Been going out and back to town recently. Well hehe just last weekend and this and maybe next.
But finally! The Saturday I’ve been waiting for has come! Tina Decal’s Kulinarya Tagala aka Quezon Food Tour via The Luxe Bus! It’s another day trip with good friends from UAP Fort Bo chapter.
Meet up was 6am at Ayala Museum fountain area. W and I are always on time or early right? We didn’t wanna worry about parking so we took an Uber from home! It was W’s first time and hopefully he knows now how much safer and smoother my rides home are through Uber than a cab.
We were first on board The Luxe Bus so we had a few minutes for kwento with our friends Ferdie and Angie. We also met Tina Decal. She’s our tour guide and she’s from Quezon Province. Like Carlos Celdran, she’s doing tours to show Filipinos and other tourists how rich the culture and food of Quezon Province is. But since this is an archi group, we also tried to go to more ancestral houses in Quezon, however, traffic wasn’t so kind to us since it’s already Lent and there are so many pilgrims.
On board The Luxe Bus, we watched a really good movie – The Hundred Foot Journey. Indian and French food mmm … Kinda builds your appetite for the food tour. But of course, I’m expecting Filipino Food. Not a great fan, but it’s something different.
I had several cups of cappuccino in The Luxe Bus hehe it’s really good. The best part is, the bus has its own very clean lavatory so I never had to worry about my bladder!
Our first stop was Patis Tito Garden Cafe in San Pablo Laguna.
We had longganisa, fish and tsokolate-eh for breakfast. We also had turon in latik after. Oh yum.
There was also a short demo on how to make a Filipino salad – it had alugbati, fish sauce, nuts and calamansi (it’s all I can remember!)
They have a bed and breakfast too but we didn’t have time to look around anymore.
Next was the Gala – Rodriguez Art Deco house, which was a few blocks away from the Rodriguez House.
Kinda weird this is art deco in the Commonwealth era.
This house has an underground cellar that housed the lady of the house, Dona Carmen Gala Rodriguez whenever the Japanese would make their rounds.
We bought broas for pasalubongs going back to the bus. According to our friend Gelo, who is also a Quezon local, there’s a better broas place but this will be good enough as we might not be able to go to the other broas place anymore.
We headed to Graceland Estates after for lunch. I’m actually a little disappointed because food serving was very small. Tina mentioned that plating ia the way the club is adapting with the taste of the tourists but I don’t agree with this if they reduce serving size.
For example, the sinigang na hipon in buko only had 3 shrimps per serving. There was 18 of us I think, and they only served 3 bowls, the rest was soup. So half of us didn’t get to have shrimp. But the taste was interesting. We’re all eager to try it out when we have a chance.
The grilled chicken barbecue was also small. Again, since most of us are couples, we shared small portions with our spouses. But taste was ok, its the typical grilled chicken.
W and I shared egg rolls, again, because the serving wasn’t enough. They served a lot of Pansit Lucban though … But it wasn’t extra ordinary because they didn’t bring out the vinegar that was supposed to come with it. For dessert, we had chocolate lambanog balls and cassava. The chocolate balls weren’t what we expected … I think it’s supposed to be dark chocolate but it tasted like the palengke chocolate with lambanog. Sayang. I know lambanog is a Quezon product but we also have to consider that several tourists might not be able to take alcohol. We had a breastfeeding mom and pregnant lady in the group. At least the cassava was ok with the strawberry sauce or so. Oh yeah, our drink was cucumber lemon I think. It tasted a lot like the one from Family Mart though.
We went to Ugu Bigyan’s pottery studio. He had a short demo and answered a few questions we had. His work is amazing. I think they’re fairly priced too.
We had halo-halo for snacks and they’re very photogenic!
A few things in Ugu’s place…
We got back to Manila past 8pm. W and I were dropped off in Cubao so we can just take the LRT going back home. The sad part is, I was hungry! So we dropped by Burger King in Gateway and got Whoppers to go. It’s not what I expected of a food tour. Looks like Tina needs to improve the tour since one would expect to be really full after a food tour. It costs Php 2,200 per head (without The Luxe Bus) so it’s quite tough to justify that amount of food and heritage insights for the amount, especially after I saw the menu at Patis Tito.
But of course it was fun! Especially for me, who doesn’t eat much Filipino food (but I love Filipino desserts and snacks). It was also nice to learn about Quezon’s history. It was so nice to do this trip in The Luxe Bus. No worries at all, it was all comfort woth style!
We’re having another food tour soon – I’m really excited!
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