[FOOD REVIEW]: Josephine’s Pizza (Delicious Home Made Goodness)

 

Home made dough, real cheese, and good quality ingredients. We really enjoyed the pizza and also the great location just a few steps away from the beach! Josephine’s real American pizza in Digos is the best pizza that I ‘ve ever had.

 These are only a few of the comments being said from the customers who have been to this place. The only thing better than pizza and beer is pizza and beer with the people you love. My friends and I met at Josephine’s located near Aplaya Beach, Digos City to catch up on over a delicious meal and it proved to be a place I’ll be returning to again soon. Good food being shared with good people always bring good memories that are worth keeping.

 

 

Josephine’s has a variety of artisan wood-fired pizzas that you could spend your whole moment contemplating over. The good news is that the server/owner, Ms. Josephine Rible Alferez herself, can help you over with the pizza that speaks to you since the varieties range from bold, bolder, to boldest. Some of the finest gourmet ingredients they use include: spicy chili flakes, tomato sauce, pesto, fresh bell peppers, anchovies, arugula, ricotta, parsley, black olives,crushed red peppers, capers, mozzarella, prosciutto, pepperoni, onions, juicy pineapple slices, organic mushrooms . . . . you get the idea.

 

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Since my friends and I are absolute organic veggie fanatics, we opted for something that sounded a bit lighter. Their vegetarian pizza is actually full of premium grade cheese, and for us it’s pure heavenly goodness because we’re all cheese lovers too. After our order was served to our table, and even more so after the first bite, I couldn’t have been happier with our pizza choice. It’s certainly the best combination of fresh ingredients, delicious crispy crust with a spicy marinara enhanced by the red chili flakes — definitely a match in heaven!

 

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Overall, Josephine’s had a pleasant, refreshingly ambiance by the beach minus all that stuffiness you could expect at a sea-side restaurant. The service was delightfully fantastic and the interior is warm and welcoming, perfect for date nights or for dinner gatherings and/or drinks with friends.

A recent visitor compared them to a “food porn by the beach” with wood paneling and flower drop decorations. The owner’s only warning? “The crushed red peppers is spicier than you think.” My favorite comment though? “Josephine’s, you had me at crushed red peppers.”

 

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Dear crushed red peppers,

 

I’ll be back for you. 

With love and my best intentions,

Joy ❤

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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/

Let’s Beef It Up: Newest Steakhouse In Digos City

The first time I’ve seen Upperfarm Steakhouse was through a friend’s referral on Facebook, and I’ve been following his page for updates since. The definitive name of the place substantially gave me the thought of a laid-back local ranch type steakhouse that’s really easy on the budget.

It was suddenly all the rave in Digos, probably because it was the newest eating place in the city. Their popularity level was so high that it made quite a big impression on the local food lovers.

True, their place gives off this charming farm inspired vibe. The ambiance during daytime is totally different during the night. Although the whole place comes to life with glorious orange-y light bulbs around evenings, I just like it better throughout the day.

They also have this very impressive quote in their menus saying appreciation to the owner’s parents who are both farm lovers, which really gives quite a nice imprint to the customers that their family friendly restaurant is a dedication of unconditional love.

Their imported from Australia steaks boast of real freshness, they literally show to you the frozen meat first in a cut-board before they cook it. Their shoestring potatoes (Php75) is really crispy and good enough for three, they also have the other round-cut version of the potato chips.The thought of these lightly salted deep-fried crisp goodies just makes my mouth water as I type my blog right now . . . .

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Their burgers (Php150 and up) are 100% pure juicy beef goodness with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and their secret signature sauce. They also have flavorful bucket buffalo wings (a total shocker to me, because I was thinking of big juicy wings ala Max’s but then hello it’s Upperfarm so it made me think maybe they’re using poultry grown native chickens here and that’s definitely good news to health) where you can choose what seasoning and sauce you’d like on it, prices range from Php110-half pound, Php220-one pound, and Php280-trio sampler. Yum yum!

We just couldn’t get enough photographs and memories. The vibe is totally friendly and overwhelming that hopefully I can come again soon. Definitely superb, a must try in Digos City. Also, check out their Facebook Page here for more updates and don’t forget to search ‪#‎UpperfarmSteakhouse‬ 🙂

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Timeless Filipino Favorite: Special Batchoy Noodle Soup

…but things just get so crazy, living life gets hard to do. And I would gladly hit the road, get up and go if I knew that someday it would lead me back to you…that someday it would lead me back to you. That maybe all I need, in darkness she is all I see. Come and rest your bones with me. Driving slow on Sunday morning, and I never want to leave. ~Maroon5

Puppy-Planter-Patterns

Today I met an old friend way back high school days, we got reunited and talked about a lot of things — mostly about web programming, engineering jobs, and Vietnam (since she was already working there). I was so fascinated with the way she talked about Vietnam and their way of living. In fact, their food there is as delicious and appetizing as our food here in the Philippines.

As our conversation heightened from work to food, she started talking about her favorite little pho stall in Hanoi that she really likes to eat at. It’s called Pho Thin. During weekends, she goes there for a morning pick-me-up with a savory bowl of pho (beef noodles) right after an early jog in the park. Well, it’s been a proven fact that this flagship family noodle shop is truly a regal testament to its popular legacy.

Just like our version of batchoy noodle soup here, theirs are also served with the right ratio of broth and noodles: with perfect slices of beef and some rarely cooked steak that’s topped onto these flavorful noodles and garnished with fresh green onions.

…and with that inspiration, I’m making another food blog today ❤ 🙂

I'm not actually going to rush out and eat a bowl of noodle soup haha! I wonder if anyone around here is a fan of mango smoothies like me? If you happen to be around our humble city of Digos, check out our ever so regal Prangel's Snack Inn that has been around for generations. Located at Magsaysay Street, they also have a bigger branch along the Davao-Cotabato National Highway, just a few meters from Digos City Diversion Junction. It is right across the Benedictine Monastery, which makes it a good stop from long trips before going back on the road.

They serve a lot of home-cooked meals, variety pasta dishes, desserts, and delicious smoothies which is just right for budget-conscious people like me. My friend and I ordered Mango Smoothies and Kilawin paired with boiled rice (Kilawín is a raw seafood or meat dish from the Philippines, similar to Ceviche). It's absolutely and refreshingly cool to the palate, the creamy-sweet Mango Smoothie contrasts the sourness slash spiciness of the Kilawin. I'm telling you, this pair is totally a thumbs-up for this summer season!

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Oops…in the end we still ordered a steaming bowl of their really delicious and bursting of flavorful spices Special Batchoy Noodle Soup (yes, they have it on their menu too). X O X O

Here you go… I wonder what classic stories have been shared upon this timeless Filipino favorite:

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There’s a Cheesecake for Everybody: Where to Get Your Cheesecake Fix in Digos City

Blueberry cheesecake makes me think like a little bit of heavenly lovin’ here…

Imagine a velvety soft and luscious cream bodied together with a finely crushed crust, and topped with assorted delicious ingredients like savory fruits, crunchy nuts, sweet syrups — anything you can ever fancy of. Everybody loves cheesecake, may it be baked or no-bake.

Last November 2014, I started learning to whip up my own recipe of this amazingly immaculate dessert and my first taste testers were my family, and my apartment landlords Rodney and Eve Dixon (who, later on became my avid customers). Generally, people loves the no-bake cheesecake version because of its light ice-creamy texture. Unlike its baked counterpart which is a bit dry and almost like a pastry.

My version of the No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake is made with pure cream cheese and premium ingredients. Some of my customers are not a fan of sweets so I try to do a bit of moderation here and there for the right balance of flavors, just the way I like my cheesecakes. If you also love no-bake cheesecake and you happen to be in our humble city of Digos, try out Kalipay Kopikeyks No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake. You can contact me through my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/letsconrealities

Oh well, I never thought we’d end up on another food trip with the office mates (been rambling about CAKES in the office all day). It was a bit rainy so we ended up going to Shuttlecock Cafe and Gym. Located right between Roxas Extension and Luna Extension (at the back of Fire and Ice), this very spacious coffee shop slash badminton gym is just the right place for a good slice of cake.

All pastries are baked fresh every day in their very own commissary, including their mouthwatering cheesecakes. Really nice ambiance…..like I could just bring a book and feel carefree sitting in their big sofa couches while listening to their cool jazz music and sipping my smoothie.

They have a very good list of food in the menu, we ordered No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake (it was out of curiosity for me). My office mates ordered Choco Loco To-Go, and Spaghetti. In an instant, we got our cake cravings fixed. Y U M M Y !

Need a cheesecake fix? Don’t forget to share a slice…

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Of Summer Sunshine, Tropical Pineapples, And The Perfect Dope Playlist

It wouldn’t be complete without dedicating the perfect playlist for today’s post:

Oh summer, you’re finally here! It gets even better when I think of all the possibilities and memories that I’ll soon treasure, and all the blog posts that I’m yet to share. Today I’m paying tribute to my site, let’s talk about PINEAPPLES! In Chinese tradition, it’s a symbol of good luck, wealth, good health, and prosperity. But let’s not really get too deep on those facts. Don’t get me wrong, I like pineapples…but I like them more on my plate. I’d be like Mmmm those luscious juicy mouth watering God-given gift for Mother Nature. And what better ingredient a pineapple can be? Oh yeah PIZZA that is…

I’m talking about this new Pizza House & Cafe in our humble city of Digos that offers nothing but only superb delicious food for the palate. You see, this popular country-style pizza cafe is nice and extra cozy (makes you feel like HOME). My friends and I tried out their pizza once (that was last year) and we keep coming back for more. The fresh ingredients, flavorful dough, and the immaculate burst of herbs and toppings (imagine their cheese and you’d be like, ooh HEAVENLY). Help yourself to this super-duper cheesy and really satisfying (not gluttony, though) pizza serving.

Their pizza comes in different sizes, the Solo(6 inches), Barkada(10 inches), Familia(12 inches), and “the” Fiesta(14 inches). Their pizza price ranges from Php50 to Php495. There are also lots of superb desserts and beverages, especially their perfect house blend iced tea and their thirst quenching lemonade!

Next time we’ll definitely try some other dishes on their menu. All of their food taste really GOOD, but I’d give a thumb’s up and recommend their variety of popular pizza dishes (their main-attraction menu) because it’s really delicious. Summer bucket list wouldn’t be complete without the Daddy’s Pizza & Cafe experience, located at Gallarde Street, beside Holy Cross Academy.

P.S. They also have new flavors for Vegetarians and this Lenten Season! PIZZA with no MEAT!!! You may want to check their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theBESTpizzaever?fref=nf

…but for now, lemme take a selfie:

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Basking Under the Harvest Moon

I’m not really a big fan of cafes, I dunno…I find them really intimidating and too pricey on the menu. But lately, these lovely shops are growing like mushrooms in our humble city of Digos. Everyone’s saying good things about the food and the drinks. When it comes to food, my mind really wanders off — slowly pulsating to a swirly sensation of food porn inside my memory bank. I couldn’t help myself but well… food is good! And so it goes….

First foodie destination: Denise Citylight Cafe located at Quezon Avenue, Tres De Mayo. It was an out of the blue food trip with the office mates. Although their soothing ambiance is super nice, it would’ve been great if they had a bigger space. I love their concept of sepia lights, laid-back chill music, and really cozy stalls and sofa chairs.

We ordered Creamy Tuna Carbonara (Php95) and Plain Milk Shake (Php55). As I was looking at their menu, my eyes were glued to the delicious cake display in front of us (we’re sitting really close to the counter). There was a whole layer of Red Velvet Cake, Blueberry Cheesecake, and Chocolate Moist Cake on the display. And my konsensya was like Ugh why did I order Carbonara when all the while I’m craving for a slice of cake?

Their customer service is really good, they serve orders fast. When our orders finally arrived, I couldn’t help but gaze at the creamy goodness of the pasta sauce with their special mix of tuna chunks, herbs and spices. It was totally a feast to the eyes, and it made me think of the movie Ratatouille. I was describing the flavor sensations inside my head, haha! A delicious fusion of creamy milk and savory tuna goodness with buttery garlic bread on the side, all rolled into one healthy serving. I was eating with so much gusto! All that stress from the day’s work was totally gone.

Appetite-wise, the milk shake was just too sugary for me. I should’ve ordered something not too sweet to contrast the creamy aftertaste like calamansi juice. Too bad I ended up not being able to finish my pasta. Oh well…

They also have other delicious menus that I’m looking forward to try next time. Hopefully! Till next visit, see you again someday soon Denise ❤

Check out their Facebook page too: https://www.facebook.com/DeniseCitylightCafe

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