Flame It: Keeping the Flame Alive

Sometimes, we take for granted people or things because they've been around for a long time. You know how you get butterflies in your stomach during your first few dates with that special someone? And if it works out, you can't wait to be with that person again – the sooner, the better. Every moment together feels so special. Everything around you seems to disappear or go mute when you two are together. But somehow, the butterflies flutter away once you've grown accustomed to each other and you forget how special s/he is already.

-=-=-=-=-=-=- Yeah, yeah, enough of the cheese. Let's get real. -=-=-=-=-=-=-

          It's much like a fresh, new restaurant that just turned up in the block. Everybody wants to head over there and try it. And if it's good, they'll keep coming back until they get sick of it. But after 6 months, once most of the town has dipped their fingers in that restaurant – posted photos on Instagram and checked in at Foursquare – they'll just pass by it without even second thoughts of stopping by. Only a handful of restaurants get past this stage barely unscathed – those that have passed the test of time and have successfully embedded their names and dishes in people’s taste buds.

            What was once a small diner at Escario Street (now occupied by Surfin’ Ribs), Flame It! has proved to withstand the test of time. Having established themselves, they managed to infiltrate and remain a tenant in the first two major malls of the city – Ayala Center Cebu and SM City Cebu. For those who don’t know Flame It, they are actually the first local brand in Cebu to serve commercial charbroiled burgers. To date, they have been grilling burgers and sausages for 13 years now. I guess the anchor of their longevity through the years is consistency of quality.

            Refusing to be forgotten, they have recently come up with a new line of products to add to their regular menu – Crazy Fries, Chicken Poppers and Honey Mustard Chicken Burger. And why not? These more than familiar snack items are easily a favorite and if you’re not careful, can easily seduce you to order another serving. These aren’t your regular fries though. They’re jazzed up in three different flavors – Sloppy Fries, Chili & Jalapeño Fries, and Cheezy Fries.

Cheezy Fries (P95) and Chili & Jalapeño Fries (P95)
            What's cheesier than cheese-flavored fries? Cheezy Fries - it can't get any cheezier than this. Besides the mainstream cheese powder coating, it's sprinkled with loads of parmesan cheese, smothered with melted cheddar cheese, and topped with shredded cheese. It's a Cheese Overload! This one's definitely for the crazy cheesehead. 

                The Chili & Jalapeño Fries is said to be the bestseller, having a charming tartness from the jalapeños that cuts through the heat of the chili while teasing your taste buds with the cooling melted cheddar cheese. It's also doused with Flame It's very own Flaming Lips Chili Oil that leaves your lips swollen as if from a bite. If you're a "Heat fan", this has your name on it.

Sloppy Fries (P145)

            Hands down, I'd pick the Sloppy Fries over the rest anytime. It's got all the dreamy fried sidings that I'd crave for at Flame It - potato fries, twistee fries, and onion rings! Topped with extra creamy sauce, melted cheddar cheese, AND bacon bits! Sloppy is always best when it comes to such comfort food as these. 

Chicken Poppers (P80)

            As for the Chicken Poppers, I’d say they’re a rustic version of chicken nuggets served with a choice of 3 different dips: cheezy, honey mustard, and garlic mayo. These bite-sized chicken delights come in regular or spicy. I love mildly spicy food so the spicy chicken poppers appealed to me. I find that they are best enjoyed with the honey mustard and garlic mayo dips.

Honey Mustard Chicken Crisp Fillet Burger (P99)

            The Honey Mustard Chicken Crisp Fillet Burger is a more filling snack. The chicken is well-complemented with the honey mustard sauce and is given a light, refreshing touch with the coleslaw salad.   

Mini Sampler (P128)
            If you and your friends are new to Flame It, I suggest you get their Mini Sampler. It’s a melody of their best burger variants all in a platter, er, basket – Bacon, Mushroom & Cheese, Garlic Mayo, Cream Cheese & Garlic, and Chili con Carne. Then you won’t have to be confused and take so long to pick your burger like how I am especially when I’m hungry. 

The Patriot (P185)

                In case you're wondering what they're actual burger looks like, I also wanna share with you a new addition to their premium burgers - The Patriot. It's a premium Angus beef patty smothered with caramelized onions and topped with a slice of American cheese. Indeed, you can taste the genuine Angus beef in a succulent, aromatic patty.

               Since Flame It is strategically located proximally to the cinemas in the malls, I think it'd be a great idea to get these new snack items as movie grub. Those Chicken Poppers could replace popcorn and the Crazy Fries also make good company. 

              In other news, they also deliver and cater since their Mabolo branch is open until 12:00 mn on weekdays and 2:00 a.m on weekends. That's something to add to the midnight cravings list. You can hit them up on their contact numbers listed below for inquiries and orders, and stay updated with their promos through their FB page.                   

Flame It! 

4/F, Ayala Center Cebu (beside Red Mango/Happy Lemon) 
3/F, SM City Cebu (near IMAX Theater and Bowling Center) 
G/F, Robinsons Cybergate, Fuente Osmeña, Cebu City
Juan Luna Avenue, Mabolo, Cebu City

Contact: (032) 260 0709 or 268 0905

FacebookFlame It

To know Cebu, eat Cebu!”

oink oink,

Babe for food

-your BFF in Cebu dining


Dong Juan: A Piece of Cebu in Quezon City, Manila

Hello, dear readers!

How have you been? I know I've been dormant on the blog for so long now. Do forgive me, I've been very occupied with school and Team Brownie. I'm on my final year in university so please bear with me. I hope you'd still look forward to my posts though they will be coming so rarely now. I'll still try to catch up on what I've been wanting to share with you guys. As much as I miss blogging, I am trying my best to excel in and not neglect my academics while juggling my little business on the other hand as well. I'll need all the encouragement and support I can get, so praying for me would be very much appreciated. For after all, none of my accomplishments are of my own strength alone. :)

Anyway, here's a post about one of my favorite Cebu restaurants opening their doors in Manila… Read up and enjoy!


If I'm not mistaken, Dong Juan, a Cebu home-grown restaurant, is one of the most featured restaurants in my blog. I think I have at least three posts about them (I even joined a chili burger eating challenge they once had) and I think that says a lot. I've mentioned before that Dong Juan and I go a long way back. It all started with that first bite of their burger three years ago that was probably the consummation of my "meat-lovingness". It was also one of the first few restaurants I wrote about on this blog.

Needless to say, I have always believed in this restaurant's potential. In its two years of commercially breaking through the Cebu food scene, Dong Juan persists to break boundaries beyond Cebu. Besides the growing empire they've built in Cebu (more or less 10 branches), they also have branches in Bohol, Cagayan, Davao, Pampanga, and most recently, Quezon City in Metro Manila! 

Dong Juan in Mother Ignacia, Quezon City is probably their most beautiful branch to date. It is set in an ancestral house, owned by Severino Reyes -  a Filipino playwright  more popularly known by his pen name "Lola Basyang"- across St. Mary's College. You can't miss it! 

Severino Reyes' painted portrait in the new Dong Juan branch 

I had the special privilege of being invited to their grand opening at the end of July with my entire trip sponsored by the generous hosts, Mr. Barney and Mrs. Aubrey Borja. I was flown in to Manila on a Friday morning and was accommodated in Tune Hotels, Quezon City. But before I was dropped off at my hotel, I was brought to Dong Juan for lunch. 

I was so amazed at how pretty the interiors were, all the while retaining their signature look with decorative blocks, tall coco dividers, and local painter Paul Arenas' lively paintings. I could say it evoked the same simple yet cozy charm of their first branch in Guadalupe, as if one was dining in a friend's home.

This branch had a staircase leading to the second floor where there were several rooms for special occasions or functions such as business meetings or intimate birthday celebrations. The entire floor is also available for exclusive bookings.   

They also have a cute little spot under the staircase if you feel like getting a bit more privacy. Since this branch is snuggly situated within the vicinity of the country's top TV networks, ABS-CBN and GMA, expect to find local celebrities dining here. And I bet this would be a favorite spot in the house.

For lunch, I ordered their Popeye Shrimps, Fish n Chips, and a Cheeseburger. Oops, excuse the gluttony. If you dine with me, you'll get used to it. I just like variety in my meals. ;)

There was not a trace of disappointment as all the dishes were just as good as their original branch! Well done, Dong Juan! Keep this up and the whole neighborhood will be scurrying to your doorstep again and again. 

The grand opening was to be in the evening so I headed to the hotel to rest from my early flight that day and freshen up for that night's affair. I was excited and curious to see which celebrities would show up. I was betting on Martin Nievera to be there because I remembered Dong Juan's post on Facebook, showing pictures of him dining in the Persimmon branch in Cebu and even going back the next day because he loved it.

When I arrived at the event, I was brought to the second floor where most of the celebrities were seated. True enough, the first person I spotted was Martin Nievera! He was very jolly, friendly, and talkative - the life of the party. We were introduced and chatted a bit along with his friends. It was to be a festive night - unlimited burger steaks, chili wings and crispy pata, and not to mention, the spontaneous crooning of the guest entertainers in the likes of Martin Nievera, Luke Mejares, and Jimmy Bondoc. 

Of course, I had to have photos with some of the celebrities I spotted:

with Martin Nievera
(hanging the giveaway gifts on each of his ears)
with Ogie Diaz
with Jimmy Bondoc! 
spotted: Claudine Baretto

Dong Juan Mug Cake
Dong Juan's Manila settlement looks promising and definitely something Cebu should be proud of. Expect to find familiar Dong Juan menu staples such as their burgers, pizza, and pasta. They also have a new addition to their dessert menu - mug cake which comes in 5 flavors: Dark Fudge, Red Velvet, Salted Caramel, and Speculoos Cruncy Cookie Butter. It's quickly becoming a favorite by many and I really recommend you try it. Other dishes I'd recommend are their Gambas al Ajillo pasta (a personal favorite), Onion Rings, Pork Sisig, and Sizzling Pochero. So, I'm inviting everyone in Metro Manila to drop by Dong Juan and have a taste of one of Cebu's most innovative restaurants. :) 

Ze "babe" with Dong Juan's sweet couple Mr. Barney and Mrs. Aubrey Borja & their friends

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Borja! Keep soaring and more power to you!

Dong Juan
72 Mother Ignacia Ave. cor. Scout Reyes
Quezon City, Manila

Contact: (02) 374 0265

Facebook: Dong Juan Mother Ignacia


Manila Chronicles (Part 2 of 3): Spaced Out

            Here’s the continuation of my Manila trip from the end of last year. Sorry it took me so long to finish this. I’ve been drowning in a lot of backlogs but anyway, this is one of the times I’ll be baring myself to you as I share my first ever roller coaster ride. :D

Day 3 – Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013

            Enchanted Kingdom used to be just a familiar place I’d keep hearing about from friends who’ve been to Manila… until this day. I only realized during our trip that I haven’t been to any ‘legit’ local amusement or theme park. I’ve been to Hongkong’s Ocean Park and Disneyland and Singapore’s Sentosa. But, this was finally the day I’d get to meet the wizard in the purple robe.

            If I had been here before the international theme parks, I would’ve thought it was pretty grand for our third world country. The entrance, though not as magically grandiose as Disneyland’s, was good enough to believe that there was something to look forward to.


Cebu in the Bag Celebrity + Bloggers Food and Fashion Bazaar

Hear, hear, dear readers! For those in Cebu, the biggest sale of the year is happening on June 13-15 (Friday to Sunday) at three venues - Ayala Center Cebu, Parkmall, and The Outlets at Pueblo Verde - in commemoration of Cebu Business Month. I have to say the most exciting one is at The Outlets at Pueblo Verde where there will be a Celebrity + Bloggers Food and Fashion Bazaar from 4:00-10:00 p.m, the first of its kind in Cebu! 

Of course, I'm going to be there to sell my Team Brownie goodies. I'd really appreciate it if you come over and try some of my warm brownie cups. This is a chance for us bloggers to meet our readers and you can bring home some souvenirs from us, too. This big event will be attended by celebrities such as beauty queens and Manila's top bloggers - Kryz Uy, Lissa Kahayon, Camille Co, and David Guison - aside from Cebu's very own bloggers who will be selling their own products and merchandise. 

Team Brownie and more of the interesting new food to check out will be there. Some of these are only around during bazaars like these too so don't miss it! 

If you don't know where The Outlets is or find it quite a distance from where you are, no worries! FREE shuttle rides to and from Ayala Center Cebu and SM City Cebu are available for you to drop any excuse for not being there. Just refer to the poster below for the schedules. 

BPI card holders are given special privileges of getting in the bazaar for FREE during the first hour which is 4:00-5:00 p.m. to get the first glimpse of what's in store. All you need to do is present your card! The first 100 shoppers each day also get a free bag.

For non-BPI cardholders, you can get the chance to MEET & GREET the celebrity bloggers for only a minimum purchase of P500 at the Bazaar or P1,500 from any of the stores at The Outlets. 

You've got nothing to lose for dropping by really. Feast your eyes and taste buds on all the beautiful people who will be there, and the food and clothes that the bloggers will be selling! So, I hope to see you there! Save the dates! ;)

 MEZ 2, Basak, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu


Pizza Republic Pick + Mix by Giuseppe Genco

Buckle up, Cebu! Something very exciting is about to open its doors very very soon! Like, TOMORROW soon! 

I was privileged to be invited to the dry run of a restaurant that's the first of its kind in Cebu two weeks ago. I've noticed this development in Lahug beside Chikaan during the recent months and I forecasted that it may be a spin-off of Project Pie in Manila. Since I saw this before my Manila trip (which I'll be telling you about soon!) earlier this month, I was hoping to go check out Project Pie so I can compare it. But upon hearing of the lack of customer care and considering the innumerable choices for my restaurant marathon, I was convinced to leave this for the next trip instead. 

Giuseppe is reputed to make the best pizza in town. Even celebrity Chef Gene Gonzalez has this on his list as one of the best restaurants in Cebu. Pizza Republic Pick + Mix by Giuseppe Genco is a fast casual restaurant that offers quality Italian pizza cooked in a wood-fired brick oven at a very reasonable price. Keywords there are quality, Italian, and reasonably priced!
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