– this should never be forgotten when it comes to parties and gatherings. Expect that when you are invited to your friend’s house, you will never enjoy his or her company without this. Guess what this necessity is – of course, this is no other than FOOD! Admit it, you would always wait for it whenever you come to your best bud’s debut, or after you meet with your classmates and orgmates. Any occasion will never be complete without food. That is why, UP culture will never be complete without food! And of course, what is ABAM without food? The authentic Iskolar ng Bayan experience will not be worthwhile without trying out some genuine UP foods and their respective stalls – isaw from Mang Larry’s, pancit canton and other Filipino street foods of Manininda sa UP, Casaa food stalls, barbeque at Beach House, pizza and pasta at Long Island, Rodic’s tapsilog at SC, Lutong Bahay complex at Area 2. These are just some of the favorite spots to fill an Isko’s stomach. Yet, there is still another place to check out within the campus for a memorable dining experience. Just ride an Ikot jeep and get off at the playground near Centennial
dormitory. This is the ever-popular street of Maginhawa! Located near C.P. Garca Avenue, Maginhawa is the place to be if you are craving for various types of foods and drinks, from local lutong-bahay to tea shops and of course, international-inspired restaurants. Since there are a lot of food hotspots in Maginhawa, there is also a variety of prices offered by each restaurant. And now, I am here to present to you 4 budget-friendly shops and 4 not -so-budget-friendly shops but guaranteed to fill your stomach and your heart with more than what you deserve.
4 budget-friendly shops which you will always have the bucks to buy more.
Fo o d
This is actually what you commonly call the lutong-bahay style of preparing meals. Its best seller is Pork Steak which only costs Php 35 per order! This Pork Steak is said to be really yummy. As one customer said, "Lutong bahay ta-
laga". When I first heard about it, I was really surprised because it’s really worth it! Its cheapest meal is veggie with rice for only Php 25 per order while the most expensive meal is Nilagang Baka for only Php 45 per order! Really, this is incredibly cheap! This business is established because of the fact that food is always in-demand and people are always craving for it.
Ate Fe’s Kitchen This store has a lot of meals to choose from, ranging from breakfast meals to the sizzling meals. The best sellers are Lechon Rice which only costs Php 60. I can really say that Ate Fe’s Lechon Rice certainly tastes good. It has the genuinelechon meat, which is a Filipino favorite and veggies. On the other hand, another best seller from Ate Fe’s kitchen is the legendary Sizzling Sisig, whose secret of being a best seller is its “popping” sound since it’s really sizzling! The cheapest meal that it offers is the silog meals or the breakfast meals while the most expensive ones are Camaron Rebosado for Php 150 and Sizzling Plates. When I asked the secret of this business, a worker from this lutong bahay resto simply said that their meals are cheap and at the same time, have large servings ranging from veggies to meat. Also, they chose food as their business because of students and office workers near Maginhawa.
shops offer more expensive drinks. The cheapest order of tea is their Green Tea for Php 50 (large-sized already) and the most expensive is the Yogo for Php 80 (large size as well). An employee of Zen Tea said that his boss chose tea as an object of his business because of the increasing popularity of tea.
The store name may sound like a Chinese restaurant but in reality, it is really a tea shop. Well, it is not really far from being Chinese, since they are known for their teas and other traditional stuffs. Its best seller is Wintermelon, although this is already common, it remains a hit because of its simple taste which is actually quite sour. The cheapest teas are the basic teas at Php 45, which is reasonable for its large size. The most expensive offer is the froth blends which costs Php 85 for small and Php 100 for large size. The owner chose tea for his business because it is his favorite and again, its increasing popularity, especially with students.
Now, I bring you four not-so-budget-friendly restaurants but will surely leave you wanting more.
This is a small and simple tea shop whose best seller is their Nai Cha, with its simple taste which makes it more elegantly delicious. All that for only Php 60. Actually, it is already cheap for a tea since most of the popular tea
This is a Spanish-inspired restaurant which offers not just Spanish foods but also mouth-watering pastries. Its bestsellers are Salpicao, Lengua, Callos, Paella and Churros because these are real favorites of most Filipinos. The people don’t really mind how much these foods cost but what matters is the taste that make them come back for more. The cheapest meal it offers is the Salpicao for only Php 180 and the most expensive is the Paella which costs Php 370. It’s already good for 3 so the best thing to do is to share the cost among you and your friends or family.
Sancho restaurant was adopted from a previous business of the owner and the owner continued to offer Spanish cuisine which Filipinos will surely love.
The Burger P r o j e c t This is a restaurant for those who love “tenderjuicy” burgers but with a twist: you get to customize your own burger. In short, you get to pick what toppings you would like your burger to have. Not ordinary, right? Its best-sellers are Western Bacon and French Lick, which you can opt to include toppings such as Guyere cheese and barbecue sauce. The cheapest burger is the regular beef for only Php 95 while the most expensive treat is the Angus Beef which costs Php 250. These prices still vary because you have the option to customize your burger depending on the toppings you would like to add. The Burger Project is owned by a group of friends who like burgers. Also, they noticed that Filipinos love burgers (probably from the Western influence) and so, to give an extra spice to the Filipino taste, they made their burgers customized.
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Who would’ve thought there is also a panciteria in Maginhawa? If you miss your local pancitan, then worry no more for this is the answer to your longings. Pakibalot Panciteria’s best seller is the Miki Bihon which is made up of a lot of veggies and at the same time, it’s saucy, that’s why people like it. Its cheapest offer is their Special Pancit for only Php 120 which is already good for 2-3 people. The most expensive pancit is the Pata Tim which costs Php 350. Pakibalot Panciteria Binondo Cooking is a family choice of business and the family also loves Chinese food, therefore, they decided to put up this panciteria.
Cocina Juan Cocina Juan is a restaurant bar-like diner which offers South American cuisine. Also, this is the most memorable restaurant I went to while strolling around Maginhawa and interviewing people. The best seller is the Pork Ribs, which weighs 400g (bones included). The serving for Pork Ribs is already good for 2 and it is also considered as a comfort food. Another best seller is the Chicken Cheese, which is also deemed to be a comfort food. The secret of this best seller is the equal intake of calories and carbohydrates. In other words, this comfort food and best seller is very nutritious and healthy. The cheapest meal it offer is the Cheezee Corn Soup which costs Php 59 while the most expensive one is the Churrasco Nicaragua and Churrasco Guatemala. The Churrasco Nicaragua is a platter composed of chimichurri, with three types of marinated meat (beef, chicken and pork sausage) put in skewers. It is also made up of gallo pinto rice and ensalada. On the other hand, Churrasco Guatemala is a platter made up of chermol which is composed of grilled tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and butter pureed together. The owner of Cocina Juan (who is not actually named Juan) chose food for business because first, this is what he wanted to do. He studied culinary before he put up this business which runs for almost 5 years now. Another reason why he chose food is because food is an "opportunity itself” since it is everyone’s basic need. He chose the South American cuisine because it is something Filipinos have seldom tried and he wants to share this South American experience with his fellows. Innovation is also one of the keys for the success of his business because his resto might be inspired from Latin foods but, it still contains the local flavor. Overall, the dining experience the resto offers makes people explore more for different types of foods present out there.
So, that’s it. There are a lot of other dining places you can check out, ABAMer! Check out Maginhawa now! Do not miss the opportunity to explore various types of sumptuous treats I’m sure you will be truly craving for more.
An article by Patricia Matibag, written for the Arbiter Magazine of UP ABAM.