Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mercato Centrale is already in Pampanga

Now in Pampanga is the Mercato Centrale.

The organizer is inviting Pampanga and Central Luzon-based food entrepreneurs to join.

Mercato’s Cocina Centrale has launched its grand opening last June 29, Saturday at the Marquee Park of Ayala's Marquee Mall in Angeles City Pampanga.

Gracing the cutting of ribbon at the launching of Mercato Cetrale in Pampanga are RJ Ledesma (middle with the bouquet), the two Capampangan chefs: Sau del Rosario of Villa Café (4th from the right side), and Claude Tayag of Bale Dutung (2nd from the right side). With them are representatives from the Ayala Land, the Marquee Mall, and organizers of Mercato Centrale.


Cocina Centrale is open on Fridays and Saturdays beginning July 5, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

The Mercato Centrale Group has brought the premier food and lifestyle night market experience to the culinary center of the Philippines - Angeles City, Pampanga in Ayala's Marquee Mall!

The Marquee Park turns into a lush picnic ground at the opening of Cocina Centrale. All walks of life gathered in and around the tents and savored the Capampangan cuisine and other delicacies. It is a playful place for kids and toddlers
“We’re inviting food entrepreneurs from Manila, Pampanga and the surrounding provinces of Central Luzon to join our newest market - Cocina Centrale! It will be a culinary showdown where the best of Pampanga will meet the best of Manila!” said RJ Ledesma, Co-founder of the Mercato Centrale Group.
Ms. Reia Retugal of STRATOS, Inc. briefs the pack of media and food bloggers on what to expect in the launching of Cocina Centrale upon their arrival in the grounds of Marquee Mall in Angeles City, Pampanga. It was quite a long weekend ride from Trinoma Mall in Quezon City due to heavy traffic flow of the entire stretch of North EDSA and at the entrance toll gate of the North Luzon Expressway.    
“This is our first food market outside of Metro Manila, and we feel the most ideal place where we could share the Mercato Centrale experience is with the Pampanga foodies,” said Anton Diaz, Co-founder of the Mercato Centrale group and the blogger behind the popular food and travel website www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

Despite the presence of tropical storm Gorio (international name: Rumbia), the crowd persistently braved the rains of storm signal No. 1 that hovers across the skies of southern Luzon. Yes, it was like that just to savor the merging different flavors at the Cocina Centrale.

 “The great tradition of cooking in this part of the country means we have to ‘level up’ when it comes to the quality of our gourmet and artisanal vendors, so that the food satisfies the discerning taste buds of the Kapampangans,” added Diaz.

Meet again Ms. Mercy Teng of Polland and some of her Chinese and Pinoy deli, and of course her scissors.
Polland consistently participate in recently opened Mercato Centrale night food camps.  Must try are bacon-cheese hamburger, variants of cuapao, a roast of baby backribs, and Chinese fresh lumpia. 
The Mercato Centrale Group is the events team behind Metro Manila’s most happening night weekend markets that include Midnight Mercato in Bonifacio Global City, Cucina Andare in Glorietta Park Makati, and two in Quezon City -- Mezza Norte in Trinoma and Levante in Eastwood.

French Crepes is among the foreign participants showcasing delikatesse in the first day of Cocina Centrale. This French chef skilfully spreads the batter (above) and fillings of banana-choco crepe. 

Jiin Bakery is another foreign particpants showcasing Korean pastries. It is among the favorite of the crowd.
Pick your choice of familiar Pinoy street foods from the stall of Lariza's Grill.
Bottled water, softdrinks (soda & cola) in cans, and bottled buko juice (coco water) are just around the corner to quench your thirst or help push trough and digest smoothly the stuff into your guts.    
The heavenly sweet cake lollies of the Heavenly Sweets
To give you an idea on how delicious these many-flavored pastillas (milk candy) are, a bite-size samples are waiting to be prick with a toothpick for free taste test.
To those who crave for sweets, Aiza's has something special to satisfy their sweet tooth.   
Artful molds of tart with oat bran from Aiza's. It's creamy delicious that you could feel each filling as you chew a piece of these tarts.
Assortment of Minerva creamy cookies that include oatmeal cookies, chocochips cookies, oatmeal raisin bar, and araro (arrow root cookies). 
Plastic cookie jars of creamy Minerva araro (arrow-root cookies)
A lusciously creamy square of Minerva's sansrival topped with crunchy mixed nuts
Skirting around the Marquee Park are several trollies of rolling food trucks offering foreign deli and other delicacies.
A show of colorful jets of lighted fountain showers adorn the open ground of Marquee Park.  Children could freely watch nearby or play around, but must be under the close watch of adults. Don't let your precious children stay around here unattended. 

On our way back to Metro Manila, we encountered again heavy flow of traffic amidst heavy downpour of typhoon Gorio. All the calories of foods we tried were practically used up in keeping us going in finding our way back home as we braved the tempestuous weather. 
Interested food vendors who want to join Cocina Centrale may call (+63917)8401152 or (+632)8120102 or email admin@mercatocentrale.ph

You may also visit www.facebook.com/cocinacentrale.

All food vendors undergo a taste test by the Mercato Centrale Group. Vendors are chosen based on flavor, innovation and uniqueness.
RJ Ledesma of Mercato Centrale with Edgie Polistico of Philippine Food Illustrated

 

Eastwood’s Levante Friday night and food market launched on May 17, 2013!

Follow the stars and you will get there. The alley of Walk of Fame would certainly be your guiding stars to the Levante in Citywalk Two of Eastwood, Libis in Quezon City
Every Friday, beginning last May 17, 2013, eat’s a fun foodie adventure in Eastwood as the Mercato Centrale group, the organizer of the premier food and lifestyle night markets around the metropolis, has brought you Levante – the newest night food market in Eastwood Citywalk 2.
Enjoy a culinary adventure at Levante with its mouth-watering homemade cooking straight from the kitchens of Eastwood’s budding food entrepreneurs, along with your favorite Pinoy street foods and, of course, the best-selling dishes from your favorite Mercato Centrale vendors.

Dine, drink, and stroll  with the stars
Manila Q's Bagwang (Bagnet with bawang) is an Ilocano-inspired deep fried pork, pre-cut into bacon-strips and flavored with bawang (garlic).  It is served with a cup of rice and dipping sauce. It tastes more like pork chicharon disguising as bacon strips. 

“Eastwood has always been very supportive of new food concepts, from their new fusion restaurants up to their gourmet food markets in the malls. We are very glad to bring the Mercato Centrale concept to Eastwood to further complement the foodie-friendly lifestyle they have created” said Anton Diaz, co-organizer of Levante. Diaz is responsible for the popular food and travel blog www.OurAwesomePlanet.com.

Come over to the Levante and enjoy great-tasting and affordable food, pastry and dessert choices and live acoustic entertainment. Levante is open only on Fridays, 6pm to 3am.

You will, of course, find also here the Mercato Centrale's trademarked free taste test.  Just go around and pick some of the offerings. Try the sinfully tasty crunchy belly (deep fried pig's belly) from the counter of Carlo's Kitchen
Pinoy silog dishes and cold cuts of Sinangag Trip are worth the peso. These are cooked deli served with sinangag na kanin (stir-fried rice). The look is delectable and even better when tasted.
Meet Mercy Teng and her pair of scissors who would eagerly offer you a taste test of her Chinese deli and recipes. Among the favorites are the torched steak and cuapao. Try her Chinese fresh lumpia (spring roll).
Ladies gather around the adorable and mouth-watering sweet Cakes by K. Guys, bring some of these cakes to your girl or lady and you will surely get a sweet smack and lambing from her.
At the launching of Levante, RJ Ledesma said, “We can’t wait for the residents, office workers and visitors of Eastwood City to enjoy the wide variety of gourmet and artisanal vendors we are bringing to the market!” added RJ Ledesma, the co-organizer of Levante.

Bottled water to quench your thirst or chase those nice stuffs down in your stomach
Mitch of Megaworld. Her first choice in Levante are the Yakitori balls that she went straight to it right after the cutting of ribbon 
This time and in this venue, Mercato Centrale made it different. Levante is serving cocktails for those who are fond of taking the shots - something I never saw in other spots of the Mercato Centrale . Well, this is what Eastwood Libis nightlife is known of.

A FRIENDLY REMINDER:  Be aware that a new law took effect recently that penalizes drunk driving.  Don't drink and drive, otherwise you will loss lots of things in your life. You license to drive might be cancelled and banned to drive for life. Isn't it worse when its too late to realize that your life insurance and car insurance will not cover you and your losses due to alcohol. If drinking is socially unavoidable, just drink moderately and responsibly. 


For vendor inquiries, please contact (+63 917) 840-1152 or (+632) 812-0102, or email to admin@levanteeastwood.com or visit www.facebook.com/levanteeastwood

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Eastwood’s Levante night and food market launching this May!


Eat’s going to be a fun foodie adventure in Eastwood as the Mercato Centrale group, organizer of the premier food and lifestyle night markets around the metropolis, brings to you Levante

Levante is the newest night food market in Eastwood Citywalk 2 in Libis, Quezon City every Friday from 6:00 pm to 3:00 am.

Enjoy a culinary adventure at Levante with its mouth-watering homemade cooking straight from the kitchens of Eastwood’s budding food entrepreneurs, along with your favorite Pinoy street foods and, of course, the best-selling dishes from your favorite Mercato Centrale vendors.

“Eastwood has always been very supportive of new food concepts, from their new fusion restaurants up to their gourmet food markets in the malls. We are very glad to bring the Mercato Centrale concept to Eastwood to further complement the foodie-friendly lifestyle they have created” said Anton Diaz, co-organizer of Levante. Diaz is responsible for the popular food and travel blog www.OurAwesomePlanet.com.




Eastwood’s Levante Friday night and food market launched on May 17, 2013! (Click here to see more photos)


Come over to the grand opening of Levante and enjoy great-tasting and affordable food, pastry and dessert choices and live acoustic entertainment. Levante is open only on Fridays, 6pm to 3pm.
“We can’t wait for the residents, office workers and visitors of Eastwood City to enjoy the wide variety of gourmet and artisanal vendors we are bringing to the market!” added RJ Ledesma, co-organizer of Levante.

For vendor inquiries, please contact (+63 917) 840-1152 or (+632) 812-0102, or email to admin@levanteeastwood.com or visit www.facebook.com/levanteeastwood.

Mezza Norte moved to Trinoma’s open parking area

Mezza Norte's weekend schedule is for the convenience of families and residents of Quezon City, students, office workers, balikbayans and tourists
Mezza Norte's new location map. Strategically situated, as the Trinoma is the converging point in the heart of Quezon City

 
When Mezza Norte made the big move to Trinoma’s open parking at the corner ofMindanao Avenue and North Avenue, the weather in Quezon City registered the feverish reading of 36.4 degree Celsius hours before the official launching started that late afternoon. It was one of the hottest day in the year. Good thing, Trinoma is just a stone throw away from the open parking where you can recondition to cool off yourself inside the mall. 


I was told that most of the food stalls and vendors were set already in the Mezza Norte ground as early as 3:30 P.M. I got there few minutes after the sunset and the wind still blew warm. It was truly a warm welcome indeed.


What used to be at the UP-AyalaLand Technohub, Commonwealth Ave, Quezon City is now in the open parking of Trinoma mall. I did not hesitate accepting the organizer's invitation to witness the launching of Mezza Norte last May 3, 2013. Just like when I used to drop by at the Mercato Centrale in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) of Taguig City after a round of Sunday morning jog around the perimeter of BGC's High Street in 2011, I always expect to discover more about Pinoy food.



Meet the Sultry chef in sassy apron, Ms. Ivory Yat of Master Chef Philippines
I brought along with me my camera, pocket notebook and pen to document my finds. Good thing I have enough cash in my wallet for not just once that I failed to resist the urge to take home those foods prepared by the enterprising chefs. They really look sumptuous but actually very affordable and the servings are big for us typical Pinoys.  


Domz Food House comes with a glossary of Ilocano food they are serving to Mezza Norte foodies
I got roast beef from Chef Anton but was not able to take a close-up photograph. Guess why? When I held it closer, the smell hit my nostril that triggered my mouth to open wide..there went the roast.


The chef proudly presents his roasts and his attendant.


In one corner, Mark Gonzales of Grilled asked me what I like. I could not tell which among the array of barbecued street foods I would take. 


Mark Gonzales' grilled galore.  Bring your tropa here for a binge of authentic Pinoy street foods



Behind his stall is their busy grill station where most of the smoke in Mezza Norte came from, sending smoke signal to Mezza Norte's guests to come and have some. I end up with the chicharon butsi ng manok.



Chicharon butsi ng manok. I made sure nobody else could touch it when I get home. So I could have a close-up photo before it would disappear in seconds into my guts

All the stuffs are typically Pinoy pulutan in orange, yellow, and brown. The sight of authentic Pinoy street foods would long you to have a bottle or can of beer or softdrink (soda). Unfortunately, alcoholic beverage are not served here. But don't worry, Edgy's chilled bottled fresh fruit drinks are just around the tent.


Edgy's Drink (of Edgy's Food Trip) are freshly made and chilled. The choices are winter melon, strawberry, dalandan, melon, and buko-pandan juices.


You can have more chilled drinks displayed in towering tubes at the The Juice Bar. The ice-cold juice is poured through the tower-tube's faucet and served in disposable plastic glasses with cover and sipping straw.


The towering tubes of The Juice Bar



Or have a palamig (cold drinks) from Lariza's Native Juice, the kind we found in street corners in Metro Manila.


Lariza's Native Juices

Though there were free taste tests and complimentary samples, the food are too inviting and intriguing that I always end up asking the food attendant to pack a serving as "take out" so I could have it photographed back home. Guess what happened when I got home, my wife and kids devoured my take home goodies before I could tell them the first reason why I brought home those stuffs - they too failed to resist the urge to hurriedly eat the food from Mezza Norte. 


Meet the Sultry chef in sassy apron, Ms. Ivory Yat of Master Chef Philippines
The charm of Sultry chef caught my attention. Here you will find the sultry chef in sassy apron, Ms. Ivory Yat of Master Chef Philippines. Not just sultry but also sweet, hot and moist (should I tell you too about the food she serves, LOL!). Hers is yum-yum-yummy! (Yeah, I mean the stuffs she serves)



Moments before I stepped out of the Mezza Norte's tents, I took a good look around and saw diners and foodies freely go around.




There were lots of tables and chairs for those who like to stay to savor their finds, chat or express their bonding together through nice foods and drinks.        




The air remains warm with people, warm foods, and cold refreshing drinks and delectable desserts.  

My other finds are the following:


The Roasterrific's Peking-style roasted chicken, and herb-a-licious lechon, served with steamed/boiled  plain rice and special dipping sauces

  
Peking-style roasted chicken. photo credit to Roasterrific and Mercato Centrale
herb-a-licious lechon. Photo credit to Roasterrific and Mercato Centrale
special dipping sauces. Photo credit to Roasterrific and Mercato Centrale

The intriguing mocha ice cream balls of Mochiko with different flavors


mochi photos above are courtesy of www.mochikomochi.com and Mercato Centrale

 

Take note that "Good things come to those who wait." Thus, allowing the ice cream ball to thaw slightly will reward you the luscious taste.   





Spend your weekend with affordable nice foods at Mezza Norte. If you are from the south, you can take the MRT ride to Trinoma.From the north, take the bus ride withroute that goes through north EDSA. There are parking spaces at the Trinoma and SM North EDSA for those who would bring their cars.




Operating hours of Mezza Norte is from 4:00pm to 3:00am every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is located at Trinoma’s Mindanao open parking at the corner of Mindanao Avenue and North Avenue.

“Mezza Norte complements Trinoma’s great shopping, dining and entertainment experience. We are also strategically located at the heart of Quezon City where we can best serve Northern Manila’s food enthusiasts,” said RJ Ledesma, co-founder of the Mercato Centrale Group. "We would love to bring the Mercato Centrale experience to different parts of the Philippines and become an integral part in promoting food tourism for the country," declared he.

Mezza Norte features an extensive selection of unique, mouth-watering and affordable goodies which include grilled foods, Pinoy street foods, sandwiches, burgers, rice meals, fruit shakes, dimsums, kebabs, tacos, ice creams, cakes, pastries and a whole lot more.

For those interested to become food vendors in Mezza Norte or any of Mercato Centrale Group’s food markets, please email admin@mercatocentrale.ph or text (+63)9178401152.

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About Edgie Polistico

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary - the first and only published Pinoy food and dining dictionary. The book won the national category as Philippine's finalist to the Gourmand Awards international food writing contest in Yantai, Shandong, China to be held in May 2017. A lexicographer who began to compile and wrote his first vernacular dictionaries at the age of 14. A collector of contemporary and vintage dictionaries, both local and foreign.  A linguist studying the many dialects you can find in the Philippines. A blogger maintaining at least 11 blog sites. A researcher of food culture, Pinoy pop culture, interesting places and structures in the country, local transportations, Philippine churches and other places of worship of any religion and beliefs, local anthropology, socio-cultural issues, and whatever interesting about the Philippines and the Filipinos. A visual artist who uses pencil, watercolor, pen, and fingers as medium of expression - once an editorial cartoonist of local broadsheet and campus publications. Created his first hand-made comics magazine and participated the Marian watercolor exhibits in his hometown parish while in high school. A photographer taking at least 2K photos a week in the field while on travel for almost two decades now.  A poet hiding most of the time. A low-profile historian studying continually the origins, history, and progression of many places in the country. A computer programmer who wrote the codes and designed the software application of his digital Cebuano-English dictionary and distributed it for free around the country and over the internet. A traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints anywhere in the country.  A holder of professional driver's license once took the wheels for UBER. A home cook who loves to enhance, modify, elaborate, experiment if not invent more of  Pinoy dishes and delicacies.

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