Sand, Sun, and Nomz at Luca’s Lodge, Puerto Galera

Summer is obviously over, what with the torrent of rains that have been plaguing the country for the past couple of weeks. However, I still have a backlog of sunny posts that I haven’t gotten around to writing yet. Like this one. Here’s to hoping that a bit of reminiscing about the sun and sand and nomz (of course) can help to brighten up this otherwise grey day.

Look, blue skies!

Puerto Galera in Mindoro has been called the poor man’s Boracay. But like Jason Statham is the poor man’s Bruce Willis, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing (Hey, Statham wasn’t so bad in Expendables 2). Puerto Galera has nearly all that the Philippines most popular beach has to offer and you don’t have to travel by plane to get there. It’s win-win for those who want some sun and sand closer to home. It doesn’t hurt that the trip would be cheaper too.

How does one get to Puerto Galera from Manila? First of all, you’d have to get to the Batangas port which is merely an hour and a half’s car/bus ride away. From there, you can choose to ride the RORO if you have a vehicle with you or the SuperCat, which will get you there quicker. Then when you get to the island, it’s but a few minutes of travel to get to the shore depending on which resort you’ll be staying at.

Luca's Lodge (Somebody went a little crazy trying out the panoramic tool on my phone camera.)

Luca’s Lodge is where we stayed at the last time we went to Galera. It’s a tiny little island cove (?) at the very near end of the Galera beaches owned by an Italian, who incidentally will most likely be there also if in case you decide to visit. Besides affordable rooms, they also feature an authentic Italian restaurant called Cucina Italiana. The restaurant/bar/cafe serves a mix of Italian and Filipino dishes including pizza, pasta, crepes, sinigang, inihaw na liempo, among many (mouth-watering) others.

The half-folded Luca's Pizza

This is one of the specialties, the Luca’s Pizza. Although it doesn’t look it, it’s actually a whole meaty pie but folded in to make it easier to eat. The pizzas are honestly really good. They weren’t much different from pizzas that were actually made in Italy, otherwise known as country of origin. Luca’s pizzas are truly authentic, or at least I think so. As is everything else we ordered from the menu. Besides excellent pizza and pasta, Cucina Italiana also serves a very good cappuccino (my personal gauge to classify a restaurant/coffeeshop as good).

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and drinks.

Here’s a tip, if you’re checked in at Luca’s Lodge, you can request the restaurant staff to cook dishes not on the menu. They’ll just charge you a reasonable amount per head for a set of dishes.

Cucina Italiana also has a bar, with a good selection of alcoholic drinks to help you destroy your liver enjoy the night at the beach. Luca’s Lodge has all you need in their little strip of the beach- sand, sun, and nomz. To book your stay, you can visit the official website of Luca’s Resort.


This Week in (Non)Nomz News

Who says a food blog has to be just about food? Today, we’ve decided to veer away from droning on about noms and instead report on a few interesting non-nommables. Don’t boo us just yet, it’s not a sellout! We’ve compiled a few fun inedible but nom-related finds from the Interwebz.

The Chork

The product of a threesome between a fork and a pair of chopsticks, the Chork is the solution for all you frustrated Asians out there. This ingenious creation is a pair of chopsticks on one end and on the other, a fork! Awesome, right? Now when you’re in an Asian restaurant and you find out that it’s near next to impossible to pick up those peas in your rice with the typical chopsticks, you can simply flip your Chork and… wait a minute, you can’t fork a pea. Dammit! Anyway, it’s still a pretty nifty idea, methinks.

A 12-pair pack can be got for $4 while a 24-pack for $6. Source: The Chork

The Chork

Gummy Bear Ice Cubes

This has got to be the next best thing since actual gummy bears. Ice cubes in the shape of gummy bears bears are super duper effin’ cute. Although I don’t know who’d go into all that trouble putting in food coloring in their ice cubes all the time, one can definitely make the exception for a party or a particularly lonely night. Besides ice bears, think of all the things you can do with this? Hello, bear shaped Jell-O shots! Also, bear shaped popsicles! Or or or or, bear shaped gummy candy! Wait.

You can get one of these trays for $10 on ThinkGeek.

Gummy Bear Ice Cubes

Spaghetti Tower

This thing look like your boring old pasta container except funner because it has a rooster on top? Nope, it isn’t! The creators call it the Spaghetti Tower, and besides keeping your pasta fresh and away from moisture and all other germs, it also helps you measure your pasta. You know how you usually end up with more sauce than noodles or the other way around? Well, that’s a thing of the past, with the Spaghetti Tower, you can cook just the right amount of noodle to go with your sauce.

Details of how it works (an other fun stuff too!) on the Ototo website.

Spaghetti Tower

Sushi Bazooka

I love sushi as much as the next person, but it’s not that easy to make. My first and only attempt ended up looking like a lumpy snake (pic for proof). With the Sushi Bazooka, any regular Joe can make sushi like them sushi chefs do. This phallic looking tool will serve as your mold, all you need is to cram all your ingredients inside and push it out using another yet phallic looking supplementary tool.

I particularly like how they have the New Zealand flag and the Japan flag on the ad as if saying, “Kiwis, you can finally get it right!”. You can get it here for US$25.70.

Sushi Bazooka

Lightsaber Chopsticks

Star Wars geeks, I know how many of you there are in this world and the next, you’ve probably heard of these, if you don’t already own a pair. The difference now, is that they actually light up! Yup, these little lightsabers have little LEDs on ’em. Imagine eating sushi (that you made with the Sushi Bazooka) in the dark with these fun little toys (oh sorry, I mean “collectibles”)!

$22.90 for either a blue or red pair of Lightsaber Chopsticks on this site, depending on which side you’re on. 

Mini Kitchen

This is really more functional than fun. For city dwellers, where more space means more kaching-kaching (or bye-bye monies), this Mini Kitchen can be a life saver. We can’t always live on fastfood (or can we?). This kitchen-in-a-box has it all- a sink, a fridge, a dish rack, a drawer, a counter, a stove, a table all in a nice little package. You can even put the cover on when not in use and it can be a kitchen counter. How neat is that? I love this idea and I’m totally stealing it (only because I’m poor and can’t afford $4,700, if you can though, check it out on the Kitchoo website.)

And that is all. We hope you enjoyed reading about these as much as we did scouring the net for them. Or you know, looking through Gizmodo, that awesome site that needs to be thanked for putting up all sorts of gadgets, trinkets and noms news, and for generally making the Internet and the world a better place.