mama lou’s italian kitchen, solenad

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Home-cooked spaghetti vongole while recuperating from anemia at home…

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When two dear friends from high school celebrated their birthdays back in July I was a day out only at the hospital following that serious anemia I never imagined. I was on leave a few days after and was jaded at home because ze husband was not giving me go signal yet to go out. He worried about relapse and other complications so I had to stay back. Following Friday of that week and the end of my torture at home I invited few friends and the celebrators over late lunch. Their little celebration was a good excuse for me to get a breather and eat Italian. 😀

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Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen at Solenad has been on my must-try restaurants other than everytime we’re at that side of the city we’re always in hurry and our main concern were outlet shops. So, I think a separate food trip is really necessary minus any form of shopping. We’re all first-timers at Mama Lou’s but if you know me I have this system of checking the restaurant’s menu days prior to our visit, I read recommendations, bestsellers and most importantly I check the pricelist. I don’t want to be in trouble just in case my party won’t go dutch and if in case we’re splitting the bill at least I’d know if it’s reasonable or not. And because I was the one who initiated this group date I took care of the ordering part.

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I had us Poutine P160 for appetizer. Glorious French fries topped with smooth brown gravy, and mozzarella cheese

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We had 2 kinds of pasta and both were good –Spaghetti Meatballs P295. Spaghetti with mouthwatering homemade meatballs. The meatballs were huge.

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Linguini Vongole P295. Linguini pasta with baby clams and garlic.

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I also got an order of Risotto Tartufo Funghi P325. This is wild mushroom and truffle cream. I’m slowly loving this Italian recipe but then I always find it more satisfying when shared. There’s umay factor when you try to finish an order by yourself, I think it’s the heavy cream.

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And pizza, Mama Lou’s Special Large 14” P450. Tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto, mango, arugula and balsamic cream.

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Added Pizza Bianca P375 because it was well-recommended by the wait staff. This one in cream, mozzarella, bacon and mushroom.

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Their pizzas are oven-bricked and crispy thin, served with alfalfa sprouts and arugula. You can roll it or eat as is. Pizzas are similar to C’ Italian’s.

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And because we’re dining Italian and we’re celebrating Greg and Renzy’s 40 something birthdays, I thought it’s fancier if there’s a bottle of wine, I thought it’ll help increase my red blood cells in a way. On the contrary, I learned that tannins in wine are not really good with iron deficiency issues. But believe me there was no diet restriction on my home instructions from MMC.

Back at Mama Lou’s –resto is pleasant, be sure to reserve the table close to the wine racks. I insisted us be seated there because it’s a bit distant from other tables apart from its really picture worthy.

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Anyhow, we had a good convo all throughout our meal, I love this pack because topic can go anything under the sun and I can stay a listener or go hysterics even at the shallowest jokes. You see I have a very small number of real friends but I’m not in any way saddened about it, in fact I always consider it as a blessing because too many people in your life can be just hazardous at times and troublesome. Be picky with who you invest your time in. 🙂

 

 

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen | Solenad 2, Nuvali, Santa Rosa – Tagaytay Road, Don Jose, Santa Rosa | T. 049 3020752

 

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buon giorno, revisited

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Not the first time to review Buon Giorno at the Cliffhouse in Tagaytay however, the second visit last January was far more remarkable because we got to celebrate SAM’s birthday there. The lady preferred Italianni’s but the last time I checked the nearest is Nuvali, on a Sunday night, hello Samantha! We asked her again and she remained warts and all with something as authentic as Italianni’s, I dunno who suggested but we found ourselves driving right away at the Cliffhouse for that Italian fix.

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Buon Giorno in Tagaytay is quite a charm, the atmosphere is love and the food is divine! ♥

Because we arrived dinner time, we have to wait for a few minutes before we got a good seat indoor. The al-fresco dining wasn’t a good option during the cold months unless you want to eat cold pizza, cold pasta and cold meats. I wanted to savor dinner slowly, please.

Since we’re celebrating a milestone for our young lady, sweeter sixteen (and I feel much older by now, hay!), we ordered a lot and wiped everything with so much gusto.

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We had sorts of pasta dishes and pizza, time to drool a little 🙂

Fettuccini Alla Carbonara. A classic Roman pasta rich with cream and eggs. The birthday celebrator finished this plate all by herself, no sharing on this day for her.

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Spaghetti Vongole e Gambarretti. Spaghetti served with clams and shrimps. I shared this with everyone because there is so much food; I can’t actually pick what to eat first.

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Pescatore Alla Puttanesca. An assortment of seafood on spicy and peppery tomato sauce. Somebody wolfed down this pasta plate in a minute that fast, whew!

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Al Margherita. Tomato, mozzarella, basil. Blissful simplicity. Who doesn’t love oven brick pizzas? It was freshly made, I wish I’d learn how to pair my pizza with wines, say a fuller-bodied white wine, or champagne, oh sparkling would be a nicer choice I guess. 😀

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Hawaiian. Ham pizza with sweet and sour bits of pineapple. This is for the kiddos. And Mini Burgers and Fries. For the kiddos again. (no photo)

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Baby Back Ribs. Meaty and tender pork ribs complimented with special barbecue sauce. I’m an avid fan, I’m overly please everytime you’d served me a full rack baby back and salad, Sicilian please.

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Risotto Crimoso con Salmone Affumicto e Asparagi. Creamy risotto with smoked salmon and asparagus. Probably this one was a trial and error. We don’t normally order risotto because it’s an acquired taste tho you can start with the less complicated flavors like mushroom and bacon. I’m no expert yet to probe the best risotto so far, but this one at Buon Giorno was impressive and tasty. I love its creamy consistency.

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I cannot attest the authenticity of Buon Giorno’s Italian cooking other than it pleases our palate, a comeback is a must. By then, let’s date over with wine. And I really love to learn, how to be a wine connoisseur eh?

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P.S. It was a happy birthday for our young lady. Like what we’ve been telling you don’t settle as the better option, always be the best. And may you learn to value most the people who love and trust you. ♥

 

 

Buon Giorno Caffe and Bistro-Tagaytay | 4 Cliff House Tagaytay City, Cavite | T. 046 483-2102

 

 

a september to remember

September went by so fast; I can’t catch up especially on this blog because ever since August I tried to lure myself to more work to keep me occupied. In a way I felt I succeeded in distracting myself, I felt relief despite the many issues creeping around and I felt sleep was always available without too much effort this time.

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Anyhow, this was how I started and ended September. ♥

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A good brunch to commence the first week of ber months. We’re all first-timer at IHOP, the famed US restaurant for its breakfast plates and pancakes. At past 10am on a Sunday, the place was already packed; I believe most were joggers and walkers around BGC. I was a bit sick that morning because my tummy hurts, so despite the many offers at IHOP I limited mine to omelette.

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Create Your Perfect Omelette –Spinach and Jack (cheddar cheese), it’s a huge omelette! I’m guessing three eggs all in, how’s that? Hello cholesterol! I missed the last part which says, plus one delicious side so I was served three buttermilk pancakes. I’d like to ask, is it the default side if the customers do not have a specific request or they’d assume I like pancakes better than hash browns, toasts or fresh fruits? Had I known the choices I’d go for toasts or fresh fruits. Well, there’s always a next time.

Ze husband dearie went to order from the Filipino breakfast meals, Pinoy’s favorite silog meals in short. He had Beef Tapa (apology for the absence of photo but you can check his IG), very generous serving of tapa with garlic rice and two sunny side up eggs. I love his plate other than I’m really controlling myself not to fork any from his plate, oh beef!

My sister Che was our brunch date that time, she had Sunday work so before going on her 1pm shift she spends time with us. She got herself the Breakfast Sampler; I’m assuming dinner would be the next meal after her big plate.

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Breakfast Sampler. Says two is the magic number! That’s two eggs, two crispy bacon strips, two pork sausage links, two piece of ham, two fluffy buttermilk pancakes and golden hash browns. Pancakes again?

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Had I known we had many pancakes already I should have skipped ordering another one for…dessert. 😀 Strawberry Banana Pancakes that looks luscious however, it would have looked better if the strawberries were fresh. I have to say my honest opinion about their pancakes, not the best in town though especially that my standard of a good pancake is that of McDonald’s only –slightly chewy, well it’s me.

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IHOP wasn’t really that impressive based on my first time experience, prices were a bit overrated too other than ze husband and I would still welcome a second come back, maybe soon after?

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*Moi obsessing to paella nowadays 😛

Then, a month after Tatay’s passing away we squeezed a family day out at Josephine’s, one of his favorite restaurants in Tagaytay. Read here.

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Mid month my consolidator from SG visited Manila and invited us over dinner at Dad’s Megamall, it was nice seeing Mr. Tay once again and his pretty daughter, Clara. Guess what? I’m visiting him in return tho it may delay because of the current changes at the workplace; I know it’d turn out fun and exciting, I can’t wait! 🙂

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Back at the office, we had a staff birthday, Mel is part of the new bitches este batch I’m currently training. Happy Birthday Kelly! just because I thought she has this big resemblance with the charming and beauty Kelly Misa.

We also got to observe Tatay’s 40 days last September; a simple merienda cena was prepared for the neighborhood and relatives. Took this opportunity also to attend to legal matters and other proceedings including the unfinished house. I still miss Tatay everyday, his unselfishness and even his grumpiness. Sigh!

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And because September 25 was declared a holiday I was able to make time with my high school girls, the two boys were extra just don’t mind them, hehehe, peace Greg and JMV. We visited Alma after her recent open surgery plus it became a belated birthday surprise for her. I miss the girls and the chitchats, and tho we’re all settled and been living differently now we still hang out like yesterday because I’d like to believe that we’ve invested a good amount of faith to one another. We don’t mind the distance, the shortage of time spent and even if we don’t do meet ups regularly, we’re assured that we’ll always have each other’s back.

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Thank you for the friendship LEARA (Lecel-Elna-Arlene-Rosavilma-Alma), I love you girls! ♥

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Holidays also became the avenue for the maternals meet ups and get together and because we have regular bingo games at home (after Tatay’s death), it’s not so hard to pull everyone together especially if there’s a pledge to eat out later on. So we did, one time at McDonald’s Taal Vista at midnight after the black out game. Hmmmnnn, Mer-Ben Tapsilog next or let’s do a repeat of 7-11 order-all-you-can.

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*random weekend night at 7-11 

On the last Sunday of September, we’re able to squeeze a day out once more with Nanay, Che and the kids had a party to attend then. After Sunday mass at The Little Souls we visited The Dining Room at Gourmet Farms. I thought the second time’s a charm, not in all occurrences I assume now.

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I love The Dining Room’s because of its all white walls, high-ceiling, big windows, wooden fixtures; it’s everything I love into dining spaces. There’s this feel of quietness and nostalgia, overall pleasant in my opinion.

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Menu was limited, so we thought we made a good choice and started with their Salad Buffet. Tho a bit pricey for Tagaytay’s abundant harvest of fresh greens if I may say. At P400+ for this plate, I can have too many greens already at the supermarket.

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Oh, thank you for the complimentary lettuce chips and dip.

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Nanay had a warm rice meal, Herb Baked Chicken, a pretty entrée.

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While ze husband and I each had a pasta plate –Classic Carbonara and my favorite Vongole.

I don’t know if it’s just us, we even jokingly assumed that the chef that day must be on his day off because both our pasta dishes were salty to our palate. The carbonara was permissible because of its generous bacon however, the Vongole was a different story.

I had to silently return the plate because I can’t stand the saltiness; it was like biting my tongue. The replacement came after a few more minutes, still salty but tolerable this time. I didn’t finish the plate tho, al dente is far different from uncooked, I fear my stomach will hurt later on.

I don’t know if the instances that day was an isolated one, probably a miscalculation other than I think The Dining Room which is synonymous to Gourmet should be very cautious on food preparation because they need to live on what they preach, freshest, finest and healthy eats I guess.

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Anyhow, I’m apt to make a comeback sometime and try their pizza, let’s see how they’ll fare.

Oh September, you’ve been a busy one. October went by so quick yet full of treats as well. And yes, it’s November now, it’s Christmas Day in a few weeks time, while everything is happening so nippy there’s this rip of sadness I can’t always cover up. How can you celebrate Christmas without the happy colors this time eh?

 

 

P.S. Our Astro Boi is turning a year old this month, he’s been a healthy pup and adorable and obedient to Momi and Dadi.

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His disability was never a concern because he’s a happy pup, we’re wishing him a life long filled with happy memories only. 🙂

 

IHOP | Fort Bonifacio W. Global Center, 30th St. cor. 9th Ave., Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, 9th Ave, Taguig, Metro Manila | T. +63 2 6875611

The Dining Room | Km. 52, Aguinaldo Highway, Buho, Silang Cavite | T. +63 46  8651064 Look for Fernan or Albert