Dining Out

Burgers and brownies at Mercato Centrale

I’m not a fan of crowded places but when a blogger-friend asked if I would be interested in selling food stuff one weekend at the Mercato Centrale — just for fun — I figured I should check out the place first.

We went last Sunday after picking up Sam from the condo. Apparently, Mercato Centrale isn’t just about food as an entire tent was solely for non-food sellers. I don’t know if I’d have felt differently if we had arrived hours earlier. We got there after 12.00 noon, the place was packed and we didn’t feel like waiting for a table to be vacated so we could eat there. So, much as I wanted to have bagnet for lunch, we decided to get food items that we could bring to the car where we could eat more comfortably.

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Burgers. There were a number of stalls selling burgers, some so fat and huge that they looked like they belonged to the Man vs. Food TV show, but the ones that got my attention were those being sold by Beurre — not knowing at the time that the girls behind the Beurre are graduates of the same college that my daughters go to.

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The burgers were not exactly cheap at P150 per but they were delicious. Instead of lettuce, there was arugula. There were strips of cucumber, tomato slices, cheese, a special barbecue sauce and caramelized onions. The burgers weren’t overloaded though. There were just enough vegetables and sauces — ketchup, barbecue sauce and mustard — so that none oozed out when one bit into the burger. They weren’t oversized either but one burger and I was happy and full.

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For dessert, I bought a box of assorted brownies. P280 for a dozen, if I remember correctly. The stall was called Madonna’s.

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I wasn’t expecting much, the brownies seemed to be the best option (never mind the overprices pastillas in the adjacent stall) but, surprisingly, the brownies turned out to be scrumptious. Soft and moist (I’d have been even happier if they were a but chewy) with delectable frostings and toppings.

Will I be a seller at Mercato Centrale? Probably not. I really don’t feel comfortable in very crowded places. But, as a foodie, I will be back for sure. And, next time, we’ll come earlier so we’ll be in front of all queues and get to try everything that we fancy. Especially the bagnet.

Mercato Centrale is located at Global City, corner of 30th Street and 9th Avenue, and is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 7.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.

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