Welcome back my recurring “best things” column that translates as “the things that don’t blur together when are always searching to eat the next best new thing.”
We recently tried out the new Melting Pot series at Masa 14. This particular menu (February) highlighted Spain’s influence on the Philippines, specifically in Manila. Masa 14′s Strawberry lemonades are excellent; the drink is a combination of strawberry puree, lemon juice, and vodka, and is only $4 during Happy Hour (Mon-Friday 5-7 PM). Their crunchy fried okra has texture that even those who are not okra fans might like, since it’s crunchier and less slimy than expected, and it too is only $4 during happy hour. The Bangus was a tasty dish featuring steamed whitefish wrapped in country ham; it seemed like a good (gateway) fish dish for ham lovers. the Pansit Palabok (clear noodles, blue crab, boiled egg, and chicharonnes) was good as well, and definitely had a strong Southeast Asian feel to it.
I recently attended an Zengo‘s Test Kitchen event: Shanghai-Sao Palo. My favorite cocktail that evening was the Pomegranite Kumquat Cocktail, with its tart and delicious combination of cachata, mudded kumquats, pomegranate, and ginger. They also had an amazing steak dish that we all attacked–we were like rabid squirrels in a Skippy plant. The dish in question was Picahna Steak & XO Style King Crab, and it featured dry aged New York strip steak, king crab, hot bean paste, broccolini, and black bean ginger sauce.
Zengo’s newly-renovated Latin Lounge has now opened downstairs, and features a daily happy hour from 5-8pm with $5 cocktails and $5 small plates.
I attended a Food Blogger Happy Hour at Eatonville, and odd as it seems, I enjoyed all the food I tried there including ceviche, shrimp hushpuppies, fried fish, salmon, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and greens. Good job Eatonville! Granted, they knew it was going to be a happy hour filled with food bloggers, but plenty other restaurants still manage to mess up at events regardless of who is in attendance. JC Gibbs was the (Food Blogger Happy Hour) hostess that night and was awesome as usual.
We recently tried Naughty Bits Brownies, which are local brownies with naughty names and themes. Some examples of their brownies include the Man Catcher, Shiksa, Starlet, Barista, Cabana Banana Boy, and Living In Sin. My favorite is the Barista (which contains chocolate covered espresso beans and Kahlua), but the Shiksa (yes, it contains bacon) is certainly tempting. I did not actually try the Banana Cabana Boy, having opted for the Starlet. The Starlet is making an appearance at the Oscars (in the official gift bag) and features pop rocks. The pop rocks function better if you eat the Starlet brownie slowly, something I’m unsure I’m capable of.
Disclosure: From time to time, we are given free items, meals, or events.