If you have not heard of UP Technohub, chances are you belong to the lower side of the Metro where Greenhills and BGC are enough sources of entertainment and food splurge. Where words like Commonwealth, Balara or "Winter is coming" make no sense.
There was a time when Mercato was once the distant gourmet-landia, requiring one heck of a road trip with a siding of patience.
Well thank you for finally noticing QC's rather hefty occupancy on the map. And yes, there are a lot of hungry people living in Quezon City with population I-don't-know, but certainly large enough to devour Makati, Mandaluyong and Pasig.
Mezza Norte, the newly established "Mercato" for the northern dwellers, is located at this place called UP Technohub, along Commonwealth. As for proper directions, you're better off with Google Maps, since I bear no tourist navigational perspective, living minutes away from this tent mania.
Pretend you're the persistent type and try to prod me for info, the best I could come up with is: Quezon Circle, right at Commonwealth, U-Turn somewhere, then follow the cars moving slowly and making a right at this hazy joint. Oh yes, mind the weird barriers on the road, meant to trip swerving buses, they can be a pain to the disoriented driver.
Before anyone can beat me to it, I would like to lovingly refer to Mezza Norte as Messy Norte. It's new, perhaps the talk of the nearest schools and villages, so everyone in the nearby vicinity decided to skip market day and have dinner at Messy Norte.
Flocks of cars and ID-wearing blokes came in violent throngs and forbade me from even sitting on a monoblock chair, not even to rest my tired toes. People looked at me as if I was trying to cut them in line (for a roast beef sandwich? please!) and those lucky enough to bag a table gave us bite-me looks - not that i even wanted a bite of any of them, just something sweet!
For being unlucky or jut plain gracious, we failed to find a table in 30 minutes (this was 7pm on a Friday). That rather long waiting period gave us roughly 3 rounds of the place and thus I concluded:
1) No way are we finding a table in this sea of hawks, moms and ID flashing peeps, 2) No way am I eating on the pavement, stairs of Mini Stop, and 3) Time to scout for grub outside Messy Norte. Boo-hoo.
This is how we ended up in Bon Chon, still in UP Technohub, which will be actually my next post, thanks to Messy Norte's seating scheme.
However, I did get what I initially came for, a taste of Merry Moo Ice Cream!
The only place that was free from grief stricken tasters and manned by gracious ladies who patiently waited on our orders. The Earl Grey was divine but put off in the meantime for fear of insomnia bouts. Milo was comfort food material, but I opted for Dark Chocolate, because it matched my already dark mood.
[caption id="attachment_2218" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Sea Salt Caramel and Dark Chocolate[/caption]
The Sea Salt Caramel managed an "oohh" from my brother who was already blinded by the inihaw haze It was on the buttery-caramel smooth side. Next time I shall try that Berry Trifle or Strawberry Shortcake.
Or why not both?
Getting stuck in a spot while walking, these 3-for100 cakes finally got to me, and so to at least buy something to-go from Messy Norte, I decided to give in: Revel Bars, Turtle Cake and Oreo Cake.
For P100 these should be a steal, but if you're looking for Parvati-variety these won't make the cut. However again, for the price, they make quite an extravagant pasalubong.
The secret is not to tell the recipient the price of the cake/s. Just shove it in their face and watch the glow of gratitude.
Nearly giving in to this hyped up Tuguegarao pancit, that seems to be the Pad Thai of Northern Philippines, the queue was already long, not to mention the waiting period. Oh and we don't have a table.
I spotted 2 Chap Chae Joints (unfortunately they both have pork), Manang's, Bumble Tea, the ever present Mochiko, Mio Gelati, the Roast Beef Lady, that Shabu-Shabu Place, Taclings, Takoyaki, Medchef, etc. Nowhere in sight were (from Mercato) that ravioli place, Panzarotti, Messy Bessy, Human Nature, Anita's cupcakes, Low Cal, dumplings and that place that sold kefir.
Should we return for a take 2, I do wish that Messy Norte would be more organized or would have more tables or just courteous diners.
If not, I could always lend you a comb, er, a hand.