Sunday, April 27, 2014

Battle of the Brewed (Coffee)

There has been mainstream coffee shops under attack lately like Starbucks, The Coffee Bean, and Seattle's Best. The influx of "third wave" coffee shops make people more snobbish about coffee and look down on these "mainstream" giant coffee shops, but they increase coffee awareness and appreciation in return. We welcome Craft Coffee, Commune, Kuppa, Magnum Opus, Yardstick, and other places I haven't tried yet (no, Epic Cafe, it's not your time yet) with open arms and open wallets.

Well, this is not a review of those places. Yes, these coffee shops serve good coffee by means of good beans and careful handling. This is about the cheapest and most available brewed coffee your money can buy. Brewing your own batch is of course the best and cheapest approach but sometimes you just want to spend money on things like... hmmm, aside from Goody hair elastics, more like... coffee. 

Location: Fisher Mall

Items to be briefly discussed here:
Dunkin' Donuts Brewed Coffee
McDonald's Premium Roast (aka their Brewed Coffee)

DD - 8oz costs Php35; 12oz Php45
McDo - 8oz costs Php25; 12oz Php35

Obviously, McDonald's is cheaper by volume. 

Both use pre-ground coffee beans. McDo says they use 100% pure arabica beans.

(Note: McDonald's use freshly ground beans for their espresso-based drinks but that is a different topic.)

DD Brewed Coffee has thicker drinking plastic part and thicker cup holder, albeit a smaller area covered. DD also has their own creamer (5 grams) and sugar packets while McDonald's has Coffee-Mate (3 grams) for their creamer. (Note: Drinking brewed coffee in its purest form, meaning no sugar nor milk or creamer, is still the best approach.)

Oh, hi, Gus! You're the background shot!
So, what's the main difference? Aside from the price which is the ultimate factor for coffee cheapos like me, McDonald's brewed coffee is thinner and more diluted compared to Dunkin' Donuts' coffee. DD has more body and a stronger taste. What I'm not sure of is the consistency - if DD has this better coffee throughout their branches or is it hit-or-miss like McDonald's, because some branches serve okay-coffee while some branches serve colored hot water. (-.-)

Oh by the way, when you can, brew your own coffee. Invest on beans and a coffee press or drip coffee filter. But on this day, let it be known: Dunkin' Donuts wins the brewed coffee battle. And you should never buy Jollibee brewed coffee. It's just plain sad. And awful. And did I mention awful? Oh yeeeeaaaaah... Their iced coffee? It is instant coffee with ice. 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Shooting Stars with a 9mm

There's always a new thing you can do but just can't because you convince yourself you've got no time for it. Well. Not really. Maybe you're just too lazy to actually try it or maybe just need a push from someone else. 

Or sometimes, all you need is a voucher or coupon from some legit groupon sites. The extra push comes with the expiration date so the mindset of "but I already paid for this sh*t!" actually works. Unless you're really into wasting money.

Stronghold Shooting Range is located at E. Rodriguez, past Tomas Morato when you're coming from St. Luke's side. You can find it on the right side. It's the new shooting range in town so they offer a beginner's course for well, duh, beginners. You get a classroom lecture and then 20 rounds of 9mm pistol fun at 5m and 10m. Plus they have a cafe at the lounge where you can load yourself up with caffeine before you go trigger-happy on the range. 

They pride themselves with being toxic-free but I don't really know about that because it's my first time firing a gun. Squeeze the trigger but before they say it, they clip your shirt first before they let you get a hold of that gun. (Why? It's because the shells might get inside your shirt and you go hysterical while holding a loaded firearm.) I really wanted to try the revolver but I don't think they allow that kind of request on beginner courses.

It was a fun (I'll admit it, it really was!) and interesting experience, so if you've got the time to drag yourself to try new things, a shooting range might prove to be a good place to visit. Another takeaway aside from the experience? Gun education. It's way better than reading about it on Wikipedia. Pew pew pew!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Homemade Grilled Tofu Burger

We have experimented with a number of dishes already and here's one you can whip up easily. I actually didn't do anything nor provided inputs. I just... Stood and stared and showered moral support. Presenting... Tofu Burger! Lalalalab. :D

Pull out the grill and start flipping them burgers!

Lettuce and tomatoes make burgers colorful and tastier, too!
You start with draining the tofu and then mash it a little so you can put it in the ovenette. There it will help you drain / dry the tofu wherein you will now mix in the flavorings and other extenders you can think of such as tissue paper, cardboard, wood shavings, or onions in our case. Tofu. Drain the water, mash it and drain some more. Then mix chopped onions and add the flavoring (we got barbecue!) aside from salt. Put in some flour to make it stick together. So, we're charbroiling it, right? We placed a foil on top then poured in the tofu patty mixture and when it was a little whole already, we started flipping burgers!!!!

Don't forget the cheese! Cheese makes the world go round, and in some situations, it makes lactose intolerant folks's tummy go round as well. <3

Here's the thing, it started with seeing these expensive and interesting finds in the supermarket. Then an idea pops out all of a sudden. So we set out and bought tofu and McCormick flavorings. Maybe I'm just lucky that my friend gets challenged with making vegetarian friendly dishes. I'm not complaining! I'll just be eating and supporting from the sidelines...of the grill. 0:)