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Breakfast at Mary Grace

Our hotel is near Greenbelt 1 in Makati. There are five Greenbelts total and each is an extensive shopping mall with both indoor and outdoor counterparts. The interconnected commercial center started in the 70s, when Greenbelt 1 was built, and provided consumers a more intimate shopping alternative to the bustling malls of SM Makati and Quad nearby. Most of the Greenbelt stores open at 11am, but Mary Grace was open early. We stopped in for breakfast and had our first meal.

We'll list the prices for you with conversions to give you an idea of what things cost. The currency is in pesos here, abbreviated as PHP (Philippines peso). One peso is roughly equivalent to 2.4 cents. In other words, $1 equals roughly 41 pesos. Our conversions are rounded to the nearest cent. Sorry pennies.

Classic Ensaymada (73 pesos = $1.75) and a cappucino (89 pesos = $2.15). The pastry is of Spanish origin and gets its name from the Catalan word for pork lard; "saïm." The snowfall of finely grated, salty Edam cheese that covers the hefty dough ball makes for a unique combination of flavors. It's dense, incredibly soft, sweet and salty. Edam is a cow's milk cheese from North Holland that gets coated in wax for export sales - red first and then black after about three months, at which point the cheese will continue to age, harden, and become sharper in flavor. Great way to start the day.

Grilled Kesong Puti (124 pesos = $3) - Kesong Puti means "white cheese" and is also commonly found here fried. The cheese is similar to cottage cheese and is made from the unskimmed milk of carabao, a subspecies of water buffalo that's indigenous to Southeast Asia. Finished here with olive oil and fresh garlic, the cheese was gone in minutes.

Vigan Longaniza (282 pesos = $6.85) - These sausages get their name from Vigan, a city in Northern Philippines that showcases the country's Spanish heritage, both culinarily and architecturally. The Vigan Longaniza sausages are small, packed with flavor, and typically enjoyed dipped in Ilocos vinegar during breakfast. Longaniza get they're unique flavor from local Vigan cane sugar and Vigan-grown garlic. The Vigan people are so proud of their city's sausage the local government has included a city seal of quality on the product to ensure against fraud links.

Fried Bangus (197 pesos = $4.75) - This is another common breakfast plate. The fried fish, also known as Milk fish, spends some time in a marinade before it's fried. Some of the scales are intentionally left on, the result is a crispy contrast to the otherwise soft, meaty flesh. Also enjoyed dipped in llocos vinegar.

The condiments (complimentary) - Tomato salsa, green papaya, and llocos vinegar. The vinegar is from the mountainous city of Ilocos just north of Vigan. It has a much higher concentration of acidity than most commercial vinegars and makes for a vibrant, unique condiment.

Greenbelt 2 (btwn Bizu and Spicy Fingers) | 09175439402 | www

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  • Response
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