I’ve still been going to Mercato on a regular basis, but I haven’t been writing about it lately. Not because I haven’t found anything good, but because I’ve been pooling my smaller finds (stuff I can’t really write an entire post about) to come up with this compilation. So here goes:
Little Ms. OC’s Kitchen’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Litlle Ms. OC’s Kitchen is best known for their cupcakes. Their adorable and incredibly detailed Plants vs. Zombies, Angry Birds and Despicable Me Minions cupcakes are what make most people flock to their booth every Saturday and Sunday morning. And I totally get why, just look at the cupcakes:
I don’t play any of these games, though, and don’t have a taste for the thick fondant they use to form the sunflowers, pea-shooters and zombies. I flock to their booth for something less cartoony, something more traditional: Little Ms. OC’s Kitchen’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Buttery, chewy with gooey chocolate, these cookies remind me of the cookies I used to bake as a kid. I love how straightforward they are, no gimmicks, no combinations of nuts or white, milk and dark chocolate. Just pure, chewy, buttery goodness. Wait. I said that already. And it just gets better. A bag of 10 individually wrapped cookies just costs ₱180. That’s half the cost of the cookies from a popular chain. And I daresay these are just as good.
Gustazo’s Tuguegarao Longganisa
I don’t really know which city in the North actually “owns” this variant of longganisa, but whether it’s Vigan, Baguio or Tuguegarao, Gustazo’s version is the best I’ve ever had. As salty and garlicky as you expect these orange-ish sausages to be and made better by the fact that Gustazo’s uses lean pork. They use less fat in the mix than most, making the longganisa less oily when cooked and easier to crisp up. These are so good, I’m willing to be late for work wake up earlier in the morning just to have a longsilog meal.
Simply put, these are the sweetest pineapple I’ve had in recent memory.
Jam Foods & Co. Angus Beef Tapa
If I was forced to choose between the Tuguegarao longganisa longsilog meal and Jam’s Angus beef tapsilog meal, I would crumple up my face and go into ugly-cry mode. I couldn’t. They are both just too good. I love tapa (actually, I love breakfast foods, in general) and Jam Foods’ Angus Beef Tapa is quite possibly the best version of it I’ve ever had. They beef comes in tiny, tiny strips and are cooked to a slight crisp (you can actually request that they cook it tostado, which I will definitely do next time).
It’s salty, garlicky with just the tiniest hint of sweetness. My only complaint would be that it is predictably oily since they use beef that has a higher fat content that typical tapa. So if you’re the type of person who cares about fat intake, that might turn you off it a little bit. I, however, don’t care.
The tapsilog meal is ₱120. But you can purchase one kilo of the raw tapa to take home and cook it as crispy as you want it for ₱550.