Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NOEL Bazaar, Ilocos Empanada, Taiwan Sausage

I was supposed to write this post this morning but I got sidetracked by the news that Dr. Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho are planning to tie the knot. Apparently, Hayden Kho "unintentionally" gave away this news through  Boy Abunda's show. Naturally, media personalities were all agog about it. But when asked by a reporter about it, he declined to give a comment. Dr. Belo on the other hand said they are talking about it but she didn't give details. Anyway, it has nothing to do with this but post but Igot curious so....

So the real post it about the NOEL Bazaar 2014 happening now at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. It will be up to November 30. Anyway, I went there last night (Tuesday). I decided to go there that early because I know that not a lot of people are in a shopping mood already plus its a weekday so I know I'll have plenty of space to move about and enjoy "window shopping". True enough, there aren't a lot of people there. One can really walk freely along the aisles and look carefully at the stuff on sale.

My real purpose wasn't really to look for things to buy. My goal was to check out the food stalls. I had a blast looking at the different food stuff on sale. And I was very happy because there were two stalls selling Ilocos Empanada. I first tried Victoria's because they had more seats available. I had no idea which of the two is better so my only criterion was the availability of seats. I ordered double meat worht P 80. The lady at Victoria's asked me if I was willing to wait for about 5 minutes while they prepare my order. The regular variety is the one that's always available but I likedouble meat so I said I was willing to wait. In my mind, I  like that better because that would mean the empanada would be hot and crispy. When it was given to me, I had the strong urge to bite right away but I ha to control myself coz I new it was really hot. wasreally very good. The crust was very crispy. It wasn't very thick which is actually the way I want it. The meat is also delicious - very flavorful. And the vegetables are good as well. Of course any Ilocos Empanada would not be complete with the Sukang Iloko. It made the empanada even more yummy. I really took time to savor the goodness of the empanada. I normally eat fast but that time I took it real slow.

Aside from empanada, I was also looking for the stall that sells Taiwan Sausage. I tasted one some years ago but I didn't find any store that sells the same last year and the year before that. This year I was lucky. There's a store that sells Taiwan Sausages along with Roast Chicken. I ordered one (P 35) right after I ate the empanada. Sorry I couldn't resist. I was really trying to stop myself because I already made a decision that I will have another empanada before I go home that night. But I couldn't. Anyway, good thing I tried the sausage because it was tasty. I asked the guy at the counter if they have the coffee-flavored variety but he said he didn't know any. Well, the one that I tired before had that version. I was hoping I'd be able to sample that again but unfortunately it's not in their menu. But it's fine because at least Taiwan sausage is back.

Then I walked around to look at the goodies available. They are the usual stuff sold in bazaars but I noticed that there are less accessories stores now than before. There are also more stalls selling very affordable clothes like blouses for ladies that go as low as P 50. Then there's the stall that sells shoes for P350 and P300, men's and women's respectively. I've been buying shoes from them in last two years. The one I bought two years ago is an orange pair that I still use up to this day. It was priced at P350 but I was told if I'd buy two pairs, I could get it at P300 a pair. Last year, the tag says P350 also but I got mine at P300. That was on the last week of the NOEL Bazaar and many people were shopping that's why they probably took P50 off. Maybe they got tired of being asked for "tawad". The wekk after that, they were back for the World Christmas Bazaar. They were there again and the price was back at P350. Last night I asked for P50 off but the sales ladies said no. They said if the owner was there he could  probably give me a discount but he wasn't so I paid P350. I got a green pair.

Aside from the green pair of semi-high cut shoes Ialso bought the now-famous wire protector. It's the coiled wire that you coil around your cellphone charger or earphones to protect it. I got 6 protectors for P100. I got them in several colors. It's sad I didn't learn about the wire protector. If I did, I could have prevented the early departure of my Samsung earphone. Lol. It got cut when it got entangle with the zipper of my bag.

Anyway, let's go back to food. Here are the list of food available.
1. There are about three stalls that sell lechon - two of which offer the famous Lechon Cebu (there's Yobob's).
2. There are also several stalls that sell noodles (uncooked). All I think offer a pack for P100 (severals packs inside that hundred peso-pack). All offer "free-taste". Please don't judge me but I tried one.
3. There are sausage stalls too. I think there are 5.
4. Cupcakes and cookies are available in various stalls.
5. There's also one stall that sells packs of sardines and luncheon meat. If you're planning to donate to churches and charitable intitutions, you can buy here because they have some good deals.
6. packed biscuits, instant noodles, bottled condiments, etc.

But wait! Did I tell that I had the intention of eating another Ilocos Empanada? Well, I did. The plan was to go back toVIctoria's again since I liked their empanada anyway. But I felt the need to try the other one too so I could compare. So I also got double meat for the same price. When I ordered,  there was already one available. She got it from the rack where they put it to let the oil drip. It was still hot when the girl gave it to me so I thought it was probably newly prepared. What's nice was it was bigger than the first I tried. But I wasn't really as happy. The crust was not as crispy - it was thicker. The meat was good but the vegetables were overcooked. And when I reached the end (the bottom), it was too oily. It wasn't bad. In fact, if I didn't try the one at Victoria's before, this would have been good. I would have been satisfied. But hands down, Victoria's Ilocos Empanada was better.

I'll be at the NOEL Bazaar again tonight. I'll have that empanada again. Plus there are still several kinds of sausages to try, lol. Entrance is FREE Mondays toWednesdays. I hope it's still true next week.

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