Potato Corner Fries and Tea-riffic Tea, SM Cubao

I confess that my son is one of the millions of children raised on fast food french fries. Even I, who had recently gone vegetarian in the hopes of entering a healthier lifestyle, still struggle to resist the siren song of a steaming hot potato strip, deep-fried to a perfect sunshine-yellow crunch outside and creamy mealiness inside, all wrapped up in crispy flakes of salt. It is, after all, a vegetable.

So we headed off to SM Cubao to satisfy his potato craving for our afternoon snack.

Understand your product’s strengths. If you’re selling a classic product, know when to innovate on its best attributes. If not, just crank up its quality to the best that it can be. Either way, it increases your chances of standing out from the competition.

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Eliana Infatuation Cologne

THERE’S a nearby budget grocery that my son and I enjoy visiting every so often. During one of our visits last January, I discovered a new line of inexpensive colognes that are targeted toward the teenage female demographic.

Sometimes the value of a product lies in the experience of using it. Just because a product is cheap doesn’t always mean it’s bad or low-quality. You can find inexpensive products whose quality can match or even surpass the experience you get from using premium products.

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food review

World Goodies Boba Milk Tea, Tomas Morato

SINCE the hot summer days have made an early entry into the local climate, the sale of cold, ready-to-go drinks have began to boom again. One of my regular pit stops for such is the World Goodies 24/7 convenience store, which sells large cups of flavored Boba (or ‘bubble’) milk tea.

Make sure that all items in your product lineup are the best that they could be. To buyers, mediocrity and bad quality are the same.

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food review

Hunt’s Chili Beef & Beans and Pork BBQ & Beans

MOST days I don’t really go out to eat, and would rather have a home-cooked meal. And then there are days when I don’t even feel like cooking. This is one of the brands I turn to when I need a quick and satisfying meal or snack, depending on how famished I am.

A simple but well-thought out twist to a classic product can generate a renewed interest in your brand.

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food review

Sebastian’s Ice Cream, Katipunan

HAVING sated my curiosity and appetite at PB &Co., I suggested to my friend that we head over to the Sebastian’s Ice Cream stall downstairs.

Novelty fades quickly. If you choose to use novelty as a selling point in some of your products or services, make sure that your other non-novelty offerings are as good or even better than that novelty item.

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food, review

Peanut Butter and Co, Katipunan

I admit I’m not that fond of peanut butter — I’ll eat it every so often when the mood strikes, but that’s it. So when one of my good friends from college informed me that a Peanut Butter and Co. had opened up in Katipunan, Quezon City, it was curiosity and not a liking for the palate-clogging stuff, and especially not the environmental culture, that drove me there.

Be kind to waitstaff. They work long hours at minimum wage rates, and being unnecessarily difficult with them only speaks of your own breeding.

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Joanie’s Cupcakes, Tomas Morato

I came upon this charming little cupcake shop by chance, while walking from school with my son. It’s called Joanie’s Cupcakes, and it serves decadent cupcakes and cakes at affordable prices. So I decided to drop by.

A good product is the foundation of a good business. Whatever it is you choose to sell, make sure it’s the best it can be.

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Cafe Xocolat, Katipunan (Part 2 of 2)

FOLLOWING our lukewarm escapade to Pipino, we headed for Cafe Xocolat in Katipunan in the hopes of drowning our meatless misery in hot chocolate. And drown it we did.

Do you have one product or service that you’re particularly good at? Nurture it, develop it, showcase it, make it the center of your business, and promote it like it’s the best thing on earth, ever.

Some small establishments have thrived this way for years, and some have grown into large establishments, just by focusing on that one great product.

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food review

Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino, Malingap Street (Part 1 of 2)

A few weeks ago, a couple of friends and I visited Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino at Malingap street. While we’re concerned with eating healthfully in moderation, we’re nowhere near a vegetarian state of mind. So when we decided to try Pipino, it was met with excitement and apprehension.

The place is located on top of its less restrictive sister restaurant, Pino. When we arrived at the place, we were still faced with the choice to go veggie or not. We chose the former — and soon regretted it. Continue reading

Tokyo Tokyo food

Tokyo Tokyo at Ali Mall, Cubao

I’VE been trying to expand my son’s food preferences beyond fried chicken, french fries, and Philippine-American flavors, and this has dragged on for years. So imagine my surprise when out of the blue, he asked me to take him to Tokyo Tokyo, a local Japanese fast food joint, for the first time.

I confess that in all the years the chain has been around I haven’t eaten there yet as well, because when it comes to Asian fare, my first choice is Chinese, followed by Thai. Also, when eating at fast food joints I tend to stick to this notion that their food should cost up to a certain amount, and anything that exceeds that amount is subjected to close scrutiny and hesitation: why would I pay more for fast food fare when I could get it for less elsewhere? (By the same rule, I also often ask, why should I pay elsewhere for food that I can cook at home? But we’ll get to that later).

Nevertheless, a change would be more than welcome. So this would be another first for us both. Continue reading