Welcome to District 1 (QC), BOXPARK MNL! To grace our ghetto district with a food park is a gracious gastronomic sign!
Northern foodies will finally have options other than Cocoy’s Pares, a Veneto and our string of lechon manok stalls.
For 2 consecutive Saturdays we scoured BoxPark MNL along Congressional Ave. for early dinner fares. Unfortunately we missed Cajita churros on both accounts—so 2 points for Mr. Diggins for being the consistent dessert provider.
Points also for the hasty service, Mr. Diggins, so we start off the gastro-journey with you.
Mr. Diggins serves ice cream with waffles, with 4 topping/flavours to choose from. We consistently bought that Black Bay because it seemed like the best choice.
Come on, can’t go wrong with chocolate popcorn and syrup!
I had tried the Great White as a novel choice, and whilst the pretzels did look pretty, my heart still lingers to the Black Bay. With the very filling waffle, cooked on-the-spot, a good deal at P95!
We normally eat at the Thai Food table, since it has a roof (#Nona) and that cozy corner garden ambience. This explains why most of the purchases went to this stall, but don’t get me wrong, they were all worth it—including the wait!
We loved the Pad Thai since it was quite a steal at P100, had shrimps and loads of tofu. The flavour was acceptably Thai (and not too overwhelming), it was filling on its own and only gluttony would dictate buying from the neighbors. The Thai Fried Rice was the rice counterpart, but I really find noodles the more enjoyable carb option.
The lady cooks the food upon order, which can take some time during peak hours. Luckily Mr. Diggins kept us company during those waiting hunger pangs.
The chicken tenders came from 1957 Chicken Stop and had gravy and cheese dip choices. From the looks of the cheese dip, you could guess it was diluted Cheezee whilst the gravy is the normal one. The chicken tenders were, well, tender and fresh, and partially reminiscent of a slight KFC peppery flavour.
Colonel Frank’s serves hotdog sandwiches with a twist, but my brother was not interested in any innovative venture and just wanted to enjoy a plain dog on the brioche. He got what he wanted (no idea how he communicated this plain jane request), but was not too happy with the bread (he was expecting French flair) and the hotdog (had better)—which is probably why Colonel Frank’s is best enjoyed with the mac and cheese on top.
Pie Guys opened a bit late (or we came too early) so the Mashinator (Pulled Pork) came in during dessert time. With spuds and pie forming the crowning glory, it was comfort food variety that was really filling. We had to bring home the other half of the crown.
Last but not the least is the Mexican place with the longest name: Plaza de Taqueria Mexicana Cantina. The “Taqueria” held quite a queue one early Saturday afternoon because it was one of the few stalls open.
The Taqueria, that day, was quite busy: the orders didn’t come at the same time (forgivable), the girl kept on referring to the enchilada as “chalupa” (so we thought it was the wrong order) and they forgot my fish tacos (but pretended not to).
While I have no idea how the back kitchen operates, I could imagine it was topsy-turvy with folks calling everything and each other “Chalupa!” Kaloka.
While the food items certainly looked lip-smacking delectable, they were more mediocre than their beautiful plating.
The nachos were hmmm-kay and the fish tacos held tiny fish chunks and more salsa. The salsa was spicy great, but the portion was on the pequeno side.
The Quesodilla seemed pretty comfy in its wooden block, but when a slow eater finishes it in a jiffy—you know someone wants to have dessert ASAP!
While I haven’t tried everything in BoxPark MNL (Cajitas huhu), our initial verdict that that we shall come back for Thai Food’s Pad Thai! And if we have room for dessert (wait, we always do!) it’ll be Black Bay by Mr. Diggins.
Goodie, finally a QC foodie destination right along our ghetto Congressional Avenue! Finally a spot on the map!