Perk Avenue

Dala-dalawa ang Starbucks sa BF at lagi silang puno. Di pa ba nagp-palpitate ang puso niyo, homeowners?  :)

We wanted to go somewhere quiet, away from the mad rush of coffee drinkers and group studies. Jigs suggested Perk Avenue, which was along President’s Avenue, just after Tahanan Village and Brooklyn Pizza if you’re coming via the old McDonald’s entrance.

It was peaceful and quiet indeed, with just a few barkadas hanging out. I don’t know if that’s a good thing though; does that mean the cash register’s not busy?

There were  a lot of magazines and free, bottomless wi-fi. Puwede.

They offer the usual repertoire of coffee drinks and light snacks. The Hazelnut drink I tried was too sweet for my liking. Friends who have been there previously were not really impressed with the selection. So just make the most of the wi-fi and order something fail-safe (um, Coke?).

The interiors however, were quite interesting.

Those lovely orange chairs were just begging to be sat on.

And the lighting’s just right.

Perk Avenue is open daily until 12 midnight. Call 823-8877 for more details.

Love at first bite

I don’t know how Mico, co-owner of Twenty One Plates, stumbled upon this blog, but I’m so happy he did.

One comment led to another, and we found ourselves at this cozy restaurant for dinner a few days later.

Twenty One Plates serves twenty one well-thought out meals lovingly prepared by Mico’s wife, Tinette. The menu, which can change up to three times a year, is a merry mix of Asian, Mediterranean and Continental dishes, so there’s something for every craving.

The restaurant has three separate dining areas, which can seat 6, 10, and 12 guests respectively – a nice touch particularly when you’re with a group of close friends or family. We passed by the kitchen on our way in. Nothing commercial or industrial about it – it looked liked a kitchen of a family who loves to cook and is very good at it, too.

We chose the Kimchi Rolls for our starters.

Bulgogi beef and rice wrapped in spicy kimchi. Delicious. So filling you could eat the rolls on their own. We then tried the simple and straightforward feta cheese fried in extra virgin olive oil.

For our mains, we ordered the sweet Korean Beef Stew, with meat so tender it slid off the bone. Perfect with the Kimchi Rolls.

We also had the Healthy Chicken Cordon Bleu, two skinless chicken breasts filled with smoked deli ham and melted Swiss cheese, on lightly buttered fettucini.

Puwedeng puwede.

We’re reserving the other bestsellers – Bo’s Kaldereta (the beef is simmered slowly in coconut milk – that I have to taste) and Pork Souvlaki (grilled pork marinated in lemon and oregano served with pita bread and vegetables), for future visits. Twenty One Plates is also launching their Wine Buffet Weekends, which hopefully will become a regular event.

As we were about to leave, Tinette treated us to a slice of Anastacia’s Frozen Brazo, which I failed to take a photo of, given that we finished it in record time. The menu guarantees you’ll never look at Brazo the same way again. We definitely agree.

Twenty One Plates is at 205 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque. Open for lunch and dinner. For reservations, call 825 7348. Check out their Facebook page – just type in Twenty One Plates.

Neighborhood comfort food

In BF Homes Parañaque, where I’ve been living for more than 20 years, delicious comfort food can be literally right outside your doorstep.

Residents have described BF Homes Parañaque as a laid-back community, and rightly so – you don’t have to drive far out or dress up to enjoy a good meal. Here are six restaurants to try when you’re in the area.

  • While not bad at all, I don’t go to Charbroiled Burgers (two branches along Aguirre Avenue) for the burgers – I go there for the killer tacos – two cone-shaped tortillas filled with beef, tomatoes, onions, cabbage and topped with grated cheese. These are served on a rack, to keep them upright. They’re juicy, messy and delicious.
  • I never thought that BF had a Japanese contingent, but they come out in full force at Omatsuri (Aguirre Avenue), drinking sake amid boisterous conversation. We trooped in for one of their specials – all you can eat Japanese rice, kimchi, soup and paper-thin slices of prime US beef (marbled with fat, no less), cooked at the grill on your table for Php 550. I haven’t tried any of the sushi/sashimi options, but if it’s good enough for them, it certainly is good enough for me.
  • Biting into slices of white cheese or anchovy and garlic pizza at Brooklyn Pizza (President’s Avenue, right next to Tahanan Village) have brought me gooey cheesy bliss. Me and two other friends have demolished a box in one sitting. Oh, they now serve buffalo wings (why are they called buffalo wings?) and pasta, too.
  • Residents can’t get enough of SEX – erm, that’s Sinangag Express, the highly popular tapsilugan joint (you can wipe that silly grin off your face now) with two outlets in the area – the original one along President’s Avenue and another one along Aguirre Avenue, a few meters away from the PCJ parish. The tapsilog (of course) is highly recommended, while some friends swear by the pares (sweet, saucy beef paired with fried rice and soup). Perfect before driving home from a night out, after a tough school project or when you’re just plain hungry.
  • I have completely forgotten what life in BF was before Conti’s (President’s Avenue). It’s the neighborhood go-to place for Sunday lunches and other special occasions. The baked Norwegian salmon is a must-try, as is the seafood pesto linguini. Cap the meal with a slice of turtle pie or the famous Mango Bravo, a towering confection of whipped cream, mangoes, chocolate, chocolate syrup and torte pastry (and it’s not overly sweet).  Families are known to order their entire noche buena from Conti’s, so prepare for long cues come Christmas.
  • Spanish restaurant Amalia’s (Aguirre Avenue) has succulent oysters topped with creamy hollandaise sauce, served on a bed of salt, with a slice of lemon on the side. Now if that’s not comfort food, I don’t know what is.