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Monday, November 12, 2018
MARTANNES BURRITO PALACE In Flagstaff Arizona: Hot and Delish

Ever since I've been in Arizona, I have been craving for some local fare. Local in a sense that, geographically, we're near the Mexican border. Hence, a lot of culture and food to go around from down south. One morning, I visited MartAnnes just because of that. This place was recommended by a couple of coworkers that swear by their Tex-Mex food. 
So, at 8 in the morning, I saw myself driving all the way there and having a plate or two all for me. Thankfully, MartAnnes is one of those places that offers free parking. They have a whole lot dedicated to their customers. Compared to other establishments nearby, you have to pay for your parking by the hour if you visit at certain times.
 As you enter, you're greeted by the colorful and quirky decorations. They're wall is also surrounded by paintings. I believe some of them are for sale as well.
Since I visited on Halloween, the staff was wearing costumes and even some of the guests as well. I started with some of their coffee and had a side dish and their Huevos Benedicto.
 The curly fries reminded me of the ones I used to get from McDonalds back in Manila. To be honest, it wasn't really special as you could do this in your own home. It's definitely store bought. Maybe next time I'll just order some other thing.
The Huevos Benedicto is their version of the Eggs Benedict but with a little Tex-Mex flavor. Ham plus english muffin and hollandaise together with hashbrown seems like a good idea to me.
 The sauce + the runny egg made the dish into something I would order over and over again. I liked the texture that the bread had together with the sauce. The hashbrown wasn't too bad as well. The restaurant offers a salsa mix that serves as their hot sauce. This was definitely spicy! It made me eat more than I could and woke me up pretty early in the morning.
MartAnnes Burrito Palace is locaed along the Historic Route 66. They're open at 7:30am to 9pm except Sundays. They close somewhat early at 3:30pm.

112 W Historic Rte 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Disclaimer: Visited and wrote this based on my experience. Paid for my meal.
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Monday, November 5, 2018

 Whenever I visit Japan, I make it a point to go to their outdoor markets. It gives a sense of how the Japanese are in terms of culture and of course food. Simple snacks and everyday dishes could be found in their markets. For instance, the TSUKIJI MARKET in TOKYO was the go to place for sushi. 5 Things To Do in TSUKIJI MARKET (Click link here) was how I found it to be. Unfortunately, it has started to move to a different location to pave way for the upcoming Olympics. I just don't think it would ever be the same.
 When I visited Osaka, I went back to KUROMON ICHIBA. This market is a known tourist spot that is best visited when you're in the Dotombori or Namba Walk area. Granted that it's not as big as TSUKIJI and it might be a spot more for tourist, it still has its charm.
 If you were like us and walked above ground rather than down in NAMBA WALK, you would be sweating and puffing. Good thing, there are a number of fruit vendors in the market that sells freshly made blended juices. For watermelon fans, they use a hand blender and serve them as is.
 Right about this time too, you would feel a bit hungry. There are tons of restaurants that sell grilled items just for you.
 Most of them have squids, king crab legs, and other seafood dishes.
 Oysters and shrimps are also a popular choice.

 Right beside these scallops are takoyaki. These are flour-balls that are filled with minced octopus and green onion. Since Osaka is near KOBE, some stalls also sell beef steak cubes!!
 Aside from the restaurant stalls, there are a number that sell wasabi. These aren't you're usual processed version. These are the original and more expensive kind. The flavor that you get from them are just amazing.
 To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with these gingered side dishes. These would work well with deep fried dishes and even curry. To be honest, I bought a couple and gave them away. After trying them out at home, I felt bad and I seriously wanted more.
 After going around, desserts are in order. You could go for these sweet bread filled with bean paste or the sticky rice balls that are super amazing.

KUROMON Market or Ichiba isn't as big as TSUKIJI and it might look like too touristy for some. FOR ME, it's a definite must visit when in the area. Granted that you may have a lot of steps by the end of the day, the food and the experience you get is just amazing.

PORT DINING RICO RICO: Hotel Universal Port Osaka, Japan

2 Chome-4-番1号 Nipponbashi,
Chūō-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 542-0073, Japan

Disclaimer: Wrote this based on my experience. Paid for our visit.
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Monday, October 29, 2018

 Known as the Burger Institution, MAMA BURGER in Flagstaff, Arizona is the go to place for burger junkies and milkshake lovers. I've been to the place roughly 5 times in the past month already. Granted that it's the only burger place that is less than a mile away. It also quickly fills up especially during peak days.
 This old school burger joint is pretty simple. You line up at the counter and order. If you don't want to, there's a drive thru. Remember though, they make your orders as you ask for them so they make take awhile during peak hours. It's a lesson I learned when I visited on a Friday night.
If you do visit, I suggest you get a milkshake. It's pretty good and it isn't too sweet. As long as you don't overdo the mixins, then you should be fine.

Of course since this is a BURGER JOINT, you have a number to choose from. Each has their own nicks and knacks.
 Whatever the case maybe, always go for a meal. You get to pick a side dish like tots or fries and it comes with a drink as well. If you're feeling down, upgrade the drinks to a milkshake.
 Personally, I find the combinations at Mama Burger familiar. I've tried some of them at other restaurants but I still find myself going back. I think it's the feeling of being at home. The place reminds me of what restaurants used to be. Relaxed and chill. The burger patty itself isn't too big and isn't uniform in shape. BUT, it does the trick. The cheese is always present and if you want, they also have veggies in em. Some of the burgers have fries stuffed in between the patty and the bun. SO, it's really up to you with whatever you may want to go. Just to let you know, I do enjoy their version that has some bleu cheese in it. Surprisingly, it wasn't over the top and overpowering. Having bacon in there also helps.
(UN)Fortunately, this is always the case. An empty plate after every meal. It doesn't disappoint so it's definitely worth a try. Take note though, staying inside would make your clothes smell. I suggest eating out and having a nice time under the sun with the perfect view.
991 N Fort Valley Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Opens at 10:30am and closes at 8pm

Disclaimer:Paid for our meals. wrote this based on my experience.
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Friday, October 26, 2018

So it's been another year of ups and downs but there's something coming in a couple of weeks. ENTER WHISKY LIVE MANILA 2018
 WHISKY LIVE MANILA 2018 would be on November 9 and 10, 2018 in Shangri-La BGC in Taguig. This event would once again showcase different whisky brands and other liquors that would make your week.
 Aside from the usual suspects, we could also expect other old school drinks that our fathers enjoy.
 Personally though, I can't wait to have another sip of the Solist from Kavalan. The flavor and the smoothness of it is just perfect.
"This year, Whisky Live Manila 2018 will once again open its doors to thousands who want to decipher the timeless allure of whisky on November 9 and 10, 2018 at the Shangri-La Hotel at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City. Whisky enthusiasts can sample over a 100 whisky brands and variants including the small batch, handcrafted Whisky Live special. The two-day expo will also include Master Classes and talks conducted by international whisky experts. For tickets, log on to or visit"

Whisky Live Manila 2017
Day 2 Whisky Live Manila 2017
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Monday, October 22, 2018
BIGFOOT BBQ: Better Than Your Backyard Brew

When I think about American food, BBQ is one of the first things that come into mind. Granted that their version is quite different from the Filipino kind, it is still very delicious and goes well with rice. (Un)fortunately for me, BIGFOOT BBQ, didn't have any rice on their menu. If that would have been the case, I would have ordered more than 1 serving.
BIGFOOT BBQ is a well known establishment in downtown Flagstaff. It's sort of an open secret between locals and visitors. It may take awhile for you to find it but it sure is worth a visit. Located on the basement of an arcade, you won't really know that there is a restaurant there.
Once you go down the stairs, make a uturn, and then you see this crafty place where you could get your belly full. Now, BBQ in America is different because of the way they cook it and also of the flavor. At BIGFOOT, they use hickory wood for their smokers. It gives a deep and smoky flavor to the meat that it cooks.
Ordering is quite simple. Head on over to the counter and take your pick. There are platters for groups and yes solo meals as well.
While waiting for your order, you could get some complimentary peanuts on the side.
You also get to pick which sauce you might want. There's the original, which is also served with your dish. Then there is the spicy version and something else. Best go and mix and match.
From what I understand, the menu boils down to 5 things. Sandwiches, Links, Ribs, Brisket/Pulled Pork and other meats, and sides. Now I maybe wrong, but BIGFOOT created different partnership between these items to make you a damn good meal. Plus, they also have happy hour with cocktails and even sides.
Personally, I would suggest that you order some alcohol with your meal. This one could pick up your mood and enhance the flavor of the dishes.
Now, most of their delicious creations are partnered  with a side. You take your pick from a list but the sweet potato fries are pretty good. The mac and cheese was just okay and the sweet potato mash has some cinnamon in it.
Moving on, there is this link (or sausage) that is smothered with burnt ends and tons of toppings. I forgot what it is called but heck, it was one amazing dog. (It's called the smokin bulldawg. A sausage topped with burnt ends, cheese, onions, and bbq sauce.)
Just looking at it up close makes my mouth water. I'm definitely drooling right now as I remember the juicy and tangy flavor of each bite.
If your're not a fan of links, they also have briskets and ribs as I had mentioned.
Remember though, also go for the BURNT END. This is the part of the meat that is a bit crunchy and juicy because as the name suggest, it's that good.
BIGFOOT BBQ is located in the Old Town Shops, 120 N Leroux St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. Just head on over and go down the stairs.

Parking might be a problem as it's all on the streets and you have to pay for it. BIGFOOT is one of those establishments that gives you "an hour free parking" when you visit them. (Just ask and you get a d/c on your bill-haven't tried it yet). Cheers.

Disclaimer: paid for our meals. wrote this based on my experience and opinions.
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