EAT and EXPLORE – TLC Foodsteps 2017, Batangas

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Just a couple of weeks back, we went to Taal and Lipa, Batangas to EAT and EXPLORE with TLC Foodsteps 2017. Yes, it was an adventure filled with lots of food and culture. Some of you might not know it yet but Batangas is more than just Taal Volcano, Tawilis, Bulalo, and Kapeng Barako. The province is filled with lots of history and culture for everyone to experience. Thanks to our friends from TLC Philippines, as we were able to see more of what Batangas has to offer. Even though we have been to Batangas for a number of times, the places that TLC lined up for Foodsteps 2017 were all new to us, which makes it an even more exciting cultural trip. Join us as we share about the our TLC Foodsteps 2017 –ย Batangas EATSperience, enjoy!

TLC Foodsteps 2017!

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Check out our fancy ride… The Luxe Bus! For the second straight year, TLC Foodsteps was brought to and fro by this full-serviced luxury bus. The Luxe Bus comes with ultra-comfortable seats, a mini bar, a restroom, and even a lounge that comes with a bed. If you ever need any assistance, Luxe Bus also has an attendant who will be there for you in every step of the way. Awesome, right?

Breakfast: Cafe at the Ranch – Taal, Batangas

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Cafe at the Ranch is the in-house cafe of the MGM Ranch and Farm in Taal, Batangas. The cafe used to be a house built in the Spanish colonial period. Now, it has been renovated and restored to become a cafe right in the middle of the ranch.

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Fried Tawilis
(Tawilis is a kind of fish endemic to Taal Lake)
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Tapang Taal
(cured pork)
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Taal Longganisa
(Filipino-style breakfast sausage)
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Adobo sa Dilaw Flakes with Turmeric Rice

We enjoyed the heavy breakfast that they served us at Cafe at the Ranch. The Tapang Taal and Longganisa were surprisingly good. The tapa is made from carefully sliced pork and cured with lots of soy sauce and garlic. The longganisa of Taal taste pretty similar to Vigan longganisa but it was just meatier. Our favorite though was the Fried Tawilis and Adobo sa Dilaw. The tawilis was on point, perfectly fried and crispy. While the turmeric chicken and rice dish was super fragrant and filling, perfect for our grumbling tummies after a long road trip.

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Cafe at the Ranch
MGM Ranch and Farm, Mahabang Ludlod, Taal, Batangas
Open everyday from 10am to 7pm

Sidetrip: Galleria Taal – Ancestral House and Camera Museum

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Galleria Taal is one awesome museum! Even our baby found everything on display so interesting. Well, first it’s filled with different kinds of cameras of old and new. The museum also has lots of historical photos of famous places, people, and events in the Philippines. If you are a photography and history enthusiast, you must not miss this place when you visit Batangas. Aside from Galleria Taal, we also went to the biggest catholic church in Asia, the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours. Sadly, it was raining so we didn’t see much of what was inside the church because we only went down the bus to see the facade.

Galleria Taal
Open everyday from 10am to 6pm
Entrance Fee:ย 50php

Lunch: Feliza Cafe y Taverna – Taal, Batangas

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Feliza Cafe y Taverna is both a cafe and a bed & breakfast in Taal, Batangas. Even from the outside, the place really looked like it’s filled with lots of culture and history. One of the owners explained to us that this is the ancestral house of the Diokno’s. Felisa Diokno was the secretary of the first president of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo. The foundation of this house is still the same as how it was built decades ago, but with minimal renovations of course, to preserve it. The displays and decorations inside were originally from the time of Felisa Diokno. Interesting, isn’t? This ancestral house turned cafe and bed & breakfast is rich with history and culture.

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Bulalo
(a traditional one-pot dish of beef shank, corn and pechay)
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Paella
(Spanish rice dish with shrimps, squid, mussels, fish, vegetables and chorizo tied together with real saffron)
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Leche Flan
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Taal Suman with Mango and Chocolate Drizzle
(local suman served fried with Batangas tables and mango)

Even if we had a loaded breakfast from Cafe at the Ranch, the different dishes prepared for us at Feliza Cafe y Taverna did not stop us from eating a lot. The tasty Bulalo was a perfect start to warm our tummies. It was comforting and it had a lot of beef and vegetables. The Paella was the bomb! In our own opinion, it was one of the best that we have had. The chef/owner told us that they wanted the rice to be simple and the seafood just to be added on top. The tomato saffron paste added to the rice was so good! It was a combination of sweet and tangy flavors combined with the already savory paella. Another dish that stood out in our EATSperience was their version of Kinilaw or Ceviche. We loved the freshness of the fish and the good balance of flavors from the vinegar. After stuffing ourselves with the mains, our time here ended on a really sweet note. The Leche Flan was smooth, richa nd creay. As for the Taal Suman with Mango and Choclate drizzle, it was fried perfectly and the sauces made it even better!

Feliza Cafe y Taverna
6 F. Agoncillo St., Barangay Poblacion, Taal, Batangas
Open everyday from 11am to 2pm and 4pm to 8pm

Coffee Workshop and Late Merienda: Candelight Cafe – Lipa City, Batangas

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Assorted Sweet Sticky Rice Snacks

We are not big coffee drinkers and we rarely order coffee but our last stop for TLC Foodsteps 2017 got us interested in coffee-making. The owner of Candlelight Cafe showed us different ways on how one can prepare Kapeng Barako. And the smell of the room was so aromatic that it had us drinking a few sips. After a coffee-making session with the owner, we had the famous Batangas Goto, which our baby enjoyed as she kept asking for more. Then we had their plate of assorted sweet sticky rice snacks that made us full.

Candlelight Cafe
Km 75 JP Laurel Highway, Lipa, Batangas
Open everyday from 8am to 10pm

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It was a day filled with fun and lots of food! TLC and the sponsors prepared games for everyone to enjoy and it allowed all the participants to interact in different ways. Thanks to TLC Philippines as we were able to discover new restaurants and new places in Batangas and for making sure that the long drive was relaxing and comfortable. That’s it for this edition of EATSplorations, ’till next time!

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