My Journey To #EatPrayLove (Ep.1)

Was in Durian City with my foodie friends over the weekend; and of course, a large part of our trip was devoted to food tripping at local restos. I had stumbled upon Lyndon’s on the Facebook account of my foodie enthusiast balikbayan friend who visited Davao City during his vacation break early July, and was immediately intrigued by the name.

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Wait….what? Did I read it right?

What self-respecting restaurant would call its ribs the “world’s worst” and its chicken “awful”?

Of course, yours truly-ly just had to investigate. So we set off one evening, hailing a taxi which took us to the downtown part of Davao City. Truth be told, the area looked rather sketchy (one of my Manileño foodie friends who came with us even said it’s like being along C.M. Recto in Manila at night); and Lyndon’s turned out to be a more unassuming establishment than we had thought.

Check out their funny and interestingly unique menu for more imaginatively (and self-deprecatingly) named dishes:

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Here’s the eponymous ribs, and you can specify the quantity you wanted to order:

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Lyla’s (Lyndon’s girlfriend/wife, perhaps?) the “Awful Chicken”:

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The two varieties of “Tasteless Pancit”, represent!

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Hail to the ever so “Disgusting Tilapia”:

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And finally, Han’s Horrible Spicy Mechado and Leonardo’s Rubbish Caldereta:

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Obviously we got curious and so we asked the waiter why their dishes were named as such. He admitted that it was really to downplay or lessen the customers’ expectations of their food. Hmm nice (I’ve read somewhere in Entrepreneur magazine that you have to plan already your exit strategy for your company from day one, so I’m guessing this could be their way of guerilla marketing) but still, oh well, maybe there is something to be said about this particular strategy.

Ah so this is my favorite part, we quickly dug in once our orders came in.  Here’s the ribs, which looked really appetizing rather than being the world’s worst (just take a closer look at that):

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Here’s my order of awful chicken (rather, looks scrumptiously juicy):

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Oh what else can I say on this serving of “Fish Be With You”, pretty please?:

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Long life to the humongous plate of their “Tasteless Pancit Canton”:

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Here’s my kaluuurky friend Zarah’s handful of “Tadyang ni Ruby”:

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And, finally (play the Chinese chau gong please) here’s their delicious serving of THE “Leonardo’s Rubbish Caldereta”:

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Oh yes most definitely, we were all hungry alright. ^_^

One thing you can say about THE food is that it’s the complete opposite of the restaurant’s name. Their dishes really proved to be quite tasty, definitely nowhere near being the worst in the world, and good value for money too!

Our guest foodie even said they have the best ribs he had ever tasted and rivals the one in Racks Tomas Morato QC. Another foodie in our group surmised that the ribs were marinated in Sprite (soda), which helped account for its delicious taste. It has that sweet (but not overpowering) barbecue sauce, and the meat is just so soft that it literally falls off the bones, truly amazing!  The chicken was also very tasty as well as the Tadyang ni Ruby (technically lechon kawali). The tasteless pancit canton is not tasteless at all, it was brimming with lots of healthy yummy vegetables and in fact the serving was so big we even had leftovers for BH.

The one thing we didn’t like was the Papaitan (photo not shown) but the rest was superb! I would have eaten in here every weekend if my companions allowed it (but they didn’t, so..). Our total bill was just around Php900+ which was not bad for 6-8 people with huge appetite. If you are going to Davao, definitely stop by at this place and try their food. You would miss half of your life if you didn’t, no kidding!

Wait there’s more….check out Lyndon’s colorful decor as well:

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What can I say? There’s definitely good strategy to this owner’s madness ;-D

So with a happy, bulging tummy we set off to find a coffee place. We saw one nearby named New Orleans Cafe. My foodie friend ordered the Bailey’s Coffee, which costs 120php, but oh it wasn’t that good (sorry). It does taste like the alcohol drink Bailey’s but it lacks the taste of coffee. They have a variety of food, not just deserts and coffee but even main courses. We wanted to try their cakes but we were still so full from the ribs attacking that we just did.

Later on, everyone decided to try the last minute dessert before going home. Light bulb struck me again as I thought of the Facebook account I’ve mentioned earlier about my foodie enthusiast balikbayan friend who visited Davao City during his vacation break. And so….we hailed a taxi en route to MTS (that’s Matina Town Square, by the way) for a much-deserved deliciously creamy halo-halo treat at Aling Foping’s Halo-Halo Atbp. ❤

Indeed, Davaoeños have greatly equated the word “halo-halo” to Aling Foping’s establishment. I have been to Matina Town Square several times before but I was not convinced to visit their humble food-place until just recently (it took some convincing photo powers from my balikbayan friend to make that happen) just take a look at that lovely shot he made:

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Aling Foping’s has a cool concept because you can customize your halo-halo! Isn’t it just amazing? In most restaurants that serve halo-halo, they have a single recipe for all. But this one is different because you get to choose your own ingredients. You will basically fill up a small form wherein you can pick from a wide range of available ingredients and then they’d prepare your halo-halo for you! No need to deal with ingredients you don’t like because every bite consists of only the ingredients you picked yourself (again, this is a nice concept of guerilla marketing huh, don’t you think?)

The regular halo-halo is currently priced at Php85 while a special halo-halo will set you back at Php105. Ingredients that you can choose from include the following: gulaman, kaong, langka, macapuno, nata de coco, pinipig, red mongo, saba, sago, white beans, and a serving each of ube and leche flan. Of all these, I am crazy about the pinipig and the ube! I’ve never expected that I would love ube (that catchy Cornetto jingle ad suddenly flashes in my mind: uuuuuuube-be I looove your way…everyday…yeeaaah) as much as I do now!

In comparison though, I felt that Prangel’s halo-halo from our humble city of Digos is still the best (naks, alangan noh!). That is not meant to take anything away from Aling Foping’s halo-halo; after all, most Davaoeños seem to really love it and it’s not just all about what’s hype. I just felt that it’s a little too pricey for only six ingredients. But this is just my opinion though, they’re both equally very good and satisfyingly delicious in their own different recipe and pricing variations. Okay? Okay! We’re good, right? Now, moving on…. ^_^

//photo credits to Tito Maykee. Check out more of his food adventures and daily musings HERE.

❤ ❤ ❤

After a couple of empowering conversations and life-telling stories with these two amazing women in my workplace, I was able to ponder what my mother once said to me when I had my first successful cooked meal in the kitchen: that the best friendships are built on a solid foundation on similar likeness of pleasant conversations, silly laughter, and eating good food.

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Funny though, before we even arrived at Avenue One Hotel, I was already deeply moved because these two pretty ladies (namely, Janna and Foramel) rushed in to fetch me right after their Bangko Sentral symposium/seminar that same day. Indeed, my mother’s words suddenly rushed into my head as I stared at these two pretty ladies in front of me that moment we gathered for another food trip and conversations:

. . . .over a tall glass of refreshingly delicious pineapple shake:

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. . . .special chocolate dreamy moist cake:

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. . . . it’s so moist believe me, this is the reason why I went to Avenue One:

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. . . . and a healthy serving of chopsuey and rice:   Flare Lite_20150728_185625

All this stuff made me remember having these empowering books that I bought for only Php20 each at Booksale SM Davao. I still have to read them though…

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And so…. right after we were done with our food, we were all brimming with generous helpings of lessons learned and this rich wide array of inspirations in life that we will surely share all through out the next generations. XOXO

❤ PS. Share some love, follow the adventures of Janna and Foramel on IG:

https://instagram.com/iamforamel/

https://instagram.com/itsactuallynorjanna/

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