Alessi Likes Atoda Madre and Tequila 101

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I absolutely love drinking, and jump on every chance to go out with my friends. But all those years spent getting myself drunk haven’t really amounted to an expanse of knowledge regarding the stuff that gets me drunk. All I know is that alcohol gets me buzzed, and I won’t drink it if it actually tastes like alcohol (I prefer cocktails). Only recently have I considered drinking to be a sort of art that uniquely affects each sense and offers a distinct study on flavors, as well as how such are produced. Considering my recent visit to Manila’s only tequila bar, A’Toda Madre, I think the Mexican specialty was a good start.

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The guys at A’Toda take their tequila very seriously, and endeavor to educate the alcohol-loving public of what constitutes quality tequila. The owners devote this hole-in-the-wall tequila bar to increase the awareness, education, and consumption of tequila, which I find really cool. Aljor, one of the owners, eagerly shared with us the regions in Mexico where pure tequila is produced and from which plant (the blue agave), as well as the four expressions of tequila according to how long they are rested. I’ve learned that much like wine, there’s an exact science behind how tequila is aged, as well as its variations in taste and aroma. And contrary to what we often taste (and experience), 100% pure agave tequila shouldn’t taste or smell heavily like isopropyl, and shouldn’t leave a bad hangover the day after.

We got to try shots of each expression of tequila (Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo). I personally failed to distinguish the very subtle differences among their flavors and aroma, but did notice that each went down much more easily than the previous shot. Apparently, tequila grows smoother as it ages. I gotta say, their Margarita was unlike any I’ve tried! It went down without the chemical isopropyl sting we expect from normal tequila cocktails, and gave such a light, welcome buzz. Another cocktail I absolutely loved was their Horchata Margarita, which is a sweet rice drink mixed with sugar, yummy cinnamon, and tequilaaa. I loved sugary sweet cocktails, so this was easily my favorite. Curious drinkers can try out their Spicy Margarita, which offers a strong chili kick in every sip.

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Now A’Toda might primarily be a tequila bar, but they’ve been getting heaps of raves about how awesome their food is as well. This comes as no surprise since they only dish out the best of the best; A’Toda’s salsas and spices are all shipped from Mexico, and all dishes follow the standards of how authentic Mexican grub should taste like, as compared to the Tex-Mex and Filipinized Mex we’ve grown accustomed to. My favorite has to be their steak tacos (soft-shell, like how them Mexicans do it), but I swear, the difference is in the salsaaaaaa.

I especially liked the overall vibe of the A’Toda Madre. The place is filled with banderitas and warm colors that beckon hot Mexican afternoons, with kitschy Dia de los Muertos knickknack skulls lining the bar and amazing graffiti at the bottom. Even its emblem, which looks like a creepy corpse bride, is a caricature of Mexico’s iconic “La Calavera Catrina,” which was likened to Latinas who took to the Western European ways during the turn of the century (google it.)

With loads of character and its intent and identity firm, I think A’Toda Madre does ring true to its name. It’s street slang in Mexico which loosely translates to “something totally awesome.” Indeed it is.

A’Toda Madre is located at the Ground Floor of Sunette Tower, Durban Street, corner Makati Avenue (right across Shakey’s) Makati

Visit their website for a map to the place: http://www.atodamadre.com.ph/

Alessi Likes Neverland Manila 2014

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I’ve been hearing all about Neverland Manila since the beginning of the year, when it invaded my Facebook page and amassed a huge online following months before even revealing its lineup, date and venue. All I knew was that it was big, and it was gonna be a game changer; promising! Right then I knew it was something to watch out for. It has so far kept me on my toes with name after infamous name that was revealed of its stellar lineup, and now I’m pretty sure we all can’t contain our excitement for the epicness that is to unveil on October 3rd at the MOA Arena!

I think now, more than ever, is the perfect time to launch a music festival like this in the country. EDM has grown to become a widely popular genre locally, and more and more people have come to embrace the dance festival scene, getting their PLUR fill off every big dance party that comes along every month or so.

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Neverland Manila promises to be the biggest electronic dance party in the country this year, featuring no less than the best EDM acts coming together under one roof, paired with grand-scale production effects to bring us an unparalleled music festival experience. I’m gearing myself up for nonstop partying from night ‘til morning, as I’ve heard the entire event will last a good 12 hours, from 6pm to 6am. So so soooo excited, and so glad all my friends are coming with! See you there? ;)

Neverland Manila will be held on October 3, 2014 at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. Get your tickets before it’s too late at the Neverland Manila website (www.neverlandmanila.com), smtickets.com, and all SM Tickets outlets nationwide.

Obsessing over this gorgeous girl! I rarely have girl crushes but when I do, they’re almost always doe-eyed brunettes.

Alessi Likes P5

A dimly lit set of photos to match my current mood these days. Recent events have had me finding solace in quiet off days, rooftops, street lights, and the muddled haze of fruity cocktails. It came to a point where I had to force a smile when the situation called for one, which I found unfortunate. These snaps are the products of all that introversion and attempted distraction. Sometimes all you need is a gloomy day, great friends, and lots of alcohol. I’m just glad to have emerged from a very bad week intact. I’m starting to feel better so far, I’ve learned to cut myself some slack and move on. At the moment I’m overcome by a terrible sense of wanderlust. I just want to go somewhere I’ve never been to.

(In case you were wondering about the title, P5 is the VSCO filter I used on all my photos posted. Obsessed with this filter right now.)

Alessi Likes Hungry Hound, and Food Reviewing

A quartet of over-edited photos in horrendous resolution to document a dreamy dinner at Hungry Hound, which I’ve meaning to visit for the longest time, and of which I haven’t gotten around (but really need to) start putting together a review for WIM. Favorites of the night include this salty, greasy breakfast masterpiece of poached egg, sausages, ham, corned beef and hash, and the infamous Duck Fat Fries. Niner Ichi Nana, the bar next door, is just as awesome, but I shall save that for another blog post.

My backlogs for WIM have been piling up, with opportunities for features sprouting left and right. I’m not complaining though, and I’m all the more surprised that I haven’t run dry out of ideas and methods to write. I guess passion is my fuel. Although I have been taking things slower these days to keep most of my content relevant.

Alessi Likes to Shift Perspective

What would you do upon an abrupt change of heart? My perspective on a lot things have recently shifted, making me reconsider the long-term plans I’ve made for myself. One of which is whether or not to go out of the country. I’m starting to realise how beautiful this country is, and I’m currently overcome with a very strong urge to visit each and every one of its many beaches - there’s just so much to explore. Then there’s the food which is a given, and the abundance of amazingly beautiful sunsets, and people who’ve become very much a part of me as the skin I live in. Life abroad sure holds much promise, but why leave when almost everything I have is right here? 

I still abhor the governance and blatant corruption, and think public transportation is a real screw up, and I’m now absolutely terrified to commute after all the scary stories I’ve heard about people being held up and shot in broad daylight on the street, but I guess there’s a trade-off for everything. This country still leaves much to be desired, but at the moment I can say I’m quite happy with my slice of Manila cake.

#personal  #life  #manila  

Alessi Likes Kessaku Japanese, and Iphoneography

Absolutely proud of how these photos came out for my WheninManila.com feature of Kessaku, shot entirely with my trusty iPhone. And still drooling over the creamiest, most heavenly-tasting salmon sashimi I’ve come across, along with their soft-shell crab, California Maki with Flying Fish Roe, and Symphony. Darn it, make that everything on the menu.

Alessi Likes Brasserie Girolle at the Fort

Brasserie Girolle is a breath of fresh air from your usual French restaurants that often give off an uptight and arrogant air. While the interiors of the place evoke all kinds of sophistication with its black-and-white palette and high ceilings, its food and ambiance say otherwise. The food tediously prepared as the French do, and the booze overflowing during happy hour (Monday to Thursday, 5pm to 12midnight) - I think I’ve found my happy medium.

Eggs en Cocotte (eggs cooked in water) - which may simply sound like hardboiled egg, but actually involves cooking an egg in a separate container filled with water, under layers of caramelized chalots and cream then topped with gruyere cheese. I was expecting it to be a runny, creamy and saucy, but was surprised to find the egg quite firmly baked.

 Salade de Chevre Chaud (Warm Goat’s Cheese Salad) - absolutely love the combination of juicy beets, crunchy veggies with a kick of crisp and tangy white cheese and candied walnuts and balsamic vinegar.

Brasserie puts all your preconceived notions of French food having to include some sort of odd raw animal/critter parts aside and instead give way for hearty, rustic cooking that involve long hours in the kitchen and a lot of love and effort.

 Boeuf Braise au vin Rouge (Braised Short Rib)

Brasserie’s take on Crispy Pork Belly

Their Boeuf Braise au vin Rouge (braised short beef ribs) are cooked for a good 8 hours for maximum tenderness and flavor, and are laid over a bed of pureed potatoes that are first roasted in salt then mixed with milk and butter. Likewise, their Crispy Pork Belly is roasted in white wine for 6 hours before having bricks stacked over them overnight to hold the flavors in better and to lock in moisture, before frying them all to a golden crisp the next day.

Steak Frites with Herbed Butter, which is apparently a staple in French restaurants.

All the effort and preparation put into each dish is evident in how the end product tastes. The beef incredibly flavorful and tender, the pork belly crunchy crisp and juicy, and everything else absolutely divine. I guess all great things do take time.

Chocolate Mousse with Chiffon crust

Terrine au Chocolat - velvety smooth and rich, sooo good.

Brasserie Girolle takes French food out of the “fine dining” mold and offers something more casual yet delectably hearty, high-quality and top notch. While its prices are quite steap and serving portions leave more to be desired, it is good to know that you are paying for a quality meal that is meant to leave you satisfied, not stuffed.

 Brasserie Girolle is located at the ground floor of Fort Pointe II Building, 28th St, Taguig (right across the Fort Strip and below URBN)

Contact Number: 856.6639

Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrasserieGirolle/

engagewithlifee asked: Hello Alessi, I absolutely love your blog and the way you cast your words. Looking forward for more of your wonderful entries. Thanks for the follow and see you around! Hope to be friends with you. <3

awww thank you so much for the sweet words, faith! thanks for the follow as well, wishing you the best of luck in the fine art of dentistry ;)

Alessi Likes Flume and Sunday Mornings

I love Sunday mornings that call for sleeping in, sipping tea, and my most worn-in gray v-neck. This is one of those days where I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I should be doing. And to make things even more spectacularly chill than they already are, I think I’ve found the most ideal background music to compliment this lazy overcast morning.

Flume further concretizes my idea of Aussies being one of the coolest batch of creative minds around. His mixes, conceived from a wide range of genres including hiphop, house and indie pop, have that signature staggering progression that sound distinct yet at the same time cohesive, present in every remix and at varying degrees. Nothing seems too contrived or or thought of, just all seamlessly inspired melodies pieced together. There must be something in those Australian waters. Happy Sunday!

Alessi x NurseLife

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I’ve actually written a lengthy entry on this particular facet of my life and stowed it away in my drafts folder, hoping to share it soon, then decided otherwise. I shall instead leave you with these photos, because at the moment I don’t know how much I’m supposed to devulge, and how much I should hold back on. All I really feel like saying now is that i have my good days and bad days, and that steady stream of in-betweens in which I earnestly attempt to tread.

Maybe home is nothing but two arms holding you tight when you’re at your worst.

Yara Bashraheel

(via cool-kids-cant-die)

Phase I.a.: Create a Concept - The Uniform

Now we continue with my project of Into-Mind’s “Building a Capsule Wardrobe.” (Part 1 here.)

The other half of the first step to creating a capsule wardrobe is to select a “uniform,” which basically refers to the first garment you reach for in your closet at the thought of getting dressed, as well as items that you can easily see yourself wearing. The common denominators of my uniform are obviously button-downs, v-neck shirts and a ton of denim in every variation of length and fit (although I’m partial to high-waisted skinnies and boyfriends); thrown into the mix are those viral loose strappy tanks, bottoms in interesting cuts and textures, your standard-issue crop top and something a little slutty for good measure. Proportions include: croptop - high waist jeans, button-down - denim, v-neck - statement skirt, stappy tank - skinny jeans.

From the way I see it, my “uniform” is to be the basis from which all other clothing choices will be selected and assimilated, which should make for a more cohesive and wearable wardrobe - composed mainly of items I like, which actually go well together.

Alessi Likes Weekends Off

Yep, my weekend was a pretty good one. After my Baguio plans fell through I was left with my trusty plan B, a good dose of faith and all the optimism I could muster, which fortunately resulted in an absolutely relaxing and fun staycation spent reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Highlights include but not limited to: stories shared over coffee, beers, and pasta, under the intervals of gloomy skies, stars and rain drops, as well as some much-needed solitary peace in the comfiest sheets, the fluffiest pillows, and the prettiest damn pool I’ve seen in a while.

Priorities

Today I’ve decided to make a commitment to pursue my passions, to make time for things and people I love, make a conscious effort to eat healthier and make better choices for my body and well-being, to take the time to treat myself, to live in contentment, and to be brave enough to believe I can get whatever I want. Might seem a little too ambitious to contain such large-scale priorities in one paragraph, but I’ve always seen myself as that kind of girl anyways.

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