Back To My Roots

April 10, 2015

{Back To My Roots may be a three part {ok fine} four part series. So, keep coming back.}

Hey Sugar. You’ve been missed, by me, immensely.

It ain’t one reason over another.

I mean, I found out I had to be there {by there, I mean the Philippines} and six hours later, I was pretty much on my way. Call it whirlwind.  Call it in a hurry {understatement of the century}.  Call it have-you-lost-your-mind. Call it what-in-the-name-of-Moses’-mother-are-you-doing.  You can slap an Avery on it and we can all simply move on.

Patty x Lori = Juices

Lori = Buko {coconut} Juice | Patty = Dalandan {a citrus W/O an english equivalent} Juice

My sweetest of sweetest friends {so sweet, she is the force behind Dessert Comes First} called and I went running. Running so fast, I didn’t even have a US passport when I purchased my ticket.  By-the-by, I found out, one can procure a passport in 6 hours. Please, a big-big round of applause for the State Department. If they say Sec. Kerry is the Man Crush Monday cabinet member of Pres. Obama’s cabinet,  well, a US passport in 6 hours is one reason he can keep his #MCM status.

But I digress …

Lori and I were inseparable back in culinary school. Chef instructors, journey pastry chefs, stockmen, comis’, servers, maitres d’, and classmates thought we were the same person. In many-many ways, Lori and I are the better versions of each other’s brain personality. We laugh the same. We have the same unbridled passion for citrus, for the fine art of making and eating pastries and for the written word. She has a blog. You’re already reading my blog. She loves photography. I’m really good at selfies. See where I’m going with this?

Lori x Patty 2015

I remember when I first met Lori. I cocked my head to the right and said to myself. “You’re the strangest person I’ve ever met. I think we’re going to know each other a very-very long time.” And nothing could be farther from the truth.

Spent the day at our ol’ stomping grounds. Spent the day getting reacquainted with the foodie side of Manila.

Fort Bonifacio

 Last time I stood on their piece of earth,  this was one giant field. It’s now called Fort Bonifacio Global City. Impressive. Very.

Ten days in Manila is not so much culture shock as it was a concussion. Really. When I left on September 9, 2001, Manila was arguably the best eating town in Southeast Asia. If that’s not a statement as big as, oh I don’t know … my ass coming home to Irvine, I don’t know what is.  Going to back to my Manila roots twelve days ago, this “Tiger of the Pacific” has stamped itself as THE best dining city in Southeast Asia. You didn’t hear that from Anthony Bourdain. You heard that here, from me, first.

Always a fourteen hundred calorie adventure when around Lori and me.


Shopping at Eco

Choco Yema Cupcake

Choco Yema Cupcake. OMG.

From Hole in the Wall

Green Cheese – dubbed the “happiest cheesecake in the word”.

ChocNut Cupcake

ChocNut Cupcake. OMG x 2

Hole in the Wall

A. Must. Visit.

Hole in the Wall

Dining vignettes at Hole in the Wall. Way-way. Cute.

Salted Egg Crusted Fried Chicken Wings

Kwong’s Salted Egg Fried Chicken Wings


Don’t EVER skip the good stuff.

Green Cheese at Hole in the Wall

A Japanese cheesecake place that’s too cute for words.

Phobobo’s Ox Tripe Chicaron {crunchies}

Scout's Honor

I need this sign in my house.

 Amah Kwong's Lumpia

{Amah, grandmother in Fukien} Amah Kwong’s Lumpia

Scout's Honor

What a great, great, great concept. Craft your cookies and custom milk.

From Kwong's Provisions

Pork cheek asado, garlic rice, and a sunny side up.

Umami Fried Chicken and Waffles.

Bad Bird: Umami Fried Chicken and Waffles. Amaze.

Bad Bird

Bad Bird, because Angry Birds was already taken. A place for Umami. Um. Yum.


Kwong’s is awesome. Had 80% of their menu and not a bad bite.

chocnut, dark rocky road and classic rocky road.

Custom made chocnut, dark rocky road and classic rocky road.


Posporo = match stick. You know … to light a fire. ‘Nuf said.

I don’t remember this spot but it’s where I got my first of many calamansi juice fix(s).

This was only one day with Lori. Never mind the other days.  The way I ate, you would have thought I was a contestant in the annual Nathan’s Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Then there was calamansi cocktails.


Calamansi is the Philippines’  answer to Key West’s key lime, only better. {Sorry, Florida.}

Only because we were playing No Calorie Left Behind here is my beautiful daydate at calamansi cocktails. This summer I’m going to make calamansi cocktails a thing. Bar on the 405 serves calamansi cocktails. Who’s in? You can’t go wrong.

Calmansi Cocktails

Lori was on a break, so her calmansi is virgin with a drizzle o’ honey. I was taking no such break, so my calamansi cocktail was shaken  with Don Julio Tequila.

Calmansi was one of those things the US Department of Agriculture made me leave behind when I moved to the US. I heard that the uncle of an aunt’s pool boy’s cousin had a caddy who put a calamansi tree in a golf bag and hand carried the tree into California. Am looking for this man or woman who owns said golf bag. I need to calamansi tree smuggle unto the western seaboard.

I think this means I’m coming back. Not just to this four part series. I’ll be flying back to Manila to get my tree and, of course, visit Lori. It’ll be like this time and every other time we’ve reconnected. Where the depth of time nor the vastness of the pacific had no stronghold on our bond.

It’s been said that … A man needs a wife to live a long life. And a woman needs her girl friends to live an enriched life. I’m pretty sure I just botched that quote the same way I botch most things. But you’re picking-up what I am putting down. So, you get it.

Photo Apr 09, 9 05 12 PM

Loves … my hope is you have friendships like this. Where ya’ll pick-up right where you left off. Where ya’ll can communicate with eye rolls, grunts, sighs and hand gestures.

And since it is Friday, as we cap off another where-did-this-week-go week, pick up the phone and dial a friend. Go and pick-up right where you left off.



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