Bar One's Big Buns Burger

Friday, November 30, 2012

Here's another deal from my favorite group buying site, Deal Grocer. A whopping 2-pound burger from Holiday Inn's Bar One. Since Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza Galleria shares the same bar, I thought I might get the same burger experience from our last staycation.

. . . bar one's entrance

the promise of the big buns burger  . . .

. . . diluted nestea iced tea 

The voucher is good for 1 big buns burger and 8 drinks (choice of soda, iced tea or local beer).

 (allegedly) the biggest burger in town  . . .

I've grown so skeptical of some promos claiming that it's good for a number of people when in reality it's just good for 1 or 2 persons (remember this?) I'm happy to report that the promo was not deceitful at all. True to it's promise, the burger was huge! Good for 8 persons. It was cut like a pizza. Of course, Tapioca and I couldn't finish all of it so we invited a few friends to help conquer the massive burger.

I love the ambiance at Bar One. It's a perfect place to chill-ax. However, the service totally sucks. A far cry from the top-notched service we received from Crowne Plaza. Not sure if this was because we're voucher holders. Anyway, there was this one young lady server who changed all the negativity with her warm, friendly and courteous assistance. Also, we've seen one of the chefs who looked like a big-boned version of Donita Rose. I know Donita has decided to take a break from her showbiz career to pursue her dream of becoming a chef. Can anyone confirm that she is indeed working at Holiday Inn?

. . . the burger innards

Back to the burger, one slice is equivalent to a quarter pounder. Yes, it's that big. The verdict? It was really good. Pure beef-y goodness (no extenders) cooked just right. And that fluffy and yummy bread (it was thick but di cya nakakaumay), the veggies, eggs and bacon added flavors and texture that made the burger even more delish. Still, I have to admit, my heart belongs to the room service burger from Crowne Plaza LOL!!!

Christmas at Holiday Inn . . .

Holiday Inn was all glammed up for the coming holidays. I took advantage and had my picture taken with the made-up fireplace :-)

. . . sidebar

Afterwards, we went to Sidebar for some cocktails.

Had my current fave cocktail - grapefruit daquiri.

joshua tree . . .

And a joshua tree to cap off the night.


Super Bowl Of China

Saturday, November 17, 2012

After our Stronghand experience, Tapioca and I headed to Gateway for a late lunch. The Cubao area is our hang out place because it's close to where we live. Since we are always in Gateway, I seriously think we're running out of new places to try. We've never been to Super Bowl, so naturally Tapioca who loves Chinese food insisted we eat  there. I, on the other hand, was craving for some grape shake and Cibo has the best tasting grape shake, in my opinion. However, Tapioca didn't want to eat there (he despises that place).

. . . super bowl of china

Now you know who won.

Tapioca and the munchies on the house . . . 

As soon as we were seated, the waitstaff handed us the menu and a bowl of crackers to munch on.

. . .  watermelon shake and more crackers

They don't have grape shakes so the  next best thing is the watermelon shake. It was a little sweet but tolerable. Tapioca is on a diet (yes, no joke!) so I let him order the food. My only request - hot soup.

the view . . .

We were given a booth with this view. Araneta Center is all geared up for Christmas. Nicey!

hot tea . . .

Most Chinese places we've been to have house tea already prepared. When we requested for some tea, they gave us a tea pot with tea bag. We were surprised and found it weird.

. . . seafood soup

With only 2 tiny pieces of shrimps and some other unidentified seafood. Bland and boring.

Here is Tapioca's take on dieting:

crispy noodles with assorted seafood . . .

Again, where's the seafood?

 . . . chopsuey

Actually, this is more of sauteed vegetables than chopsuey.

vegetarian spring roll . . .

Tapioca had it at the word "vegetarian". In fairness, this was the saving grace of our lunch.

 . . . Tapioca & Jellybean

Though the food wasn't that good. We wiped them all out in no time.


Jellybean Learns How To Shoot A Gun

Monday, November 12, 2012

We celebrated our first month of being husband and wife with a bang (literally) by learning the basics of handling and shooting a gun. (Yay!) We were able to scout some discount vouchers from Deal Grocer. (Another yay!) Tapioca was super looking forward to this. He was the one who pressed for it or he won't let me buy anymore deals from Deal Grocer :-(

I told him he can attend the class himself while I will be the supportive wife and watch from behind. He, of course insisted I join, too. He said it would be best to learn how to shoot a gun. I am seriously afraid of guns like I'm afraid of knives, needles and anything sharp and pointed objects.

"It's time to face your fear and give it a go. You never know, you might over come your fear once you learned how." his argument. He's right. Just like I've been learning to face my fear with knives by learning how to cook. Time to make a change and face my fear with guns.

. . .  Jellybean @ Stronghand Shooting Range

Uma-aura lang!

Tapioca checking out the shooting range . . .

. . . locker area

safety area . . .

Can I just stay here instead?

. . . unload here

kiss kiss bang bang cafe . . .

The shooting range is located at the basement level of La Defense Building together with this small cafe with a name that's just appropriate with the theme.

. . . the classroom

In this room, we were introduced to the basics of guns, a little bit of history, some info about the laws regarding owning a gun and more. The lecture lasted for an hour or so. At the end of it the course, we learned the following:
  • The 4 rules of gun safety
  • How to handle a pistol
  • How to clear a pistol
  • How to shoot a target
Now time for actual gun shooting and applied what we've learn.

Finally, this is what Tapioca has been waiting for. To shoot a gun, a real one. Before, he can only do this through his PC games like Battlefield 3 or the Call of Duty series. It's his dream coming true. Made him so happy. Just look at that smile.

the targets . . .

. . . ear muffs, magazines and an HS 9mm

According to the instructor, the HS 9 is one of the safest hand guns in the world. It's lighter too because it has plastic frame.

eye protection and toxic-free ammo . . .

. . . Tapioca prepping up his pistol

smiling and trying to stay calm . . .

The instructor gave us one-on-one coaching on handling a pistol. It was nerve-wrecking.When the others started firing, hala mas lalo akong kinabahan. I really don't know what to do and I was having a hard time calming my nerves. I was palpitating the whole time! What if I dropped the gun and it fired? What if I shoot someone accidentally? My thoughts are splattered everywhere. Buti na lang Tapioca was very enthusiastic and encouraged me a bit. He was like "This is suppose to be fun. Stop over thinking." Parang ganun lang kadali, noh?

waiting for my turn - afraidy me . . .

Meet our instructor - NROI Chief  Ranger Officer Joey "The Storm" Rivero. Please don't ask why he's called The Storm. I have no idea and we didn't ask him why either. Anyway, he's very nice and a really good instructor. He explains everything very well . He's a little strict but super patient (especially to hard-headed people like me) LOL!

I have to thank Tapioca for taking this video. Watching this allowed me to see my mistakes and how hard-headed I am). Now I know what I can improve on next time we hit the shooting range (Naks, talaga naman may next time daw oh?).

Oh, ha? After 48 years bago iputok LOL!

My first shot, I didn't know what happened. Second shot I was still nervous like hell. Third shot, I was getting the hang of it. Fourth shot, naka-tsamba! Fifth shot, I wanted to get it over with. The hardest part was when we shoot using one hand only. Then, they move the target further to 20 meters I can barely see it. Actually, di ko na talaga makita yung target. I forgot my glasses kasi. At nakakangalay. Twenty meters pa lang yon, ha. What about those guys from Top Shot who shoot targets as far as 100 yards? Hands down! 

Anyway, after shooting 20 rounds, we were handed our certificate and we also got to take home our targets. Here's Tapioca showing off his target.

. . . nice groupings, pre!

Our instructor complimented him and said he's a natural. And his response? It's the PC gaming! He was like "See? Playing video games has it use". Okay, fine.

This is definitely one of a kind experience. A hobby that Tapioca would like to pursue. As for me, I am still afraid of guns. At least, I know how to handle them, aim and shoot (the easy part). I just needed more courage to pull the trigger. LOL!


7 Corners Lunch & Breakfast Buffet

Friday, November 9, 2012

As promised, here's the food post of our staycation at Crowne Plaza.

The lunch buffet starts at 12pm. We're lucky because Crowne Plaza allowed us to check in early. It was a weekend lunch buffet therefore the hefty price tag. I was ready to back out but then I thought this is a special vacation. I closed my eyes and handed my credit card over to the front desk for our reservation.

. . . salad and hors d'oeuvres

 You can make your own salad or grab some of those cute little canapes.

dessert station . . .

. . . fruits, pastry and more cakes

sliced fruits and home made ice cream . . .

. . . seafood station

The theme was Latin America and the buffet features some of the popular Peruvian cuisine.

Japanese station . . .

Which we completely ignored except for the miso soup.

. . . more hot dishes

Indian station . . .

. . . Chinese station

the condiments . . .

. . . pasta station, more Peruvian dishes plus different kinds of sauce

carving station, marinated meat for grilling and more Peruvian dishes . . .

Hindi pa kasama yung bread, cheeses, pizzas and the roasted suckling pig jan ha. Tapioca forgot to take pictures of those.

. . . the dining area

There were just a few diners at that time which is an advantage for us. The atmosphere is more relaxed. No lines on the buffet table and no noisy people.

On the plate:

my d-i-y salad plus lobster with dill sauce . . .

Oh my gawd! I love the lobster. It was super fresh. The dill sauce made it more yummy.

. . . tortilla soup & miso soup (we had 2 bowls each)

I guess everyone knows by now how I adore soup. That's why on this lunch I got not one, not two but three soup dishes! Let's talk about the first two on the photo.

The tortilla soup, part of the Peruvian cuisine was devilishly and incredibly awesome. The heat would only start to kick in once you stop slurping and munching on that tomatoe-y soup and the tortilla. I tell ya, it was so hot it almost felt like burning your tongue but in a good way. So what to do to cease the burning sensation? Continue slurping the soup away!

The miso soup is not my favorite soup but 7 Corners gave me a change of heart. It was very light, not too salty with a sweetness that lingers in the mouth which I really really like! For sure, it was made from the finest ingredients. I've never had miso soup like this before and I love it!

noodle soup . . .

Another OMG dish! I love clear soups and this one, though it came from the Chinese station, didn't have too much MSG (or maybe it doesn't have any MSG at all). So light yet full of flavors. No umay factor.

. . . fusilli in carbonara sauce

Freshly cooked from the pasta station. The pasta was cooked perfectly. The chef put a little too much salt, though. I paired this pasta dish with . . .

my surf & turf plate . . .

Tapioca was raving about the rib-eye steak from the carving station. It was very tender, seasoned well and cooked to your preference. No need for any sauces. I asked for a thin piece of the meat cooked medium and then headed to the seafood station to get more of the lobster and dill sauce.

. . . bow tie pasta in chili aoili sauce

Tapioca's pasta dish.  He added a Peruvian meatball on top but it was gone in a sec. Tapioca also had a feast with the Indian and Peruvian dishes which unfortunately, I was not able to take pictures. I think for every dish he put on his plate I had a bite or two. The Indian dishes were mostly curries (which I'm not so fond of) and spicy while the Peruvian varies from savory, creamy, rich tomato and spicy. The kind of food Tapioca loves.

my dessert plate . . .

Cakes, watermelon, meringue dipped in chocolate plus melon ice cream. The cakes were okay, the meringue was tough, and the melon ice cream tasted more of a sorbet than ice cream.

Though we paid full price for the buffet (no discounts or vouchers), I can say it's super sulit. Sa steak and lobster (I had a lot!) pa lang, panalo! In one sitting you can try all the dishes from different countries. And in every dish, we can tell it was prepared well using top quality, the finest and freshest ingredients which is so hard to find in other buffet offerings these days. It's a combination of quality and quantity so you really get your money's worth.

We surely would love to come back and take advantage of discount vouchers (hello Deal Grocer!). Next time we'll come prepared and will try everything including the dishes we forgot like the brick oven-baked pizza, the suckling pig and the Japanese treats.

If you think this post ends here, think again. I still have the breakfast buffet. LOL! Breakfast at 7 Corners was different from our lunch experience. It was a chaos with so many people. I did not dare took pictures of the buffet spread so I'm just going to share what I had on my plate.

. . . my healthy breakfast

Salad greens with tomato. croutons, bacon bits and mandarin orange. Coco Crunch,  cornflakes and banana bran in low fat milk. Orange juice, apple juice, water and Twining's English breakfast tea. Yeah, all of that - just for moi!

miso soup . . .

We love it during the lunch buffet so we're having it again for breakfast.

. . . daing na pusit, bacon, corned beef, scramble eggs and plain rice

They do have an omelette station but I'm happy with just plain yet creamy scramble eggs. The daing na pusit is another favorite :-)

pancake, bavarian donut, blueberry danish, cheese slices and dried fig . . .

Tapioca was already full from eating too much carbs and omelette but when he saw this plate with the danish (he loves danish) he went back to the buffet table, saw the danish and croissant (another fave of his) and smoked salmon and made a croissant sandwich for himself. As for me I like the Bavarian donuts a lot. It wasn't too sweet. I just noticed that people hoard the donuts, pancakes, waffles, croissants and the yogurt. It's a little disappointing that it took them forever to replenish these sought-after items.

. . . sweet endings

clear soup from the Chinese station, fruit salad and mango yogurt . . .

I love the noodle soup from Chinese station and I just have to have it once again. I'm already full so no more noodles. Just soup. I also made sure to have room for dessert. Some fruit salad and mango yogurt. Perfect ending for a wonderful brekky.


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