I've been bugging M to take me to Mercato Centrale at The Fort for quite some time now but each weekend something comes up and so we never got the chance to pay a visit yet. So when a friend invited us to her daughter's 1st birthday party in Fun Ranch (near Tiendesitas/C-5), I told M there's no reason why we shouldn't go to Mercato! It'll be just a few minutes drive away from the party. Hooray for me!
Days before that, I received a text from Fran (of frannywanny.com) inviting me to drop by their booth as they were already selling Allies Wonder Peanuts (yup, the greaseless ones from Pampanga) in Tent 1 every Saturdays. I completely forgot that they were only there Saturdays at the daytime Mercato so I wasn't able to meet her there. My bad. I will definitely be back on a Saturday, promise.
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That was a Palm Sunday and we haven't heard mass yet so M told me we couldn't stay too long in Mercato Centrale so we can still catch the afternoon mass. Being the girl scout that I am, I maximized my limited time inside the tents and headed straight to some of the more popular booths - per my online research and word-of-mouth.
My first objective was to head to the Mochiko booth so I can already cross-out the #13 in my birthday wishlist. Sadly, they ran out ice cream mochi. The guy who mans the booth just handed me a flyer and told me to text ahead for reservation next time as they usually sell out their goodies early in the day. I understood as it was already past 1pm and the Mercato closes at 2pm.
[check out Mochiko's Facebook page]
I thought my mochi cravings would just have to be ignored when I easily spotted on the Dezato booth in Tent1. I bought their box of 6 Mochi Ice Cream for Php220. It was a sampler pack with Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee, Green Tea, Vanilla and Mango flavored ice cream inside the mochi balls. I got to eat my first ball only after we got home so the ice was slightly melted already. (*Note: Best to take a small cooler next time I go there.*) We enjoyed all the flavors but my favorite is the strawberry one.
[check out Dezato's website HERE]
While walking along the aisles, W spotted Plants vs Zombies inspired lollipop cookies and asked me to buy him the sunflower one. The seller from Cake Avenue Bakeshop set out a laugh sort of asking if my son is gay because he's asking for a floral designed cookie. I just ignored her and told myself, "Kebs (gay lingo for 'care') ko ba...my son wants it because of the 'brains' thingy." hahaha! Anyway, I know the lady meant well inspite of what happened. I forgot the price of the cookie - I think it's about Php60.
I saw the Yoh-gee Premium Frozen Yogurt booth and checked out their goodies. I was surprised that my son W took a slurp in the sampler given to him of the strawberry yogurt (*the fruit-phobic son*) and was glad he liked it. I bought him a cup, worth Php70 (if I remember right) of the classic flavored fro-yo. I didn't have the chance to take a photo because he already slurped his way to the bottom of the cup when I remembered. =)
Merry Moo's Strawberry and Basil ice cream
Merry Moo's Bacon flavored ice cream (sorry for the blurry pic - we were already in the car)
Our next stop was the Merry Moo booth. There were at least 6 people in front of their booth sampling every flavor they've got. Since I was in a hurry and there were a lot of people being taken cared of by just 2 from the Merry Moo team, I didn't have the chance to taste all flavors and just followed my intuition to take the Candied Bacon (ahhh bacon!) and the safer Strawberry and Basil flavored ones. The Earl Grey Tea and Sea Salt Caramel flavors weren't available that time so too bad for me. Each cup costs Php60. (M loved the candied bacon and I loved the refreshing minty taste of my strawberry and basil share!)
Our last stop was the Empire's booth. I was really looking forward to try their Macarons. Their 'booth' was one of the most attractive and most colorful in the tent. I felt dreamy seeing macarons in different flavors lined up neatly on their cases. I only got the cylindrical sampler container with bite-sized macarons. It costs Php200+. Their macarons got the just-right sweetness! I will definitely buy more the next time I visit Mercato Centrale.
I feel bad that we weren't able to try Bale Dutung's 'Pan de Bagnet' [Bale Dutung's Website], Beer battered fish and chips from Chuck's Grubberie [Chuck's Twitter], the Manang's Chicken (which I heard got this very addicting sauce for their chicken) [Manang's Chicken Facebook page] and the Baked by Anita's red velvet mini-cupcakes [Baked by Anita's Facebook page]. There's just too much that we still have to try so M and I just agreed to be back soon - and make sure we'll be early and not in a hurry.
To those who plan to visit the Mercato, they are having a 'Mercato Favorites Weekend Treat' this April 30 and May 1 (Saturday and Sunday). You'll surely love it there the way me and my family did! =)
The following Mercato favorites are giving special discounts and offers on the said weekend. Forget the diet and head to Mercato! =)
They are open on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00am to 2:00pm.
The tents are located on the 34th street and 8th avenue (across MC Home Depot).
Admission is FREE! =)
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