#EatsInTheEast: Pancake House, Sierra Valley

With so much development going on east of Manila, residents and visitors can definitely look forward to beloved restaurant brands making their presence felt in the area.

One such brand is Pancake House which has been serving up comfort food to Pinoys – morning, noon and evening – since the 1970s.

Pancake House, Sierra Valley
Pancake House, Sierra Valley

One of its newer branches opened at the gate of Sierra Valley in Cainta, a soon-to-rise real estate development planned to contain a mall and mid-rise condominium.

This makes it an ideal stopover for motorists traversing Ortigas Avenue Extension from Antipolo and Taytay to Cainta and Pasig, and vice versa.

That’s how it was for my fam: on the way back from an errand in Tanay to the metro, we stopped by this Pancake House branch for lunch and enjoyed the restaurant’s offerings such as:

Caesar Salad (Php245). Bacon bits and croutons tossed with crisp salad greens in Caesar Salad dressing and sprinkled with grated parmesan.

Pancake House, Sierra Valley
Pancake House, Sierra Valley

Best Taco in Town (Php99). Mexican-seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese encase in a crispy taco shell.

Pancake House, Sierra Valley
Pancake House, Sierra Valley

Classic Pan Chicken (Php230/2pc). Juicy chicken pieces are fried to a beautiful golden-brown with a satisfying crunch with every bite and accompanied by its unique savory and buttery gravy.

Pancake House, Sierra Valley
Pancake House, Sierra Valley

Classic Country Medley (Php310). A filling combo consisting of 2 pieces Classic Pancakes, 2 pieces of Country Sausage and Pineapple Juice.

Pancake House, Sierra Valley
Pancake House, Sierra Valley

House Specials Set (Php325). A sulit bundle consisting of Pancake House favorites: a Best Taco in Town, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and garlic bread and a piece of Classic Pan Chicken with its sIgnature gravy.

Pancake House, Sierra Valley
Pancake House, Sierra Valley

Golden Brown Waffle (Php199). A classic waffle cooked to a crispy and delicious golden brown.

Pancake House, Sierra Valley
Pancake House, Sierra Valley

Our Pancake House favorites like the Classic Pan Chicken, Caesar Salad and the Best Taco in Town are always a hit with the family, and we enjoyed tasting the unfamiliar dishes.

So, whether you’re a resident of a nearby village or a motorist passing by, you know you can always drop by this Pancake House outlet for a bite or two of delicious comfort food.

This Pancake House branch is located at Sierra Valley, Ortigas Avenue Extension corner Suburban Drive, Cainta, Rizal.

Haven for coffee and comfort food lovers: Little Owl Cafe, New Manila

Hidden away in New Manila is a haven for lovers of coffee and comfort food.

Renovated from one of the previously worn-down houses along Broadway Avenue, Little Owl Cafe is nestled among lush greenery. Started as a coffee shop but now a full service cafe, it serves food that features a fusion of Italian and Asian cuisines that professionals working in the area or families residing nearby can enjoy.

I was recently invited to a Blogger’s Dinner at this restaurant where I was able to sample some of its delectable offerings:

Omelette Chorizo Rice (Php270). Part of the resto’s All-Day Breakfast Menu, it consists of homemade longganisa rice, delicately wrapped in a thin omelette and topped with onion gravy and aioli.

Sisig Tacos (Php210). Three pieces of soft-shell tacos topped with crispy sisig and a savory liver aioli sauce. A great start to the meal!

Glazed Cauliflower (Php210). Cauliflower covered in a sweet and spicy soy glaze then deep-fried to crispiness. A great way to get the kids to eat their veggies!

Truffle Mushroom Pasta (Php350). Al dente noodles tossed in a rich homemade mushroom sauce made with three different kinds of mushrooms – shiitake, enoki and shimeji – topped with fried enoki and drizzled with truffle oil.

Shrimp & Aligue Pasta (Php330). Pasta noodles tossed in a creamy tomato sauce incorporating shrimp aligue and served with plump grilled shrimps.

Beef Tapa & Cheese Sandwich (Php295). A Pinoy take on the Philly Cheesesteak which showcases savory slivers of beef tapa, it is accompanied by a hefty serving of crisp shoestring fries.

Chicken & Waffle (Php270). Chicken thighs covered in batter then fried to a crisp then served with sriracha coleslaw over cheddar waffles.

Lechon Kawali Bibimbap (Php320). The classic sweet-spicy Korean fried rice served with sauteed mushrooms and spinach accompanied by deep fried pork belly and fried egg. A great combination of Pinoy and Korean flavors!

Chicken Satay (Php280). A bowl of Indonesian- inspired fried rice served with grilled chicken thigh and its trademark peanut sauce.

Beef Rendang (Php420). Tenderchuck slow-cooked in aromatic spices and coconut cream. A little too spicy for me but a sure winner for those who like their food with lots of kick!

Kimchi Salmon Sinigang (Php420). Salmon belly and loin seared then served in a spicy and sour soup.

Iced Mocha (Php170). A rich yet refreshing blend of chocolate and coffee flavors, it is among the Toby’s Estate beverages served in this restaurant.

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Pink Owl (Php180). A fruity cocktail of vodka, lychee, watermelon and mint. A suitable drink to chase away the workday stress.

Little Owl Cafe’s food offerings provide its diners with an adventurous break from the everyday meals but with enough familiar flavors to make them appealing to those with more conservative tastebuds.

Its premises are well-appointed, tastefully furnished and prettily lit, great backgrounds for foodie shots and group photos.

Since this resto is conveniently located a short distance from my workplace, I definitely can drop by again for dinner with friends after office hours.

Little Owl Cafe is located at 65 Broadway Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 11am to 10pm and Sundays from 8am to 9pm. For inquiries, call + 63 917 8181468 or +63 2 5012036.

Little Owl also accepts bookings for special events such as weddings, birthdays, holiday parties, press conferences and more, with function rooms that can be reserved for a minimum consumable amount.

Little Owl Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

A quiet place to work and eat (and even study!): Quarks & Quills, Banawe

Technology has enabled many changes to the way we work: with mobile devices, wireless data access and internet-enabled communications and file-sharing applications, we now have the option to work outside our offices.  In fact, doing so might even make us more productive: it takes us away from the stress of commuting and a lot of workplace distractions.

However, when working from home is not an option, remote workers are faced with a conundrum: where to work in comfort and still be productive?  And for foodies like me, where to get good food to fuel the day’s work.

Fortunately, Quarks & Quills Study Center and Work Cafe offers both a quiet and comfy space to work, as well as healthy comfort food to keep tummies satisfied.

Located in one of the suburbs of Quezon City, the cafe boasts of quiet and cozy nooks for studying or working, free WiFi access, as well as power outlets for charging laptops and mobile devices (essential for the “always-on, always-connected” peeps like me).

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

It also has function rooms upstairs for group meetings that can be reserved for a consumable amount (Php800 for up to 6 people and Php1,500 for up to 20 people). Reservations just need to be made a day in advance.

It also offers after-school tutorial services and enrichment programs in Math, Science and English for students.  Those who want to learn Chinese can benefit from Mandarin and Fookien held upstairs.

And thanks to a Zomato Foodie Meetup, I was able to sample its homey and hearty food offerings, of which I recommend:

Monte Cristo (Php125). French toasted sandwiched with a hearty filling of cheese and homemade ham.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Tinapa Wontons (Php105). Smoked fish flakes in wonton wrappers fried to a crispy golden brown and accompanied by a Spicy Tamarind Vinaigrette.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Gyoza (Php105). Dumplings filled with minced pork and aromatics which are steamed then seared for a crisp bottom.

Breakfast Bubble Waffle Set (Php195). Unusually styled (bubble!) waffles served with slices of homemade ham and scrambled eggs.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Its versions of Omurice, the fusion of omelettes and fried rice, also pack quite a punch: the Pork Katsu (Php195) with its fork tender pork bites drenched in tonkatsu sauce and the Miso Salmon (Php255) with flavorful salmon pieces drenched in the resto’s signature Miso glaze. These would go a long way towards satiating a hungry worker or student.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Sisig Silog (Php150). The combo of the slightly spicy sisig, egg and fried rice make for an energizing meal.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

For those who brought a big appetite, the best bets this resto has to offer are its Executive Meals: the BSS Pork Chop (Php335) – BSS means Big, Soft and Savory, by the way!) – and the Angus Hanger Steak (opening promo price of Php388). Both are quite good bargains considering the portion sizes, althought I would suggest specifying that the steak be cooked medium instead of well done.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

If you’re carbo-loading, you have quite a number of options among its pasta dishes: from its Creamy Alfredo (Php180), Fresh Tomato Pomodoro (Php190) and Fusili Pesto (Php205), all of which come with a cheesy twisty sourdough bread stick.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

You can also cap off your meal or gift your family for special occasions with the resto’s decadent sweet treats that come in slices and whole cakes. These include the Triple Chocolate Mousse (Php110 for slice | Php880 for whole) and Mango Graham Cake (Php135 for slice | Php1,050 for whole).

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

You can also opt for a S’mores Bubble Waffle (Php140). Apparently, at Quarks & Quills, the usual grid-style waffle is so basic. 🙂 This comes with some toasted mallows, a big dollop of vanilla ice cream and drizzles of rich chocolate syrup.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Now, how to wash all those goodies down? I chose a light yet creamy Hot Jasmine Milk Tea (Php70), which I messed up during prep, hehehe!

I’m also intrigued by the Hot Chocolate (Php80) which involves pouring the hot chocolate over a grid of solidified chocolate and toasted mallows.

Whether you’re here to study, work or just go on a gastronomic adventure, Quarks and Quills definitely has something for you. My only beef is the resto’s exhaust that didn’t quite accommodate all the smoke from the cooking that’s going on.  Still, all the food and drink options will make your visit worth it.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

And guess what! You can book a table at Quarks & Quills via Eatigo and enjoy 20% off your food bill. Not yet on Eatigo? Sign up here, book your table and attend your booking before January 31, 2019 for a chance to get Php500 Eatigo cash voucher.

Quarks & Quills is located at 43-H N. Roxas corner Apo Streets, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City and is open every day from 7am to 11pm.  For queries and reservations, call +63 908 3719060, +63 956 0998913 or +63 2 8719502.

Quarks & Quills Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Holiday Get-together with Friends at Denny’s BGC

The holiday season affords friends separated by distance or circumstance with a valid reason to get together and catch up. That is what I recently did with a group of friends composed of current and former coworkers.

Earlier this year, I had my birthday treat at Denny’s Trinoma. For our yearly get-together, we opted for a Denny’s in BGC, our middle ground when you consider that one of us lives near Fairview, Quezon City while another lives in Binan, Laguna.

The restaurant is well-located at Uptown Parade, easily accessible from the carpark. It does not accept reservations during weekends but, when I called the day before, the hostess agreed to put our group in the priority list.

We timed our get-together on the Saturday morning before Christmas Eve, to avoid the traffic from the holiday rush and to enjoy the hearty and filling breakfast fare that Denny’s is known for, such as:

  • Ham and Cheese Omelette (Php395), fluffy, 3-egg omelette with diced ham and melted cheese. I opted for waffles to accompany this dish to have a nice combination of savory and sweet flavors. I also ordered a Hot Chocolate (Php120) to go with my meal.
  • Fit Slam (Php375), scrambled egg whites with fresh spinach and grape tomatoes, served with chicken breast and apple cubes. This was ordered by one of my fitness-conscious companions.
  • All American Slam (Php395), scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, bacon strips, sausages and hash browns, served with toast.
  • Tenderloin Bistek Tagalog (Php345), tenderloin beef slices marinated and sauteed Bistek Tagalog style (a Pinoy favorite), topped with onion slices and served with 2 eggs sunny side up and a cup of garlic rice. This was ordered by my boss who simply had to have her “kanin” and “malasadong itlog.
  • Loaded Veggie Omelette (Php355), melted cheese omelette with fresh spinach, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, sauteed zucchini and squash, served with toast and hash browns.
  • Sausage and Pepper Skillet (Php395), cheddar cheese, sausage and Schublig mixed with fire-roasted bell peppers and gravy.

We also ordered a Caramel Apple Crisp (Php295), served with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar, as our dessert.

We spent over 3 hours chatting and bantering, a great time spent among close and trusted friends.

Denny's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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