chocoholics due to the variety of chocolate infused food offerings and their quite reasonable pricing. However, the place could use a bit more style in its interiors.  While the big windows let in a lot of natural light during daytime, it detracts from the cozy and intimate atmosphere I’ve come to expect from cafes (it also ruins photo opps for those seated near the windows). A room scent that smells of hot chocolate wouldn’t hurt either; the sense of smell is a powerful come-on when it comes to food, after all.  (Note: I’m not trying to be a know-it-all when it comes to store design; I’m just already imagining my perfect chocolate sanctuary, so please bear with me, hehehe!). The store could also benefit from sprucing up the display of the chocolates on sale to add a premium feel of the resto.  (By the way, check out the chocolate bars they usually have at 50% off.  Don’t pass up the chance to bring home some imported chocolate treats to your loved ones at half the price!)

Still, I think I will be finding my way here quite often in the future, given my predilection for chocolate treats.

This branch is located in the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area, at the corner of Scout Bayoran Street, South Triangle, Quezon City.

Its other branch in Metro Manila is located along Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati.

Maitre Chocolatier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Work-related hang-out at UCC Park Cafe, Glorietta Complex

Whenever I’m Ayala Center and I pass by this free standing resto amidst the park greenery, I always thought of it would be a great place to hang out in after a bout of shopping.

So far, I haven’t been able to just chill here as during both instances I’ve been are work-related.

Still, I have been able to try its sandwich offerings:

  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Php280). Three different kinds of cheese (cheddar, gruyere and mozarella) on buttered toast.
  • Cliffhanger Sandwich (Php250). Chicken, bacon, scrambled eggs, mozarella cheese inside fried custard-coated bread.

I didn’t care much for the side of marinara sauce that came with the sandwiches but I found the sandwiches themselves rich and filling.

The Cafe Americano (Php120) gave me a good pick-me-up. The muscovado sugar gave it a different kind of sweetness.

Thanks to my generous workmates, I was able to sample its other dishes:

  • Pasta Carbonara (Php260). Spaghetti noodles in a white sauce with sauteed bacon and onions, topped with a poached egg and parmesan cheese. I found this pasta a little too wet for my taste.
  • Garlic Seafood Pasta (Php450). Spaghetti noodles with shrimp, cuttlefish, mushrooms and scallops sauteed in garlic and olive oil. This seems to be a light and more preferable alternative to heavily sauced pasta dishes.
  • Crispy Wings (Php320). Fried marinated chicken wings served with garlic dip and fries. A bit forgettable but at least I got some more meat to go with my sandwich at the time.

I wouldn’t mind coming back to try out some of its more unusual food items such as its Cheese and Spinach (Php280) appetizer and Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese (Php320).

This UCC branch is located at Glorietta 3 Park, Ayala Center, Makati.

UCC Park Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato