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All day all American breakfast

A diner is the quintessential American eatery—serving pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausages, and overflowing cups of coffee, all day and all night. We’ve seen these restaurants so many times in Hollywood movies, like Jack Rabbit Slim’s all-American diner in Pulp Fiction, the roadside diner in Pineapple Express, or the busy dining floor of Katz’s Delicatessen in When Harry Met Sally. There’s even the apocalyptic restaurant ruins of The Walking Dead and the crime scene setting of Stranger Things. The more we see it, the more we want what these movie stars (especially Sally, as played by Meg Ryan) were having. And when you talk about American diners, Denny’s first comes to mind. One of the biggest, most popular restaurant chains in the US, this diner serves up classic diner fare. With over 1,700 restaurants across the globe—from Mexico to New Zealand—it …

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On the road

It has been about a year since I would always, in the evenings, see this small pickup with a wood burning dome oven with its intense heat and wood flames glowing by the side of the busy main road of J.P. Laurel near the Buhangin Flyover in Davao City. The dimly lit pop up pizza stand, called Classio, has eventually grown, adding more chairs and tables with more people standing and waiting in line for an opportunity to eat their pizzas al fresco, fresh from this oven. My son, Chef Gino, who was on a teaching stint, beat me in trying this place out and promised to take me there when we would both be handling classes in Davao City. Apparently he had gotten chummy with the owner when he drew …

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Marie France understands women’s bodies better

Three decades... thousands of women... and counting. Marie France marks its 31 st year this November as the leading name in non-invasive slimming. Women like Bing Loyzaga, Amanda Griffin-Jacob, and Kelly Misa-Fernandez are just a few of the many who can attest to Marie France’s proven body shaping expertise. Bing Loyzaga: From “too big” to a size 4 “In showbiz, image is everything. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to maintain my figure because of hypothyroidism. I gained so much weight and went from leading ladies, to mother roles, to no roles at all because I was “too big” to be onscreen. So I got help from Marie France. Just a few months ago, I started my Weight-Loss Program and from 185lbs, I’m currently down to 142 lbs and still losing. It’s unbelievable that …

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McDonald’s offers Halloween choco-pumpkin fries in Japan

For those who can't get enough of pumpkin-flavored treats during Halloween, McDonald's Japan is offering french fries covered in pumpkin and chocolate sauce. The fast-food chain came up with the "Halloween Choco Potato" to mark its 45th anniversary in Japan, where trick or treaters enjoy pumpkin-spiced food and beverages to celebrate the October holiday. "The flavors of pumpkin and chocolate went unexpectedly well and it was quite tasty," Ayano Ishikama, 22, said after sampling the fries at one of the chain's restaurants in Tokyo.

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La Scala rocks

Although my grand-son Kyle has lived with me all his 25 years, our 47-year-gap is often difficult to bridge no matter how hard I try to keep up with the latest gadgets, apps, hugot lines, and social media trends. Last weekend, we suddenly found ourselves communicating. He was asking all kinds of questions and I had all the right answers. We were at La Scala, a couple of blocks from our home, gaping at a well-kept collection of what used to be everyday objects from the gentle years after World War II. I explained how a jukebox, on display in a glass case, worked. He laughed at how I used to save my baon so I could hang around a panciteria in Zapote to play Elvis songs on the only jukebox in …

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Cantonese food like you never had before

Just a few months after it introduced its new chef and received the Golden Horse award, Marco Polo Manila’s Cantonese restaurant Lung Hin introduces a new executive chef again. The previous chef left the restaurant for personal reasons. He has since been replaced by chef Raymond Yeung from Hong Kong. An experienced Cantonese chef with more than 26 years of kitchen experience, he brings in traditional mastery, new flavors, and modern techniques to the hotel’s award-winning restaurant. Winner of the Hofex 2009 Hong Kong International Culinary Classic Gold Award, Raymond’s also studied under the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute (CCTI), the culinary school that the Chinese government operates, which hones Chinese master chefs in the techniques and disciplines of Chinese cuisine. Now, he joins one of the most modern Cantonese restaurants in Manila, Lung …

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Beer season

By now most people know the story of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on Oct. 12, 1810, and the festivities that were held in the fields in front of the city of Munich. The horse races that were held to celebrate the occasion were so popular that they were repeated the next year. And so on, and so on, until the Oktoberfest became an event celebrated not just in Munich, but around the world. It isn’t really that the marriage has some great significance to the rest of the world, but it’s a pretty good marketing tool and a great excuse to drink copious amounts of beer, eat sausages, and pork knuckles, and act silly with your friends and family—all under the guise of Oktoberfest festivities. And when you …

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Gin action

Images by Noel Pabalate Video by John Alvin Veri and Juan Carlo Villanueva   My first encounter with Hendrick’s Gin was a few years back when wine buddy Jay Labrador and I decided to have this gin in a tonic with a slice of cucumber. We have found the spirit to be quite different from the London Dry Gin that was heavy on the juniper. Though lighter on juniper and with the surprising rose and cucumber notes, the Hendrick’s tonic was a pleasing aperitif we had enjoyed before our casual and heady wine dinners. I had received an invite from Makati Shangri-La saying that their Sage Bar would be featuring top mixologist and Hendrick’s brand ambassadress Tasha Lu with her cocktails made from this spirit. Being someone who has written a couple of bar …

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Welcome to the Fat Cow

I have a fascination for small, quaint bistros where the chef-owner has a complete command of the place and bravely brings out his creations without the dictates of half a dozen or so stockholders of a restaurant group, because it seems to be a rarity nowadays. Perhaps in a place like Metro Manila it has become more difficult because of the high rental prices that need a group to pool in and finance a seemingly viable restaurant project. There are of course a few brave and talented souls who wish to pursue their dreams and creative instincts, many of whom you can find in other cities where their talents can afford to grow without the great pressures of a very unforgiving and demanding clientele. One very determined young soul I see is Patrick Co, the chef-owner of the Fat  Cow.  Since it opened on a side …

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Party with the Germans

By Mary Angela Barlongay October is coming and it's almost time to celebrate the most authentic Bavarian festival as The German Club Manila and Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila kick off their annual Oktoberfest. The event happening on Oct. 7 and 8 at Sofitel would be the club’s 78th year here in the Philippines. The German Club has been bringing their well-loved festival all the way from Munich, Bavaria, Germany since 1906. This is “the German fest where you can party with the Germans in a very German way,” says Michael Hasper, German Embassy Manila’s charge d’affaires. “We are doing this because we feel that we can really bring people closer together and that is what inspires all of us to party together and to get to know each other better.” Oktoberfest starts in September and ends on the first Sunday of October. The …

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