25 February 2014

Banapple Smoked Barbecue Hickory Country Ribs Reviewed

Banapple Hickory Smoked Barbeque Country Ribs

I know you have more important things to do than to read a hickory ribs review, so let us go to the bone of contention right away, or should I say, “ribs of contention.”

Banapple is a diner that has branches in Katipunan, Timog, Makati, and BGC. The rustic design of their stores feels like home. It can be a place for casual dining or romantic dates. Have you tried their Savory Tuna Pie with Potato Salad? I am a fan. But tonight, I ordered hickory ribs.

Hickory Smoked Barbecue Country Ribs is described as an extra tender country ribs grilled in hickory smoke, glazed with homemade hickory barbecue sauce, served with corn relish and seasoned garlic rice”. The whole thing costs 200 Petot. Blame inflation, last year it is just 185 Petot.

Garlic rice is served generously. The barbecue sauce reminds me of Hunt's Ranch BBQ sauce - smokey and too sweet. The corn is umm… just corn. Did you know that are more than 3,000 uses for corn? Aside from feeding people and animals, it is used in soaps, vitamins, antibiotics, films, plastics, rust preventatives, paint, fuel, fireworks, and nuclear warheads. I just made up that last one.

As I probed my fork and knife into the meat, I found out that my hickory ribs had no ribs. Sigh. Again? Getting a chance at hickory ribs with actual ribs is like getting a chance at winning in jack-en-poy. It is like watching a LIP-SYNCED Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. It is like drinking “fresh” buko juice in a tetra-pack. It is like being served bulalo with no bone where you can scrape off the utak inside. Perhaps Banapple realized that it was OK to serve hickory ribs without the ribs. I can imagine the chef’s evil grin while telling the restaurant owner, “Don’t worry boss, no one will notice.”

I think I have come to a point in life where little things matter. John Wooden, the legendary coach who has led UCLA to record wins still unmatched in the world of basketball once said, "It is the little things that matter. Little things make grand things happen.” I am not asking for a grand meal, though. I just want the ribs in my hickory ribs.

If there is one thing that is hard to reconcile in life, it is making ends meet between what we want and what is given. Fate is like a restaurant with waiters who bring you food you never asked for and may not always like. Life, after all, has a sense of humor. 

Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Amor Fati – Love Your Fate”, your fate is your life. Well, if my fate is to eat hickory ribs with no ribs, bring it on. But, before that, perhaps it is not too much to ask for the “actual” ribs in hickory ribs the next time I order it again.

The verdict: it is a must try. But don’t forget there are other dishes in their menu that is as sumptuous as well, like that savory tuna pie with potato salad. Regards. – Raah. 

*photo from clickthecity.com

10 February 2014

What I Realized in Playing Flappy Bird


This game is absurd. It is not fun to tap your screen, make a bird fly, only to watch it die. If there's any benefit to it, this game does not fail to make me poo-poo in the morning. Every time I bump a pipe, “Shit!" I have never found the word 'shit' as meaningful as to describe what I feel and do.

Death is certain in Flappy Bird. There is no life meter. There are no extra lives. No second chances. Game over. As in real life, it will end at some point. It just takes one tiny mistake to ruin everything. 

This game reminds me of Sisyphus, a Greek mythological tyrant who was punished by Zeus for his deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. It's just like Flappy Bird, you're being compelled to hurdle immense pipes only to watch your bird plummet back down, then repeat this absurd process forever. 

In the book The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus explains that at some point you must come face to face with the absurd. I agree. Flappy Bird is, as with the story of Sisyphus, a symbol of futility. The only way make to  any sense of this game is to accept that Flappy Bird in itself is fun and deny the longing for any reason or option. 

"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart." It is only when you start dreaming of something better that you become aware of the hopelessness and loneliness of your situation. 

In short, I think to find reason in playing Flappy Bird, there must be some kind of Zen. There must be some kind of "flow." Otherwise, Flappy Bird (or-whatever-Flappy-Birdish-like-thing-you-are-doing) will lose its meaning. You will start uninstalling Flappy Bird. Then, back at where you started – with nothing.

photo from http://ukmobilereview.com/

06 February 2014

Dunkin' Donuts Bunwich Reviewed

I was walking along Anonas when I stumbled upon a new Dunkin' Donuts store. I went inside and my eyes were drawn to this sumptuous bacon, coleslaw, and tomatoes Bunwich. I drew out my wallet and voila, no money. I said "Wait lang, wait lang." to the crew and pretended like I left something in the car, only that, I don't have a car. I went to a nearby ATM to withdraw. In my mind, after law school jeez, poverty. I went back to the store and ordered my Bunwich. Can't stop, the feeling's so strong.

Your 90 Php will get you a coffee and a Bunwich combo. I unwrapped my  Bunwich and took a photo of it like a real foodie. Everyone in the store was like, "parang timang oh, why is taking picture of his food?"

It was as good as it can get. Fresh bun, tomatoes, bacon, and coleslaw, nothing more. 80/20. 80% of what it's made of  easily went  down my throat, the other 20%, struggled.

I finished the whole thing in 7 minutes. Now the verdict. I wish the coleslaw had more mayo. The bacon was cold cuts style, which I am not fond of. I still wish the bacon was more crisp.

Was it worth 90 Php? No. But with DD coffee that came with it, yes, yes yes! Wow, the coffee was superb. Forget Starbucks brewed coffee. This right here is the shit. This particular one is the best budget brewed coffee I've tasted. It also reminded me of how I immensely absolutely abhor Mr.Donut (San Sebastian-Recto) brewed coffee. Clue: four times yata nila sinasalang yung coffee beans, as in sulitin talaga hanggang wala ng pait. So often, yung brewed coffee na iseserve sayo  brown na. hehe.

So, that's it. New store, fresh Bunwich, superb coffee, watching the sunset while listening to Eheads and pondering about being broke and jobless. Wow, that bitter-sweet melancholy feeling, 90 petot lang. 

05 February 2014

Jollibee Cheesy Bacon Mushroom Champ Reviewed

Once a month, even if there is a storm, apocalypse, or a polar vortex, I set a "burger day." Yesterday, I had my burger day at the new Jollibee Pureza. I ordered Jollibee's Cheesy Bacon Mushroom Champ for the first time. It's a 1/3 pound 100% beef patty smothered with glazed onions, mushroom, cheese, and more cheese, and some kind of sauce. I expected it will be like the regular Champ, but it was not. I was overwhelmed at first bite. It took an effort to chew the strips of bacon (pereng bebelgem). I liked the little sweet, tangy onions, and the cute mushrooms, but I missed the tomatoes and lettuce that goes with the regular Champ. For 165 Php, I think this bacon burger is pricey considering that the regular Champ is way cheaper and um... has tomatoes. I would definitely welcome a more crisp bacon, a la "chicharon" please. My verdict? This burger will overwhelm you, carnivores will rejoice chomping over this Champ. I might order this burger again in the future, but for now, the good old Champ is still the Champ of Champs. -Raah