[Top 10] Restaurants that have not failed us

Originally posted on: ‘2012-06-02 17:28:38’, ‘2012-06-02 09:28:38’

Oneal and I like to eat. I think that’s probably what led to our weight gain last year. We like trying new foods, checking out new restaurants, figuring out recipes. When we eat out, we’re not necessarily looking for fancy, expensive or exotic food. We like good food at reasonable prices. We like food we can share. We like good service. Bearing all that in mind, we put together a list of all the restaurants we’ve been going to for the past few years. These places have never disappointed in terms of food, and some of them have other perks like great service, good drinks or awesome prices. Check it out! Rej and Oneal’s Top Ten Restaurants, in no particular order:

  1. Max’s Restaurant:It may have been two or three years ago when I noticed that all Max’s restaurants have such good service. The staff at all branches are always smiling, and they’re so helpful and attentive. I hate inattentive waiters/waitresses, and we get pretty upset when other unpleasant things occur: they forget our order, they get it wrong, they don’t follow instructions (no ice, or please remove the onions). At Max’s Chicken, we’ve always enjoyed great service.Of course, the chicken is always good, and the other food is really delicious too. The breakfast meals and the chicken meals are worth their price, but a la carte dishes tend to be overpriced and have small servings. I think the only a la carte food worth the price is the seafood kare-kare. [Menu | Branches]
  2. Mexicali– We’ve always liked Mexicali. We like Mexican food–I make salsa that’s pretty popular at parties, and my mom loves making tacos.¬† Thanks to our friend Nabs, I also learned to make simple quesadillas. But I have a long way to go before I can make burritos and enchiladas. So in the meantime, Mexicali! So far we’ve eaten at the branches in Megamall, SM Mall of Asia and Robinson’s Galleria, and the food has always been good. We’ve tried the different burritos, enchiladas, rice meals, quesadillas, sopa de ajo and chicken salad, and they’ve all been good! One of the nice things about Mexicali is that most of the dishes have lots of vegetables, so it was pretty good for our diet.Another thing we appreciated was the vegetarian versions of their burritos,¬† quesadillas and enchiladas, are just as flavorful as the meat versions. And Mexicali has, to my recollection, always had large servings, so I think that’s a good deal. [Menu | Branches]
  3. Tsoko.nut Batirol – I can’t remember when I first discovered Tsoko.nut. But I do know that they have really awesome fruit juice and rice meals. I’ve had the chicken roll, the embotido, the callos, the coco liempo, and the rellenong bangus, and they’re all good! My favorite drink is the dalandan salabat twist; unfortunately it’s only available in a 1.5 liter carafe, so we rarely order it.¬† The coffee’s good too! [Menu | Branches]
  4. Life Coffee and Tea– This is a restaurant in SM Supercenter Pasig. A quick Google search turned up two other branches, but we haven’t been there so we’re not sure if the quality or even the menu is the same. The one in Pasig is pretty good. They serve pasta, pizza, paninis, rice meals, coffee and tea drinks, and fruit smoothies. I like their rice meals because I can never finish them. Every time I order I only eat half and bring the rest home. The pasta is good but the servings aren’t that big, and the varieties are a little predictable. The teas are nice, though I never got to try the yogurt teas. The hot coffee drinks are quite nice. Oneal and I used to go to Life Coffee and Tea for brunch on weekends, when we’d wake up late and be too lazy to cook. [Menu | Branches]
  5. Big Sky Mind – Where everybody knows your name! Big Sky Mind feels less like a bar you’d review for a magazine, and more like a friend’s house where you go to drink and chill. Except occasionally there are bands, fundraising activities, pirates and stormtroopers, book sales and art exhibits. Big Sky Mind is frequented by musicians, artists, writers, geeks and all sorts of creative crazy people, and it’s even more fun if you’re there fairly often and people doknow your name. We don’t drink beer–actually, Oneal doesn’t drink at all–so I usually order cocktails. The Malibog is a favorite among our friends, and it’s always funny to hear the bartender yell “Malibog Rej!” when I order it. It has (I think) pineapple juice, rum, and I don’t know what else. It is teh shiznit. The White Russian is nice too. If you’re a semi-regular, the bartenders will remember what you like: Dante usually gets a Tennessee Sour, and they already know to make a Malibog as soon as the geek girls walk in. And oh I miss the food! Oneal and I love the garlic chicken–we used to order an extra cup of rice to go with it. The kesong puti with salsa is one of my favorites. [Facebook]
  6. Aling Nena’s – As far as I know, the only branch is in Cubao, and it’s been around since the 60s. The bibingka is quite popular, and they also offer other classic Pinoy treats as puto. But we go there for the cheap merienda buffet! For Php 75 per head, you get a lovely feast that can include any or all of the following: dinuguan, okoy, lumpiang togue, kutsinta, different kinds of suman and puto, pancit, arroz caldo, goto, and so much other goodness. The bibingka is not part of the buffet, but you can order it separately for only Php 150 (I think). The buffet does not include drinks either. I forget if they only have the buffet is on weekdays. [Philippines Board]
  7. Mien San – Many thanks to our friend Raffy for introducing us to this haven of cheap Chinese food. I know they have an extensive menu but every time we go there, I end up ordering the same thing: spicy wanton, seaweed, steam kutchay dumpling, steam shrimp dumpling, century egg with tofu, mushroom fish fillet, yang chow fried rice. There’s no ambiance to speak of, and I’ve heard it said that the waitresses will ignore you if you’re not Chinese. I’ve never had trouble ordering though, so maybe it was just a disgruntled diner. But cheap! And yummy! ‘Nuff said. [Menu | Branches]
  8. Café Mediterranean – We love Café Med! It’s a little pricy, but the food is always good. I love the gyros and the kebabs, and I love any place that serves good lamb. The lentil soup, soup au pistou and roasted vegetable soup are happily hearty. I’ve never tried the pastas or the paninis—I always feel like I can make the same thing at home, so why should I pay for it? I’ve only tried the Quattro Formaggi Pizza, and that was a happy choice. The large plates are also pretty awesome, and rightly named: Oneal and I could share one. Oh and I love the rice pilaf! I also really like the décor. Every time we go to any branch I remember how much I want to visit Greece. I think if we ever remodel our house, I will make it look like Café Med. [Menu | Branches]
  9. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – CBTL will always be close to our hearts. It was in the Greenbelt 3 branch that Oneal and I had our first date, back when I thought he would just stay in the friend zone and he thought I had such a warm smile. I had never been to CBTL before that night, but I have loved it ever since. I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything there that I didn’t like—coffee, tea, tea latte, non-coffee drink, pastry, salad, breakfast. It’s all pretty awesome. Like most coffee shops, it’s a little pricy, but I’d still rather pay for that than go to Starbucks. One of my favorite cakes is the turtle pie, but everything else is pretty yummy too. I collected the postcards they used to give away. I think I have 90% of the entire collection. At Christmas, they do the usual stamp card promo, and for the first two or three years they gave away notebooks with nice art. Last Christmas they were giving away planners like Starbucks, so I didn’t bother anymore. But I still took the stamp card because each branch supports a different charitable organization, and I like that. [Menu | Branches]
  10. Pakibalot Paciteria, Teacher’s Village РAgain with the cheap food! This place sells the best pancit I have ever had. When we eat there, I always order the lomi guisado, to which you can add lechon. We usually get the Shanghai fried rice, lumpiang shanghai, and chopsuey (to which you can also add lechon!). A few times we’ve also had a chorizo omelette, lechon kawali and steamed tilapia. The food is so filling, and it’s freshly cooked and so yummy. A number of times I’ve brought home food from there, and Oneal likes the pancit too.

Disclaimer: None of these restaurants have given us free food, or asked us to endorse or review them. Other people may not have had as pleasant an experience with these establishments as we have. — rej

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