01 May 2011

food tripping from east to west!

spent a wonderful holy week traveling alone, visiting family and friends in the states. it was a whirlwind, jampacked, action-filled four days, and writing about my escapades plus sorting through hundreds of photos might take forever! so, for the time being, i decided to post about the second best thing about my trip.. the food!!!!

it is undeniable that new york and san francisco have some of the best places to eat, from fine dining to hole-in-the-wall finds, from family-friendly restos to snack bars! for this trip, i'd like to share with you where i pigged out! :)

new york!

the doughnut plant!
379 grand street

a newly opened cafe in chelsea, one of my favorite areas in new york! my friend dante who lives in the city took me here, and he told me that this used to be a stall people line up half an hour to an hour for! now they've expanded from a stand-up-get-in-line affair to a cozy hang out! good call, i say.

fresh off a red eye flight, coffee and a perk-me-up breakfast was my priority. and since i love donuts, this place was heaven to me! with non-cheesy donut designs on the wall and on the seats, with an over all industrial mood, this place had pretty cool interiors!

their flavors range from the usual chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, to peanut butter, creme brulee, and blackberry jelly!

i went for a hot cup of mocha, a vanilla donut, and their super specialties, the tres leches and the carrot cake. wow, wow, wow! sooo yummy! the carrot cake has crunchy sugar bits and a cinammon aftertaste, and the tres leches has a thin, rich filling when you bite into the donut. heaven!!!!

lombardi's pizza!
32 spring street

this traditional pizza place is located in yet another favorite area of mine in the city, soho! just a few blocks off broadway, don't go too late or else you might have to wait for a table!

the interiors are quite warm and cozy! they're mainly a pizza place but they do serve salads on the side. they don't serve pasta though! i personally prefer pizza over pasta so that wasn't a problem for me!

we ordered their famous margherita pizza, and added garlic, cheese, and half anchovies, half pepperoni. it was a winner! its a nicely-thin thin crust pizza, its not too thin or flaky, its just the right level of crispy and chewy.

the big winner for us though was the white pizza! ayayay, so delicious! we're guessing its made of a whole bunch of cheeses put together, a perfect mix of salty and sweet and rich and strong. a must try!

20 spring street

after a super full lunch, decided to walk down the food and have a cup of hot something - coffee, tea, or chocolate - at this quaint cafe just down the street. i've always passed by this place before, and its always pretty full! that's usually a good gauge if a place is worth it or not. :)

weather was nice and cold at 8°C, but the sun was out, so the weather was really perfect! so perfect that we decided to sit outside and watch the world go by. sitting in coffee shops and people watching. one of my most favorite things to do. :)

i was with two fabulously creative gay friends, biboy and erick, and a photography enthusiast friend, dante, and the moment i spotted this super cool bike parked beside our table, an impromptu pictorial on the street took place. so much fun! :p

37 union square west

a very laid back, canteen-type, asian fusion place that serves awesome thai and vietnamese food! its full with tourists and students, but i still think its a great place to dine in. on a side note, before coming to the restaurant, walking across union square, my friend mikko and i saw spike lee coming out of barnes and noble! in his knicks jersey! so cool.

we ordered the grilled chicken skewers, fried wontons, and green papaya mango salad. all delicious!

and of course.. the pad thai! i think they have excellent pad thai here. one of the best i've ever tasted. on the side and not in the photograph, i ordered one of my all time favorite drinks, the ca phe sua da, its vietnamese iced coffee with milk!

the dessert truck!
usually on 3rd ave and st. mark's, or astor place

i feel like a kid all over again when i see the dessert truck! the truck is not always there, but when you catch it, you feel like you've struck gold! :p thanks to technology, you can now find out where they will be an when! follow them on twitter @desserttruck!

i loooove their warm chocolate bread pudding! its heaven in a cup for only $6! its a mix of warm and cold, of molten and crunchy, of sweet and a bit of salty! so, so, so, so good.

and, of course the new york part of my post will not be complete without a new addition to my tumbling shot collection! so here i am, tumbling in central park! :)

san francisco!

mama's on washington sqaure!
1701 stockton street

famous with the locals for breakfast and lunch and open only from 8AM to 3PM, that people wait half an hour to an hour and a half in line for! come at 830AM and the line is already this long! and we were there on a tuesday morning, what more on weekends? is it worth that long a wait? oh, yes it is.

we waited a bit over 30 minutes to get a table, and so by the time we did, my godson roco was a bit rowdy and hungry that his mama had to bring out her secret weapon to distract roco. the sesame street placemat. it has elmo, big bird, zoe, and its an activity mat where you can point at characters and ask questions on them! very cool!

i ordered what seemed to be like a hybrid of eggs benedict and corned beef hash with potatoes on the side, and wow! it was cooked to perfection! not too done, just right. divine.

i absolutely love pancakes and this place is famous for their buttermilk pancakes and so i just had to order that as well! perfectly fluffy and not too heavy, buttery in just the right way, with really glorious maple syrup, and lean, crunchy bacon on the side. crazy delicious!

burma superstar!
309 clement street

i love trying different cuisines, and so when my brother asked me, "would you like to have burmese food?" i instantly jumped at the thought and said, "yes!" but yet again, this is another place that you have to fall in line for if you come late, so we made sure we were there as soon as it opened for dinner, at 530PM.

this is their famous tea salad. yes, tea, as in tea leaves! on the menu it says that they literally get the tea leaves from burma. i will take their word for that. sounds weird, and its weird to see tea leaves in the salad, but wow. wow, wow, wow. the bitter tea leaves, with the taste of garlic and peanuts, and all the other secret stuff in it. it tastes heavenly.

the coconut rice is perfect for countering the spicy food! burmese food is in my opinion a mix of indian and thai food. and i love both! burmese cuisine did not disappoint at all! they have all these great flavors that burst in your mouth!

we all love lamb and so it was a unanimous decision among my brother jc, sister-in-law tracy, and i to try out their chili lamb. i am not a big fan of chili but this dish i absolutely loved!

688 san jose avenue

a san francisco institution for 50 years! considering it was a chilly night at around 10°C, and there were that many people, and that was already around 830PM, they must have really good ice cream! then again, who doesn't love ice cream? :)

this is yet another place where the lines get really long. you get in and take a number, and the wait is around half an hour. this was a cold spring evening! imagine this place on a hot summer afternoon!

there were so many enticing flacors to choose from! i was choosing between kahlua mocha cream, mexican chocolate (which tracy said tastes very cinnamon-y, and i love cinnamon), peanut butter indulgence (even just the name sounds indulgent), but the winner was espresso toffee crunch! i was already so full from dinner, but i never seem to be too full for ice cream! :p

mitchell's is also the place where my brother and tracy discovered that.. roco loves ice cream! :)

flying fish grill!
99 san mateo road, half moon bay

on my last day, my best friend pepel who lives in san francisco with his lovely wife pat, decided to pick me up form the city and drive through the beautiful, scenic half moon bay, and then see where he and pat live in fremont. on the way he asked if i was in the mood for a hole-in-the-wall seafood place, and i love hole-in-the-wall places to eat, and so lunch was set!

this is their famous crabby cheesy bread. wow! like nothing i've ever tasted before! its like pizza, that's like bread with toppings, that's like bruschetta, i don't know! its a mix of all of those! but it is crabby, and the fresh, meaty crab okay, not the processed type, and a whole lotta chesse! this was super!

we had the cioppino, which is apparently the term for fishermen's stew. its a tomato based soup where there really is no recipe. what is in it depends on the catch of the day. put it all together and.. tadaaaa!

i'm a big fan of fish and chips. i know its such a boring order, but i can't help it, i love french fries and i love fish deep fried in batter! the best fish and chips i've tasted uses halibut, but they use cod and its delicious as well! no fail comfort food!

between pel and i, we must've ordered around five dishes! this place is so far from where we both stay, so we took the chance to just order lots to get to try as much as we can! he ordered crabby cheesy bread to go for his wife pat, which he said will score him extra pogi points. haha! they're expecting their first baby in september and i can't hardly wait to meet him or her! :)

3583 16th street

i've been to san francisco so many times and i've always wanted to go to the gay district castro! finally on this trip i got to go, and while in the area, we ate at this restaurant that my brother and tracy have been wanting to try for the longest time, starbelly!

for starters, we ordered this delicious cod dip with bread. the dip is a mix of salty cod and mashed potato, and i think there's a bit of cheese in there too. by the end of the night, this was the only thing roco ended up eating!

tracy said she usually doesn't order chicken but this time around, the chicken with mushroom risotto appealed to her, and so she took a chance, and was very, very happy with her order! one of the few times chicken was actually good, she says!

i ordered the short ribs and i'm not kidding, but it was the most delicious short ribs i've ever tasted! it came with a whole lot of broccoli, and i love broccoli, and it had lots of garlic, and this odd but interesting wasabi taste in it that gave it just the right bite!

for all of us to share, my brother ordered their home-made chorizo, sunny eggs, and cilantro pizza. sounds interesting, and tastes interesting! not typical for a pizza, but still really good! and we love cilantro! and chorizo! heck, we love pizza!

and to end my san francisco food post, i give you, my tumbling shot in union square! :)

roco seemed to enjoy food tripping with his mama, daddy, and ninang bianc. :) my godson has the oddest but coolest taste in food. he actually likes fruits and vegetables, and likes exotic tasting dishes as well! he takes after his parents. i just had to take a photo of him in this shirt that i really find so cuuuute! it says, "i'm not small, i'm fun size"!

after all the eating i did over holy week, which was around five really full meals in one day, plus snacks! its time to work out and burn all the junk! what better extra motivation for me than a whole bag of new outfits from lulu lemon?! yaay! plus.. i love how their shopping bag has inspiring quotes written all over it..

creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment.

your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.

that which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.

hope you all had an awesome holy week as well. ♥


Kristel said...

Wow! So many food in just four days! I got hungry!!! Awesome post Bianca!:)

Davao food tripper said...

the eggs benedict and corned beef hash with potatoes looks so yummy! love all the food shots and they make me so hungry! :)

thanks for sharing ms. bianca!

L said...

All the food looks so good! Want to try if I ever visit there!

Great post!

I am Meggie Sale said...

Miss Bianca, your godson Roco is very cute.. hihihihi.. All the food you've posted are MASARAP!!!! yumyum!!

Trish said...

Oh myyy!! Your food posts didn't fail to make me crave! I hope someday, matitikman ko din lahat ng food na andito. Hahaha. Nice post! Thank you for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

nabusog din ako kababasa!!..hehehe, tnx for sharing your holiday..:)

scarlet's walk said...

i'm super inggit and at the same time inspired by your travel posts bianca. keep it up. one day i might travel too and do the things you do. tumbling. hahaha.

love, zahara.

arianne calvero and belinda nantes said...

Yummy! Love the pizzas...and its like I'm cravin' now! Lookin' forward for more fun yum happy tummy posts of yours! =)

Jep said...

I really look forward to reading your posts. It's my favorite blog. Used to be jessica zafra's until i got turned off by the half naked men from the rugby team she just so loves to feature nowadays. Keep up the good work. Your blog is so fun and entertaining to read, and doesn't offend my prudish sensibilities. :) i like to travel and try out restos too.

Jinky! said...

yummy as well as exciting post! luv it!

kiddo said...


Anonymous said...


Roni Flores said...

great post bianca! :) sana makapunta din ako ng US one day... :) keep posting! ang cute cute ni Roco!! :D

Anonymous said...

If you want to sit down and enjoy your dessert truck goodies, go to Dessert Truck Works on Clinton St in the lower east side :)

Apple Adventure said...

that post makes hungry ;)

mjomesa said...

wow...food, food, food.

for me, food makes the world round. Yum! yum!

hoping to see your "tumbling" thingy and i was not frustrated..

God bless always...

Bon-Bon said...

Oh My!!! i just had my lunch like few minutes ago and now i was checking your blog argh! i wanna eat all those foods LOL good for sure during those 4 days your taste buds is having like a fiesta time :)

ChinkyGirLMeL said...

ooh I super love this post and the pictures made me super hungry. Did you get to go to FisherMan's Wharf? There's this place called Bistro Boudin which serves really really really yummy clam chowder in sourdough. That was to die for. Oh and when you were over at Castro did you see all those rainbow flags which symbolizes gay pride? Anyhow...serving size in the U.S. is always huge, even a small order would probably be good for 2-3 people. I gained 5 pounds from my one month Cali vacay.

Lai Fuentes AzaƱes said...

amazing bianca. your so cool.. u know what i am yor wanna be.i like u very much.. ;)

Diamond R said...

Hi Bianca.
I cant believe it its you.and nothing but you.

Jen said...

your holy week is a yummy week indeed. You did not do fasting much eh? But it was so inviting that while I was reading, Seriously, I was drooling and now I am starving.

littlemisshomosapien said...

What a post, miss Bianca! I just had to let out a big belching sound after reading, ha ha. This one made me so full :)

By the way, I love it when you do your signature tumbling. Cool gal! You're one of the few reasons why I still watch local TV ;)

Mrs.Bech said...

Now I am HUNGRY!!

gleeenn said...

why you aren't a regular food & travel contributor to a magazine is something i don't understand! you are definitely one-of-a-kind in the local industry, bianca, and if you can find the time in your busy sched, we'd love to have you contribute to our magazine, TravelPlus.

you can get at me through glenn.orion@gmail.com or 0917-9052270. thanks!

mymy said...

nakakabusog nman ang blog na ito ate!!love it...love ur tumbling shots!!^-^

Hanna said...

so kyot! I traveled both San Fran and NYC 2 months ago. I failed to grab a lombardis' pizza though. My sister wasn't feeling really well that time and I couldn't a whole box!

There's just something missing in your SFO food list, CLAM CHOWDER! :)

And do you agree that Central Park is very heartwarming amidst the NY cold? :) I wanna see central park in autumn! Do you agree? :)

Kris Ablan said...

That post made me go hungry. I am craving for authentic philly cheesesteak

kit said...

@_@ I am super duper! hungry and jealous,, Wish I can eat it all now!!

Anonymous said...

i love the shopping bag!!...

anne07_lrtz said...

hmm..can't get enough of the good stuff posted here..mouthwatering delicacies..u've got a great taste!=> love this blog so much!keep it coming..

simply being me said...

what ab inspiring shopping bag.
love it.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

c said...

Flying fish grill! One of the best places to get fish tacos! I'm so glad you got the chance to eat there.

Meedge said...

ah, i miss san francisco! i'm officially starving after reading this post!

Anonymous said...

i am a fan of Lulu Lemon too! sadly, they don't have one hir in Phils