Tag Archives: J.Anne Gonzales

Rise of the Reichelt

Azkals and Global FC right winger Patrick Reichelt has been around since ’12, but it was only recently that we got the chance to finally corner (not the kick) him for an interview. Being gracious to our half German guest, we resisted questions on sauerkraut and pumpernickel, and instead focused on the important matters, his football career and what Rammstein (the band) meant when they were singing “Du hast” over and over.  

With questions answered and more insight on how Patrick Reichelt plays his game, we came up with Rise of the Reichelt. An interesting read for those who have yet to discover Patrick, and all the more reason to root for Global FC at the Emperador Stadium – no alcohol pun intended.

No sausages were harmed or eaten during this interview, so please proceed to the nearest deli in case you are feeling hungry. 

Again, the article is first seen in the Azkals website, co-authored by domo-kun (Miji Gonzales).

Du hast,

J. Anne

PAtrick Reichelt Miji J. Anne Gonzales

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Moving Out: The Lazy Black Cat

Let it be known that Lazy Black Cat is moving to another address (The Lazy Black Cat), or as they call it in the online realm: migrated to a different URL. It does have a bit of an edgy IT feel to it, but this was a result of numerous Google keywords just to get the move in progress and to understand the nitty gritty of the blogger vocabulary.

Don’t think that the Wordpress account will be suspended, deleted and just erased from existence, I’ve decided to keep it as a catty chalkboard of some sort. And no, I’ve not committed any cyber crimes in this domain.

As for the other blog, with a “THE” thanks to The Social Network, I’ve decided to give it a try. Blogger is a whole new universe with a different set of “buttons” and color scheme, and I assure myself more sleepless nights in progress.

Kampai!

And do to celebrate the sleepless nights, why not make a toast with tea while we’re at it?

To the new B!

No goodbyes, just see you in the neighborhood!

J.Anne Gonzales (aka Lazy Black Cat, with and without the THE)

Sneak Peek!

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Va Va Bene!

Situated on the second floor of a Petron gas station (EDSA cor. Pasay Road), Va Bene Italian Deli is far from the usual diesel delight that truck drivers fancy. If any, it’s all that fancy which makes it the pitstop for anyone who enjoys authentic Italian fares. Harboring an atmosphere that closely resembles an Italian joint—with oranges in plain sight, ciao ItaliaVa Bene might as well serve dishes straight from the kitchens of Italy, with its handmade tagliatelle and gnocchi to freshly concocted pasta sauces.

Fresh pasta is indeed for sale, like the pappardelle, olive fettucine and cappellacci, among others—a glorious catch for those who dabble in kitchen wizardry but as for yours truly, the menu holds the greater value.

The menu selection is not that vast, but contains enough to create indecision as the order of the day: a toss among Ricotta Eggplant Tortellini, Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce, Arugula, & Wild Nuts and Organic Eggs Tagliolini with Portobello mushrooms, white wine cream sauce and truffle oil. The last item won, on account of the mushrooms and yes, partly because of the truffle oil.

Complimentary bruschetta with olive-tomato salsa was served—another feast for the hungry. Crisp and light, it was a great opener for a grandioso Italian lunch.

Va Bene J.Anne Gonzales

Organic Eggs Tagliolini

The Organic Eggs Tagliolini came with a gorgeous whiff of that truffle oil-mushroom combination that could compete with the aroma of espresso anytime. The truffle studded presentation came to a close when hunger finally struck us to reality. Forking through the tagliolini was quite the experience— the chewy and freshly made noodles provided a filling and comforting sensation that shattered any other craving.

The sauce was exuding with the flavors of mushrooms and truffle oil, an organic eggs high was certainly inescapable. The exuberant flavor coupled with the satiating pasta made for a bellissisima meal, I could not ask for more—except maybe another visit to have a try of that ricotta eggplant tortellini which I heard was va va va bene!

Dessert was not to be missed with this triple threat: Prosecco & Raspberries Parfait with White Chocolate Mousse, Homemade Profiteroles with Caramelized Walnuts, Vanilla Ice Cream, & Chocolate, and Mango Pannacotta.

Cinco Profiteroles

5 miniature profiteroles decorated the flanks of the plate, delectable and light. A charitable nature may concede to sharing but for the many, elude the generosity, quite understandably.

Jenina Gonzales Va Bene

Mango Pannacotta

Sweet Mango chunks top the pannacotta which holds a pudding like viscosity that many may enjoy. Fans of its local counterpart the leche flan will love this cooked cream, but others may turn to the more solid desserts for that much anticipated crunch.

Prosecco and Raspberry Parfait

The Prosecco and Raspberries Parfait promised a white chocolate aspect, but the sweet section was drowned by the tartness of the raspberry layer, not to mention that generous drizzle of the prosecco. Fruit and wine dictated the overall flavor of the dish, coupled with the frozen punch that can relieve any warm day. A berry comfort for the forlorn with a bit of liquor to cap off a fantastic meal.

With this, Va Bene has become my next favorite Italian phrase, next to buon apetito! On warm days when a comforting meal is necessitated, Va Bene certainly pushes through with its gourmet Italian offerings. Tagliatelle, squid ink pasta and cannelloni—they’re all in attendance here. Magnifico!

I will never look at a gas station the same way again.

Ciao!

– J.Anne Gonzales

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Hungry for Football: The Azkals Sports Bar

 

Azkals Sports bar by Jenina Gonzales

Kick some balls, score a goal and get a taste of Misagh-lpicao with a Dan-dy Shandy! Now that’s something you can expect to say after a visit to the Azkals Sports Bar at The Fort Strip.

How about pairing a Chieffy Southwest Jalapeno Burger with an Alexander the Shake and Carlie-Mari on the side, while staring at a greater than life-sized Chieffy Caligdong striking a pose on the wall?

Azkals Sports Bar by J.Anne Gonzales

A haven for the hungry and home of the Azkals and football fans, aficionados or just families brooding in the area, the Azkals Sports Bar combines the vibrant bar atmosphere with fantastic food—topped with that football vibe that has been sweeping the country stronger than any Premier League move. No doubt the Philippine National Football Team has captured a goal in every Filipino’s heart, and the sports bar just provides a common venue for futboleros and families to dine, chill, shoot goals, and of course, watch the games on screen.

“It’s a place for families to bond. Dad can have a beer, while the kids can have an Azkals Sundae,” explains Mel Macasaquit, owner and CEO of the Azkals Sports Bar. Otherwise known as Melmac, proprietor of the famous Toyz Bar chain, we can certainly expect innovative and grand ideas to start pouring in this place faster than a referee can raise a red card.

The menu on its own is a smorgasbord of familiar names and appetizing dish monikers, from the Rafa-jita Roll-ups, Dan’s Mushroom Burger to the Phil-ly Cheese Steak Sandwich and that perfect sounding Cobb Gier Salad. With the latter named aptly, ordering salad has never been this exciting, Rob Gier-inspired! Having suggested Bana-Nate Split may be met with raised brows, but won’t fans have a kick out of this fabulous sounding dessert? I surely would.

Even the Azkaleros have found a big time portion in the menu: the Ultimate Azkalero Club Sandwich. Join the club, why not? It is, after all, a fantastic serving, guaranteed to help you perfect that bicycle kick.

AZkals Sports Bar by J.Anne

Having recently raided a soccer field (or someone’s secret garden), the sports bar is adorned with nets, a ton of soccer balls that would make any striker cry with envy and bean bags (with soccer ball designs) that will make you wish you could move in the place. Don’t think that the goalkeepers have all the fun. Shoot goals on the net, while having a drinking spree with your buds, blokes or new acquaintances. This is the spirit of the Azkals Sports Bar—as we root for the same team, thus we have the right to kick some balls.

If you find the net in your nearest field missing, you know where it is. I must say though, it’s being put to good use, so please don’t take it back.

Instead, have some Classic Wingers and a Miji’s (the drink, not my hermano) at the bar. Welcome home, mate!

 I certainly am.

– Jenina Gonzales

*The Azkals Sports Bar was officially launched last February 29, to celebrate Leap Year and coincide with the Azkals vs Malaysia game where we ended in a draw. Already in operation, the sports bar is in its soft opening phase and reservations are very much welcome, no corner kick required. You can check out their Twitter (@azkalsportsbar) and Facebook (Azkals Sports Bar) pages for more details. Time to start practicing your headers, blokes.

 

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Double Take: Marvin and Marwin Angeles

Marvin Marwin Angeles J.Anne Gonzales

While getting an interview with Manchester United’s da Silva twins is close to having Wayne Rooney bring us fish and chips for dinner, at least we had the bravissimo chance of interviewing Philippine football’s very own set of twins: Marvin and Marwin Angeles.

As a linguistic bonus, the twins speak Tagalog, English and Italian, so there was no need to get all “Buon giorno” and “Capisce?” with them. Grazie mille! As in!

While many may contest their nationality, the boys are Fil-Italian (because they were born in Italy), and upon closer look at their birth certificates (okay, just kidding, someone corrected us) Marwin is older than Marvin.  

Read more about them at Double Take: Marvin and Marwin Angeles. First seen at the Azkals website, powered by my ever resourceful brother who loves Chicken Joy.

Who’s next? You tell us.

Ciao!

J. Anne / Jenina Gonzales

Double Take by J. Anne Gonzales

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Lazy Black Cat: Year One

Lazy Black Cat

Nine lives aside, the Lazy Black Cat is about to reach her first year in blogging existence.  Always hungry I’ve always been, but idle moments have been spent dawdling on a hodge-podge of things that have entered my radar of interest: football, music and grammar. If there is perhaps an ambition I could cite, it would be to dilly-dally and to eat while I’m at it.

To celebrate Year One, don’t expect me to eat more, as I’ve been eating more than my share, and we cannot afford to contribute further to this country’s poor denizens. Instead, I’ve decided to unleash something uncharacteristic and less catty of me—the real me, like the person.

A paw and a name, why not?

After all, it has been decided that the Lazy Black Cat may always be hungry, but will have to well, dilly-dally. As much as it pains me, here goes.

Welcome to the Lazy Black Cat. On this planet, I am also known as J. Anne Gonzales: hungry, catty and stubborn girl, kitchen fire hazard, frugal diner, corporate beagle, pesky insomniac, part vegetarian, and future vegan.

Manila is my hometown, but I do have delusional hopes of living in Tokyo, dining in Greece and retiring in California. My ipod is my constant companion, which provides alternative-indie-rock sustenance. Whoever loves “pop” is banned from my mental list of acquaintances and reduced to a faceless forehead.

I repel red meat from my diet and hope to join PETA once I can finally get over this egg addiction, but while I am still attached to chicken nuggets and ice cream, being part vegetarian brings me closer to this vegan goal. I am willing to denounce my sanity in pursuit of blissful desserts and sweet creations. Those that serve shoddy meals ought to be thrown down the drain, and I will not be afraid to say so.

Football is a fascination that Mizu Luffy brought into existence and somehow piqued my sporting curiosity. To make this claim legit, I name Wayne Rooney of Manchester United as my player of preference and would not hear of any insults or disputes to this blunt choice. While I do not play football yet, it is another goal of mine to perfect the bicycle kick—no goal necessary.

I suppose this is enough to celebrate Year One. It may not be as grand as alleviating poverty or curing cancer, but it’s the thought that counts, and I have a lot of that.

So instead of meowciao!

J. Anne / Jenina Gonzales

P.S.

If there comes the need to contact me, ask further questions, inquire about things that Google cannot seem to find an answer for or perhaps treat me to an awesome meal (how can I say no to that?) then you may reach me at jenina_g@yahoo.com.

There’s also my  Twitter account, if you find the e-mail a tad too corporate: @LazyBlack_Cat

 

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Got Tea? Top 6 Milk Teas in Manila v.2

As I read my previous top milk tea list (Got Tea? Top 5 Milk Tea Joints in Metro Manila), circa September 2011, I cringe and apologize for showing inexperience and passing off this passé list as a work of a tea connoisseur. Evil dazes and big question marks met my shallow judgment, and I admit that Kozui made it to the list because I found its green tea-inspired theme so kawaii (“cute”)!

The superficiality and naiveté have got to end, and so I proudly bring out the 2011 Top 6 Milk Teas in Manila v2. No list is perfect, as no taste buds are alike, so treat it as a guide to this cat’s pet drinks to end 2011. Before you read on though, please not that I am disorganized, hate tapioca pearls, have a propensity to misquote prices and detest sugar, extra sweetness and creaminess—which my list will considerably reflect. Other than these flaws, tea is my next favorite drink to water, and so I wage war to those who screw up this life-changing brew.

Chatime Philippines Jenina Gonzales

1.       CHATIME  

Chatime remains as the undisputed milk tea provider as it combines price, flavor, variety and location. The customizable ice setting brings bias to my decision, being constantly allergic to ice-dominant drinks. Chatime’s got mousse, frap-like concoctions, milk teas, fruit teas and the add-ons that you’d expect from the typical milk tea fares—in large servings, so P100 already ensures one mighty burp. A loyal patron of the matcha mousse with pudding, I’d brave storms just to order this comfort drink. With an extensive offering that includes interesting and novel categories such as QQ Jelly and Oriental Pop Teas, I ought to live beside a branch. With newly opened branch in Unimartuh-oh, Happy Lemon’s got one less reason to be happy.

Serenitea Jenina Gonzales

2.     SERENITEA

Serenitea brews teas right in front of you, so as far as “organic” goes this has got to be the closest to Mother Nature’s green heart. With roasted rice and whatnot topping the drinks, there’s the feeling of natural goodness that every cup delivers. Going 0% sweetness wouldn’t be a problem because the tea’s flavor is strong, vibrant and soothing. Spying the Serenitea branch along Jupiter was awesome sight for the Makati dwellers and workers, who need a break from the sugar-infested drinks and syrupy fares of the central business district. Genmaicha Tea Latte makes my top list, and with pepper tofu, potato and chicken chops in the menu, not to mention Amaretto Tea Latte, there’s always a reason to find peace in Serenitea. 

Gong Cha Philippines J.Anne Gonzales

3.       GONG CHA 

Gong Cha collects lines for a living because every Gong Cha branch is perhaps never without a patron. Gong Cha offers milk teas, even “creams” up drinks for the non tea lover and offers fancy combinations (creative mixes) for the adventurous. Youngsters and yuppies may find delight in the ice cream and coffee offerings, so it has evolved into a tea-coffee place that can’t do without cream. Gong Cha’s tagline is probably: Location, location, location—and has effectively lived by this mantra. Properly situated, even in foodcourts, no one can ever “not” find Gong Cha. It finds you, and so popularity vote goes to this one.

Happy Lemon Philippines Jenina Gonzales

4.       HAPPY LEMON  

This will sound very immature but I have to say it still: Chris Tiu’s milk tea place. Chris Tiu + kawaii-sounding drink names in that signature smiley cup are enough to send giggly girls flocking to Happy Lemon. In Eastwood, Greenhills, etc. and soon in Trinoma, expect kids to arrive in hordes and sample the “rock salt and cheese” everyone’s talking about. The fancy names do live up to their expectations and produce fun and delightful drinks. I’ve found much love with my Matcha faves (matcha with adzuki bean and pudding and matcha with malt). From yakult to yogurt and lemon series, there’s a lot more reason to visit Happy Lemon than just basketball and boys.

 Cha Dao Philippines Jenina Gonzales

5.       CHA DAO 

Cha Dao is amazingly cheap, you can expect change for P100—and we’re talking Large with add-ons already! Assam and Wintermelon are crowd pleasers, but you can still expect the common favorites: Green tea, matcha, oolong, chocolate and classic. Why, they even have Kopiko – so very Pinoy!  Black sugar seems to be their not-so-secret ingredient, while the popping bobba as an add-on is sure to be a favorite (count me in). A locally established joint and based mainly in the Quezon City area, now there’s more reason to chill at home. Oh yeah, they deliver too!

Moonleaf J.Anne Gonzales

6.       MOONLEAF TEA HOUSE  

Flying to the moon may be a rare occurrence, but finding a P55 milk tea in Manila isn’t. Moonleaf’s got a pretty simplified menu scheme, 2 price segments (P45 and P55) for the drinks and add-ons—all offered in those XL cups (they’re really huge).  Wintermelon’s still on the list but so is my new favorite Oolong. Don’t be hasty in judging the giant coolers; they contain fabulous and tasty brews of various teas (like Jasmine and Black). Student’s choice award would probably go to Moonleaf as it bests others in terms of price, location (scattered in Diliman area, among other places) and taste (rich in flavor and caffeine). Note for the insomniac: Do not consume after 3pm or you’ll end up a zombie like I did! Note for the students: Now you can party, errrr, study all night!

That’s it for my Best 6 for 2011. I ended up with 6 because I couldn’t choose between Cha Dao and Moonleaf, so I included them both!

Many haters may distrust milk teas and deem them ‘’faddish drinks cloaked in Asian health myths” but since they contain mainly milk, tea, ice and some sweetener, can’t say they’re detrimental to our health either. With inexpensive choices available and unsweetened varieties part of the menus, the appeal is compelling and universal. At least they taste better than coffee (for me), supposedly harbor less calories than frozen yogurt and sit well with the budget friendly.

Milk teas are actually doing some kind of public service by getting the population to drink tea, disguised with fancy names and flavors—but tea nevertheless! That’s some kind of feat for a nation that discriminates vegans, hates anything that taste like leaves and thinks tea is “grandma’s drink.”

All rigth, tea time!

Previous Links:

Top 5 Milk Teas v.1: Got Tea? Top 5 Milk Tea Joints in Metro Manila

Chatime: It’s Cha Time! (Chatime @ SM North)

Happy Lemon: Promenade Picks: BonChon Chicken and Happy Lemon

Gong Cha: Going, Going, Gong Cha!

Cha Dao: Cha Dao To-Go

Moonleaf: Fly me to the Moonleaf Tea House

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It’s Cha Time! (Chatime @ SM North)

Chatime Philippines Jenina Gonzales
There was a time when Happy Lemon single-handedly reigned supreme among the Taiwan-based Manila milk tea joints. Sure we’ve got Serenitea, Kozui and Quickly but they seem clumped in the Greenhills area, quite a distance from the Northern clique. It’s not that I hate going to Greenhills, it’s just that a weekly spree in the area (as much as I love it) can cause quite a dent in my pocket, and a very shallow pocket I have at the moment.

At this time of economic and tea deprivation, a lifesaver finally brews at SM North EDSA. Chatime, properly situated near the entrance of the Sky Dome and just a short walking distance from TriNoma is finally open and ready to dish out our favorite tea drinks!

Craving for taro milk tea or something more exotic like a passion fruit green tea brew—Chatime’s exhaustive menu listing is enough to compete with Happy Lemon, sans the fancy sounding names. Not only can we adjust the sugar settings (100%, 75%, 50%, 30% and zero), we can also choose how much ice to place in our drinks! Pretty neat, considering that half the population is nursing either a sore throat or a cold on account of the monsoon season. 

                                                                                                  

  

  

Always a first choice, I mindlessly selected the Matcha Mousse (large, 50% sugar, 70% ice with P15 pudding = P110), while my brother went for the Oolong Tea Mousse (large, 50% sugar, 70% ice with P15 pudding = P105). Call it sibling revelry, even if for a day. I was first expecting a frap-like concoction, judging from the name “mousse” which ought to have been a no-brainer, but what was served was a gigantic glass of frothy whipped tea swimming with awesome pudding.

At P95, large is well, an abysmal treat for any tea lover. Blending well with matcha or oolong tea, the pudding’s mild sweetness complements the tea’s delicate bitter taste (we did choose 50% – and no regrets, whatsoever).

http://www.maureenscribbles.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/0159-Happy-Lemon-004-green-tea-rock-salt-cheese.jpg

The mousse-froth, as it turns out, is Chatime’s version of the Rock Salt and Cheese of Happy Lemon. The result is a delirious mix of flavors that makes one brilliant, flavorful and gigantic tea drink. Next time (I suppose there definitely will be one), I will try out the 30% sugar, so that I can enjoy more of the “tea” and its kick and less of the sweetness (aka calories).

At a more affordable price than Happy Lemon, a more convenient location than Serenitea and a premium tea selection compared to Quickly (and other cheap milk tea joints), Northern dwellers ought to make time for Chatime. The walk from TriNoma (should you park there like we do) may be quite tedious, but rest assured, the trip home would be on Froth 9.

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Who let the cat out of the bag?

I did. Well, to be more specific: We will.

“Stop being so cryptic,” you might think, so let me go straight to the point. The Lazy Black Cat’s going to strip these snack-time favorites we call “junk foods” bare and spill the beans on their horrendous nutritional labels and chemical-infested chips and pieces.

We need to bring back justice in the junk food universe (which has been harshly contaminated by bad fats and excessive sugar and salt), or else everyone will be flabby and bald by the end of the decade. Calendar check—that’s right—2011 just started. On the off-chance this decade has been christened with an –ing nickname, it sure isn’t synonymous to nutrition.

Anyway, with the nutritional assessment and catty remarks of this self-proclaimed food savant, let’s all hope that we can survive the Terrible 10’s (plausible, right?) and welcome the Roaring 20’s with both legs and kidneys functional. If we do, then consider this blog as having succeeded in its gastronomic mission.

Stay tuned, as this blog will be brewing in no time.

P.S.

I counted 4 clichés—my bad. I confess to being a cliché-holic out of verbal enjoyment. However I will steer clear from these literary embarrassments as much as possible, not to mention suppress the temptation of dishing out cat-related idioms and expressions. In case I do fall for the truism trap, feel free to point them out, so that I can acknowledge your benevolence.

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