[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/

A Panda Love Affair To Remember

As far as I can remember, it’s been quite a while since I felt that tinge of creative passion to write in my blog. For the past few weeks, there had been so many circumstances in my life and it wasn’t that easy for me to move on but eventually I did!

Life… ah well, no one can really give true justice to the real meaning of it. May it be for tons and tons of scientific or religious explanation, even the great philosophers can’t define why such events and happenings strangely occur as a person’s existence come and go.

Strange eh? Well… the universe must have a reason that even man could not fathom. Like that unexplainable feeling when I met “Darcy”, it was totally love at first sight. The moment we met… ah, I couldn’t help but totally fall in love — even head over heels! The feeling of comfort and peace was all there. I even flashed my brightest smile even though it was just the first time. Though I’m a very busy person and time is of the essence to me — I never hesitated on staying a bit longer, my world was swirling with real happiness as we spent quality time together.

And thankfully, it was all worth it. I went home with a happy heart and a very full tummy ❤

Located along Damosa Gateway, Mamay Road corner J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City — Darcy’s Place stands proud and cheerfully invites customers through their very cute and chubby display of panda stuffed toys, chic lit books, coffee mugs, artsy portraits, cute trinkets, and even bamboo bonsai ferns. The place gives off that really happy and peaceful vibe that makes their loyal customers keep coming back for more.

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And their simply delicious food….mmmm just thinking about it again makes me want to go back.

Every Monday to Thursday from 8am to 11am, they serve these two pieces of yummy homemade pancakes plus unlimited freshly brewed Café Americano for only P99 per meal. How cool is that?

Just last month of April, they started their Pasta Friday Madness promo for only P250 you get to savor unlimited gourmet pasta dishes from various origins every Fridays of the month from 6pm to 10pm. They also have a wide variety of yummy food in their menu that’s indeed sure to please your palate.

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Sending good vibes all the way! When you’re in Davao City, don’t forget to have your happy dose of Panda-awesomeness, great coffee and delicious food at ‪Darcy’s Place. Don’t forget to take a selfie though. Click! Click! Flash! Flash! xoxo ❤

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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Crab Tales From The City

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C R A B S. I absolutely love to try crabs (among other things). So when I was invited to eat at Arpochi’s in Davao, I didn’t hesitate. Oh well, another one of those hashtag cheatday moments.

The very first local branch of Arpochi’s is located in Marbel, South Cotabato. They also have a branch in General Santos City. And just last 2011, they finally set sails and brought their seafood expertise to Davao City.

Don’t be surprised when they hand out a menu that has only a few items listed, don’t get me wrong all of the food they serve is really delicious. All three branches are owned and managed by family members, for sure you’ll get the same taste and quality on every local branch near your area.

True, I was overwhelmed by the huge crabs that they serve (the quantity and quality is just too much for the price). It was prepared with their signature Sweet and Spicy recipe. Perfectly cooked meat, not dry or soggy. Really juicy with hints of pepper and garlic, drenched in an unforgettable sweet sauce (not too sweet though).

I rarely touch the food I eat but that moment at Arpochi’s, I happily ate with so much gusto using only my hands. The crabs and the sauce were too tempting (oops, I ate more than my share). ;)

Arpochi’s Sweet & Spicy Crabs is a true delight for all seafood aficionados. They also serve prawns, chicken, squid and other dishes but people go to Arpochi’s for the crabs. So you must absolutely try Arpochi’s Sweet & Spicy Crabs when you’re in Davao City.

The Apochi’s Davao Branch is located along Palma Gil Street, Obrero, Davao City. It might take a while to have your delicious crabs prepared so don’t hesitate to call them up first to reserve seats and to order in advance. You may call them at +6382-305-8246. They are open Mondays to Sundays from 10 am to 10 pm.

I ♥ Candy Cosmic Carnival Cupcakes ☾✧

NP: Lost In Space — Lighthouse Family

I’ve always been fascinated with the majestic colorful beauty of the aurora and the cosmos — they are not just some topological space elements. To me they are the universe’s DNA, an astronomical imprint of evolution. They are heavenly storehouses, containing  the records of the development of the universe over millions of years, and bearing the indelible memory of the powerful forces that shaped it…

A few weeks ago, my favorite Youtube icons Michelle Phan made this cosmic inspired tutorial with her friends and Eugenie Kitchen made a video of yummy tie-dye rainbow donuts. I was just so hooked that it inspired me to get really creative with this fascination of the celestial images.

I literally ended up making my own version of the cosmic space, but this time with what I love the most — CUPCAKES!

Here’s the list of ingredients and procedures:

For the cupcake batter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup water
1 egg
food coloring in 6 different hues (I used Wilton)

For the buttercream
1 cup shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together until well combined.
3  In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients.
Add dry ingredients to  wet ingredients. Mix well with a spatula.
Divide batter among 5 different bowls.
6 Use a toothpick to place a dot of food coloring into each bowl. Mix well using a spoon or spatula.
7 Spoon different colored batter in thin layers into baking cups until three-fourths full.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Let cool on a wire rack.
9  Make the butter cream: In a large bowl, combine shortening, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Using a hand mixer, beat ingredients until light and fluffy. Transfer into a piping bag.
10  Ice cooled cupcakes with butter cream. Icing tip:  To make a variety of cosmic rainbow effects, use toothpicks to swirl the different colors together.

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Bored with the same old cupcakes? You really must try this one, and it’ll surely be worth all the time and effort! Bake it with your family or friends and just have fun while doing it… we did! I was just so glad that my first try on this epic cosmic cupcake wasn’t a fail at all! In fact, it was a hit!

These cosmic inspired cupcakes are, hands down, some of the cutest cupcakes I’ve had in a very long time. They’re so perfect for the summer season too! The fun colors make the cupcakes vibrant (hashtag happiness) – and, frankly, they’re just too cute NOT to eat!

I had such an amazing time baking and catching up with friends after, that I’m hoping I can do more recipe blog projects again soon! What do you suggest? Anyone? 🙂 Sprinkle some lovin’ stardust, and shoot me a message! ❤

x o x o ❤ ❤ ❤

∞ Here’s mine for the cosmic universe ૐ
and I was like… hey Iggy Azalea, I’m so fancy too! Wuht?
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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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