Dining Out

Sunday morning at the Market at the Hills

Along Temple Drive in Quezon City is a weekend market called Market at the Hills. It opens at 7.00 a.m. and closes at 4.00 p.m. We were there a little after 7 yesterday, ahead of the crowds so we were able to enjoy breakfast and leisurely shopping. There were a lot of food items for sale; I will only write about those that we bought and tried.

Let’s start with breakfast.

casaveneracion.com Chicken and roast beef empanadas

I ordered two baked empanadas — chicken a la king and roast beef — from Something Different Bakeshop, one for myself and the other for my husband. We each ate half of each so we could try both. The chicken a la king empanada was so-so, the flaky and sweetish crust overpowering the subtly flavored filling. But the roast beef empanada deserves a hearty recommendation. Among the many other products of Something Different Bakeshop, we bought a pack each of asado dinner rolls and adobo dinner rolls both of which we brought home. They were delicious.

Because Sunday is Dad’s turn to cook day, when my husband Speedy saw the cured meats and ready-to-eat food items for sale, he bought several items to make his Sunday chore easier.

casaveneracion.com Chicken embutido

From Long Island Deli, he bought two pieces of chicken embutido which we had for lunch.

casaveneracion.com Slicing a whole chicken embutido

All he had to do was slice them.

casaveneracion.com A plate of chicken embutido

That’s just one piece of chicken embutido on the plate. Speedy served both and we had more than enough for six people. They were good. Not earth-shakingly good but good enough for that price. You can always make your chicken embutido at home, you know? It’s not as complicated as you may think. Click here for the recipe in the noche buena blog section.

We’re no strangers to the products of Manna Bakery. I’ve written about them before after we discovered the main outlet at Loyola Heights quite by accident several months ago. Yesterday, though, was the first time we tried their focaccia. We bought three varieties and had them for mid-morning snack when we got home a little past 9.00.

First, we tried the pesto focaccia…

casaveneracion.com Pesto focaccia

Then, the rosemary dill and cheese focaccia…

casaveneracion.com Cheese and rosemary focaccia

And, finally, the runaway winner — the blueberry focaccia.

casaveneracion.com Blueberry focaccia

All were excellent — the bread soft and not too oily. The addition of herbs and cheese in focaccia is traditional but blueberries? I tell you, it was surprisingly amazing!

For those with special needs, Manna Bakery products are conveniently labeled so that you can avoid those with ingredients that the doctor told you to stay away from.

casaveneracion.com Manna Bakery

You’re probably thinking at this point: Surely you bought sweets for dessert… Of course, we did. So, click on to page 3.

We bought cakes and pastries from two outlets: Med Chef and Dessert Solutions. Let’s start with Med Chef.

Med Chef was giving some free taste tests, we liked the creme brulee and moist chocolate cake so I ordered one of each. Then, I saw something with mangoes on it and I just had to buy one for my younger daughter Alex who just adores anything with mango.

casaveneracion.com Mango tart

It was really hard limiting my purchases to three because all their cakes looked delectable but we figured we could always go back and try the others next time.

The verdict? Alex loved the chocolate mango torte (in the photo) but I thought it would have been even better if mangoes were in season. The mangoes were too tart for my taste but then it’s really hard to find sweet mangoes at this time of the year.

The creme brulee with pieces of bread in it was okay although I would have much better preferred it without the bread.

The hands-down winner was the moist chocolate cake. Superlative! The cake was truly soft and moist, the frosting, fudgy, and the level of sweetness was just right.

I mentioned an outlet called Dessert Solutions, didn’t I? That’s their cake display below.

casaveneracion.com Tiramisu and chocolate mousse from Dessert Solutions

What I really wanted was their chocolate mousse. But I already bought Med Chef’s moist chocolate cake and I thought that another chocolate cake on the same day was too much. So I bought the tiramisu instead. Made with real sponge cake rather than the more commercial lady fingers. But I would have been happier if there was more cheese in it.

Anyway, we’re going back to the Market at the Hills and we’ll bring the girls with us next time. My target? The double decker brownies. We tasted a sample already and my, my, my… I am bringing home a box of the stuff next time. :)

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