P: Banker
D: Teacher

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Hola, Adiosu

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After a crappy shopping trip at Greenhills, we headed over to Ristras, a Mexican restaurant in San Juan for dinner. Ristras is supposedly another restaurant of the people behind the highly successful Charlie's Grind & Grill.

Basically, you pick a dish and choose between the variety of meats that they offer (click on the photo to enlarge). The new ones on the menu include ox cheek, lengua, and tripe.

D: I tend to stick to the safer choices of beef and chicken. Their regular steak was still being slow-cooked so we ended up getting the spicy variant. They allowed us to sample the beef and it wasn't soooo spicy which I liked.

P: I'm definitely taking the more adventurous route with the lengua and ox cheek next time when D isn't with me. Haha! While I'm at it, no scrimping on the "disgusting" veggies as well.

P: We arrived just after 7 to a relatively empty restaurant but once 7:30 hit, people started coming in droves. Long tables were reserved for large families and they converted the parking slots in front into dining areas. Inevitably, parking will be hard to come by and eating al fresco will add jeepney smoke to the ambiance. Not a good thing. Definitely call ahead to reserve or come in earlier/later than regular meal times.

2.5 kg burrito challenge. Losers fork over 1k while winners get the burrito free.

Dishes are prepared right in front of you and you can pick and choose your own toppings.
D: For finicky eaters like me, this is a dream come true. However, P and I were sharing a burrito and he wanted all the disgusting vegetables. We compromised on no pickles and bell peppers.

P: My only gripe is that they chose to scrimp on the utensils and plates by using styrofoam and plastic. Aside from additional and unnecessary waste, cutting into the tortilla is also a pain because you end up cutting up the plate at the same time.
D: Let's go green with reusable kitchenware!

Our order: Burrito with spicy beef and chorizo rice.
You can also opt to get cilantro rice instead. This is easily the biggest burrito we've ever been served. A single order should be good for 2 average appetites. In fact, P ended up eating the last few bites of my half.

This puts other burritos to shame with the flavor and the quality of ingredients. And did we mention, it is absolutely stuffed! The flavors of the greens go nicely with the strong flavors of the meat. Both are tempered by the surprisingly subtle chorizo rice and the non-mushy beans. Best eaten with copious amounts of salsa.

And just because we ALWAYS over-order, we also ended up getting a chicken quesadilla. This serving is also gigantic and was quite packed as well. The cheese holds this dish together, literally and figuratively. It's also juicy and fresh-tasting if you don't want something as heavy as a burrito. We ended up wrapping more than half to take home though.

For drinks, we decided to go across the street to Serenitea. We're already frequent clients and we make sure to pop in for a visit whenever we're in the area. I'm so glad they finally have a "Loyaltea" Card!

D: I'm obsessed with this place! I get random cravings for their tea all the time. Rosanna and I constantly rave about this place to everyone. During one crazy fit, we drove from Makati to San Juan just to get our fix! They definitely need to get branches in the Pasig area.

D: It always takes us FOREVER to decide what to get because there is just soo much to choose from. The line gets pretty long because people are staring dumbfoundedly at the board. It would be nice to have a brochure explaining the different components of each beverage.

P: They also serve savory snacks to go with your refreshing beverages. Their pepper corn is a perfect foil for the mellow tea. I never thought sprinkling that much pepper on a steaming cob of corn would work out that well.

Random selection of Japanese (?) snacks

D: Black dragon milk tea (oolong) with pearl and standard sugar levels
P: Hokkaido milk tea with pearl and standard sugar levels

You can choose from a variety of toppings (pearl, brick, egg pudding, etc.) and set your preferred level of sugar (100, 75, 50, 25, 0 -- all in percentages).

Ristras and Serenitea
J. Abad Santos Street, San Juan (just off Wilson, near Gloria Maris)
*Both establishments get a collective four thumbs up! We will definitely be dining there again!*


Pretty boring stuff on the fashion front. We were dressed down to hit the tiangge after all. Just thought we'd share anyway.

P: Nothing special here. Just a pink collared shirt from U2, gray Landmark shorts and my ribbed grandpa cardigan from Looking for Lola, the best vintage store in town. ; ) It's loose and slouchy but dresses up basic t-shirts. I especially like the oversized pockets and silver buttons.

D: See? Even boys can shop at Lola! Okay, shameless plugging ends now.

D: Lazy dressing = F21 top, ratty denim shorts from The Ramp, my favorite espadrilles from Suenos in Podium, hat from SM men's dept. and a pseudo cardigan that I'm "favorite-ing" at the moment.

Yay for surprise detail!
This comes in handy when you need to cover your tummy after heavy Mexican meals!

That's it for the weekend, folks!