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Monday, December 10, 2018
EGGSLUT: BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS? Grand Central Market Los Angeles California

 When I was in California a few weeks ago, I was brought to a place called the GRAND CENTRAL MARKET. This foodie place was just packing. It's an open air food hall that is quite impressive. Fancy neon lights, long lines, and delicious smelling food. They even had a Filipino Sari-Sari store looking stall.
 One of the more popular "stalls" in the place would be EGGSLUT. This all day breakfast place offers messy yet easy to eat egg sandwiches that could fill you up. Even after the lunch crowd had left, it still had a long but quick moving line.
 Since we have been eating all day, we just shared one to check it out. We went for the most popular item on the menu. One bite of the BACON, EGG, AND CHEESE SANDWICH and it reminded me of this place in VIRRA MALL in Greenhills, Metro Manila. Underneath the escalator on the first floor was a stall named Bread Connection. They used to sell ham and egg sandwiches. TO be frank, they literally tastes almost the same. Both used what is likely to be Banana Ketchup because of the sweetness and smell. Although we could say that EGGSLUT delivers higher quality ingredients, I couldn't differentiate the two because of the taste. Texture wise, EGGSLUT is fluffy and easy to eat. While, Bread Connections' sandwich has a little crunch.
I've actually been to a couple of EGGSLUT. This one and another in LAS VEGAS. To be truthful, it was just okay. It's not something I would look for but I could still see myself eating it. A little expensive than the usual but worth a try. I guess it's not for everyone. P.S. The cold brew coffee is pretty good but you could get it at a different place cheaper.

317 S. Broadway, Stall D-1
Los Angeles, CA 90013              
Inside Grand Central Market
Mon-Sun: 8AM - 4PM

Disclaimer: Wrote this based on my experience. Paid for our meal.
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Monday, December 3, 2018

It's quite funny because my friends are always surprised to see me in snow. Generally, most would think that if you're in Arizona, you won't experience snow. Well, that's almost true except that in FLAGSTAFF, it snows. Not hard like MONTANA, but quite a bit especially during winter. Since Flagstaff is 7,000 ft up from sea level, you could experience a variety of weather here. SNOW is one of them. It's quite near a number of mountains as well. You could definitely experience some ice sports here and there. One of them would be SNOWBOARDING.
In ARIZONA SNOWBOWL, visitors could enjoy a number of things. Some prefer the view, while others prefer the more extreme like skiing and snowboarding. Here, they got all the things that you would need. Plus, they really take care of the grounds to give you the best experience that you can get. Since I've been able to surf and wakeboard, I went ahead and had a day of snowboarding.
Getting up there is quite a trip. You need to have 4wd or snow chains to go up. It's either that or an accident waiting to happen. On the way up, we saw 3 accidents already. If you don't have one, you could park at the bottom just before going up the rode. There are shuttle services that could bring you up and down but it's best to check in with them first. If it's your first time, it's better to park near the HART PRAIRIE LODGE. It's were you could rent equipment, buy accessories, get tickets, locker services, and get some chow. It has a restaurant on the second floor and there is also a water fountain as well.
1) EQUIPMENT. Before going to a winter sport resort like ARIZONA SNOWBOWL, you have to be prepared. Equipment and clothing is quite important. IF you're getting a beginner's package that has free lessons, you would still need to rent a board with bindings and shoes. I would really suggest getting a helmet as well. Of course, you need to be properly dressed. Do not wear jeans. Rather, get yourself a snowpants, a ski sock, thermal underneath, and a jacket for the snow plus gloves. You could layer them out as well. Don't forget to get ski goggles and a ski mask or gaitor to cover you up. To give you an example, I wore ski goggles, jacket, hoodie, t-shirt, snow pants, thermal pants, underwear and ski socks and shoes. I rented the helmet, boots, bindings with the snowboard and a locker to put my stuff in. (in hindsight, I could bring a small backpack to place my shoes and stuff in rather than spending $5).
2) EAT BREAKFAST. I realized that it's going to be a long day so getting some in you would really be helpful. If not, they have a couple of restaurants that is open to the public that could fill you up. Surprisingly, the food is pretty good and some aren't as expensive as you would think. The drinks though are overpriced.
And yes, they do sell liquor and beer. Perfect liquid courage for you.
3)STRETCH! Assuming that you did get that free lesson package, you will need to meet up with your instructor outside. To the left of Hart Prairie Lodge, you would see signs that would indicate where you have to go. You have to be there by 0945 for the lessons as they start exactly at 1000. This means that you need to arrive before 9am to register, get your equipment, and STRETCH! One thing I forgot to do was to properly stretch myself before going out. The next day I felt my whole body angry with me as I wasn't able to do it.
4) GET A LESSON! Now, since it is your first time, get a lesson. They tell you and show you the basics. Granted I knew how to wakeboard but there are still somethings that are different. Almost the same concepts but how to glide, move, toe side, heel side, and how to put on your board is quite important. For me, I guess a two hour lesson isn't so bad. It gave me all the basics and I was even able to go up one of the longer trails that is perfect for semi-beginners.
I think I was lucky as the trainer that was partnered to me ended up giving me a one-on-one lesson. I believe they separate each through experience and age. 
Once you master the basics, they'll have you go on a mini slope known as the LITTLE SPRUCE. There, you get to experience a conveyor belt. The angle isn't as steep as you would think but it does let you practice the basic motions. Then if the instructor sees you progressing, you get to move up to the BIG SPRUCE. After a couple of hours, it got me pooped. Thankfully, lunch was pretty good. Remember to keep yourself hydrated as going up a mountain can make you feel thirsty.
5) ENJOY! Last thing I would say is that you have to HAVE FUN! One of the semi-beginner places to go to would be the HART PRAIRIE trail. You would need to ride one of these ski lifts that would literally make you want to hold onto the back side. WHY? Because it doesn't have any metal bars or belts to keep you on. You see, for you to get off you would need to slide down instantly just because it doesn't stop. BUT, look at that view.
Thanks Sam for bringing me to Snowbowl! I really enjoyed my first snowboarding experience.

9300 N Snow Bowl Rd, Flagstaff, 
AZ 86001

Disclaimer:Wrote this based on my experience. Paid for my ticket and meal.
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Monday, November 26, 2018

When a couple of friends asked what to expect in WHISKY LIVE MANILA 2018, all I could tell them was to enjoy and don't bring a car! If the 2017 edition was any indication, this one and the next would be amazing. There would be a lot of alcoholic drinks and driving to and from might not be the most ideal way to go. Remember, DRINKING AND DRIVING IS BAD FOR YOU! Even so,
 WHISKY LIVE MANILA 2017 (check it out here.)  was just amazing incredible and so was the 2018 edition. From the sights, sounds, and flavor, you will definitely get your money's worth this time and the next time around.
 In case you still haven't figured it out, a huge ballroom in the SHANGRI-LA THE FORT was transformed into the place to be. It was filled with different stalls and kiosks that give you a taste of magical liquid known as liquor. Even if this event is called WHISKY LIVE MANILA, they also tend to mix it up by serving other types of alcohol.
 Here, rare casks and even exclusive items are displayed and they let you try them. Including this white walker version of Johnnie which I should have bought.
 Some are done in a different way. They're mixed with ingredients that you don't normally see.
 Of course, you need to checkout the different bitters or "ingredients" that would elevate the flavors of your drinks.
 Each booth has a different story to tell. Flavors bursting and too much drinking could get you light headed, as such, always remember to eat something oily beforehand. Not too many but just right.
 You could also never go wrong with the GLENLIVET.
 Rare to fine blends are also there for the taking. Remember to bring your credit card or even cash just so that you get ready to get one of these babies.
 Always remember to talk to the people that man these booths. They give you insights and tips on how to go about drinking the liquor.
 Personal preference would be KAVALAN'S SOLIST though. This baby made me a believer. Next time you're in Taiwan, do visit their refinery!
 One of the best things that WHISKY LIVE MANILA is known for would be the MASTER CLASS. These seminars put you in the room with great leaders in the Whisky industry. These ambassadors would teach you more about the different brands that they champion. Plus, they show you tips and tricks on how to go about drinking them to maximize the flavors.
Try and go for the schedule of your favorite brand. You'll get to know something new and even try something different.
AS for one of them, they let you mix and match ingredients to see how you could get that aroma and flavor. More so, they give away something to every participant.
It was nice of them to give a recovery kit to attendees this year but the best way to take care of your hangover is to drink lots of water and take those vitamins in.


Shangri-La The Fort Manila
Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig City, Metro Manila.

Disclaimer: Invited to this event. Wrote this based on my opinions.
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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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