Finally, it’s that time of the year! The festive air is everywhere: from the television ads to every shop’s display…it’s the season to be jolly!
Araneta Center Cubao is not one to be outdone. With the launch and lighting of the Giant Christmas Tree last November 4, 2016, the Holidays has indeed graced one of Quezon City’s major shopping districts.
Now, the celebration would not be complete without food, am I correct? What better way to infuse this to the tradition other than setting a Banchetto right at the foot of the Giant Christmas Tree? Last weekend, I have submitted to sweet ambrosia and this you can do too! Here’s a quick guide to help you decide where to go and what to eat at the Banchetto:
There is a very good reason why I placed this stall on number 1: their food is to die for and, not to mention, super affordable. They serve grilled chicken, grilled pork, seafood, even cold cuts, all ranging from 50.00 Php to 100.00 Php and that is already with rice. Their staff is very commendable as they are very attentive and friendly, plus a very strong recall. They remembered my love for squid and chicharong bulaklak! Since Banchetto is very crowded, they’ll even go the extra mile to find you a seat so you can eat in peace.
This is a home away from home. Boiling Spices serves delectable lutong bahay! Now this is not just your typical ulams but they ensure to add a touch of the Bicolano taste in every dish. Their Kinalas and Laing are my absolute favorite. You can savor every spices in a meal which will make you exclaim: “Truly uragon!”
If we have a stall from the South, the North also has their own entry. Bagnet Rice Patong promises to captivate your senses with their longganisa and bagnet meals that are cooked as you order.This is to retain the oh-so-mouth-watering crispiness and to further delight you with the sizzling goodness.
Up for the strong yet alluring Mediterranean taste? If so, drop by King Michael Shawarma’s stall. You are not just going to be hooked by the big, hefty slab of meat displayed on their stall, you’ll also be amazed by the fancy moves of the staff while they chop and slice as they prepare your meal.
Have you every tried eating boneless lechon? If not, you are missing half of your dear life. The tasty goodness cooked meticulously and rolled neatly is something you might want to have in your Noche Buena and Media Noche table. You can have a try and order their rice meal at 120 Php. Better yet, pre-order this Christmas and New Year pleasure!
6. Villa’s House of Crispy
The stall is every binge-eater’s paradise. As the name implies, Villa’s House of Crispy is everything deep fried! Their chicken skin is definitely a win. What’s amazing is that they have this magic on preserving the crunchiness of their food despite being exposed to air for a prolonged period of time. Yummy!
7. All About Fried
From kwek-kwek to squidballs, down to chicken skin and lumpia, All About Fried is all complete! Forget running after the kuya who roams your street every afternoon! Visit the stall and satisfy your streetfood cravings!
Their food stall is located perpendicular to the giant San Miguel Pale Pilsen. If Amang’s Grill is affordable and heavenly, Smoke and Roast comes really and dangerously close second. If you love isaw, liempo, and lechon belly, then prepare to be thrilled by Smoke and Roast’s food. Their gizzard and liver are two dish worth mentioning! Mouthwatering!
9. Pizza and Pasta
Think Sbarro. Think Yellow Cab. Think chunky slabs of this heavenly Italian offering! This stall serves humongous pizza slices and their variety of flavors is anything but limited! They have an extensive menu and with just a bite you’ll notice that their pizza is not just. It has pasta filling! OMG!
What is Christmas without Bibingka? It’s so hard to imagine this time of the year without this tradition. Now this stall has improved and tweaked the official Christmas kakanin to fit every millenial’s taste. They have buko bibingka, leche flan bibingka, and the ever coveted Nutella Bibingka.
11. Red Wings
I usually veer away from buffalo wings as the size of serving does not always give justice to the price. However, the buffalo wings of Red Wings is different. It is absolutely generous! You can even smell the rub from afar! One thing that stopped me in my tracks, though, is their unusually large patty. Fat, juicy, and, I kid you not, distracting to the senses. I will bet you a 100 pesos if this does not satisfy your palate!
12. Piper’s Pan
For those done with their savory endeavors, you may be like me, craving for sweets. Piper’s Pan is the solution to this yearning. They promise to thrill your taste buds with their scrumptious and rich cakes all at 3 for 100 Php.
Now this stall serves your usual Banchetto food. I try to stay away from them since they are really hostile for a food business entity. I was taking pictures of their food while deciding on what to order when the woman on my not-so-good photo demanded to know why I was taking pictures and what it’s for. When I told her that it is for a blog she asked me to leave as she has a lot of customers who will “buy”. Ok then. Very rude and disgusting customer service.
14. Bumble Tea Place
It is a Banchetto fact that sodas and bottled water are the only drinks available. Thank goodness to Bumble Tea Place, there is option for variation. They have milk tea and fruit tea. A unique way to go is to try their Pulpy Aloe Juice. I didn’t, though. I guess I was too caught up with their Strawberry Chill Tea! Ever tasted red tea? This is waaaay better.
15. Coco Vida
Another natural way to go is to have fruit shakes. This may be the reason why their stall is being swarmed by people all the time. A definite must-try is their Mango Graham Juice.
16. Tuna Town
It is so very easy to acquire a significant rise of blood pressure whenever you visit a food park. Thank goodness for stalls like Tuna Town, which opted to serve an alternative option of fish! Their bangus is big and generous and if you are not really a fan of seafood, they can always serve you the usual inihaw na liempo.
The Araneta Center Banchetto is one divine stop for your full-flavored adventures. For Cubao dwellers, such as I, isn’t this an inexpensive yet rewarding way to celebrate the season? Have an eternal affair with good food and start your journey here. Find out what I am raving about! Don’t forget to tell us your experience on the comments section.