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At first, pigging out on over thirty different restaurants in a short span of time sounded like a good idea. But when it was time for the Trinoma Bloggers’ Food Tour last January 9, I believe everyone would agree that feeling satiated would be an understatement. Bellies bulged. Mouths were filled. Stomachs were filled to the brim. I swear a bucket would’ve come in handy that day, if only to throw out all the food we’ve tasted from the previous restaurants just to taste the next ones.

I believe I have tasted every possible dish available for pork, beef, chicken and shrimp out there. There were just a lot of food and cuisines around, all ready for tasting and sampling. But before I get to my reviews of the 32 or so restaurants who participated in the event, let me cue you in on my whole experience, and possibly tell a few behind-the-scene stories as well.

I was at the event quite early as always, but I found out some bloggers were even a lot earlier than me. And I thought I was punctual. Karlo arrived at Trinoma at around 10am. Excited? Not much.

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Registration was a breeze and I was assigned to the Blue Group (which, as we found out later in the event, didn’t have that much significance anyway). They served cocktails near the registration booth, as well as some food so that we could eat properly (perhaps they foresaw that some restos were gonna feed us words instead of actual food). Several minutes later and the place was jampacked with bloggers, all hungry and ready to take on the food fest that’s coming their way.

After a while we started walking to our first floor. The lovely personnel from Trinoma oriented us on what’ll transpire that day. Then came the first surprise: we were gonna go our own ways and “tour” the restaurants on our own (not really our own, but by groups). All along we thought we had a guide so that she could take us to the different restaurants available. But it turns out we could go and hop around the different restos as we pleased. I didn’t see anything wrong with that, except that it completely beats the purpose of calling the event a “Food Tour” if there was no one there to “tour” us around. Or I can be just maarte like that, ionno.

So like hungry dogs out hunting for prey, we settled inside the nearest restaurant we saw: Madison Grill. At first the resto was closed but they opened the door for us once we mentioned we were on a food tour. We were shocked because the place looked so nice and so we sat on the tables. At first nobody was approaching us, and looking at the faces of the waiters seemed like they were so bewildered upon seeing us there.

As far as I am concerned, modesty, courtesy and all signs of civilization aside, we were out there for food. But it appeared that Madison Grill wasn’t prepared for our coming. They didn’t know what to do, they kept on talking in the background, which left me asking myself why they even confirmed participation at all. After a few minutes the chef came out and oriented us on the concept of the restaurant. In fairness to Madison Grill, their restaurant concept was nice, especially the do-it-yourself pizza bar and the huge pizza oven which was outside the kitchen. And in fairness to the chef, he was very accommodating even if he didn’t let us taste anything.

I kept on insisting my other groupmates to leave because it seemed that they weren’t ready, so as to prevent further humiliation and awkward moments. After the Madison Grill experience we hunted down restos that served food.

Don’t get me wrong. We may have looked like hungry, malnourished (okay, not me, but some of us) people seemingly begging for food because we only went to restaurants that actually served food. But this is a freaking food tour, for crying out loud, and how are we supposed to rate or review the restos if we didn’t get to taste their food? Oh nice place, this is! Oh yeah, it’s cheap. But news flash people, people don’t go to your places to chill and relax, people go there to actually EAT.

That aside we went on to other restos to have our fills. Some restaurant’s crew were very accommodating, which made their food seem to taste a lot better, than those restos that seem to ignore or discriminate the bloggers that came for the tour. AJ relates such an experience when the manager–no less–of Cabalen didn’t treat them decently and started berating some bloggers. Thank God I had too much of Cabalen to have even thought of going there.

As I’ve said, some restos were very accommodating. Bubba Gump’s was one of those places. Their crew was very friendly and they engage the bloggers in conversation. I had a particularly fond chat with a lady crew from Bubba Gump about the history behind the names of the dishes in their menu. Therefore, the whole experience was much better, unlike when we transferred to Friday’s where the crew merely handed us plates and just let us be. We quickly transferred to the next restaurant.

Here’s what I think: I believe some restaurants who participated in the event underestimated the bloggers. They didn’t know how much power and influence the bloggers wield. Some were unprepared, some were not accommodating, some were just plain blah. And those things are gonna come out of the bloggers’ reviews. Some treated bloggers marginally, some ignored them. Bloggers are critics too, you know, if not the worst kind of critic there is because they bluntly speak their mind. Some restos weren’t available for questions, some of them don’t seem even a bit interested in entertaining the bloggers’ queries. I believe the treatment we bloggers get are reflective of their services. Their food, their place, their ambiance speak for themselves. But their service is something they should really give an effort on. And the way some restaurants treated the bloggers is disappointing. I’m sure they’ll get an earful from them.

Trust me, if this was an event with the involvement of people from the mainstream media, they’d be up on their toes just to make an impression. Don’t they realize bloggers can say a lot more because they narrate from their personal experiences? Let this be a learning experience for companies who would think of holding a similar event in the future.

That aside, the tour sure filled a lot of bellies to the brim! Thanks to Trinoma and Yehey.com for this effort. ‘Til next time! =D


49 Responses to “The Trinoma Bloggers’ Pig-Out (Part 1 of 3)”
  1. Bakla Goes to the Trinoma Blogger Food Tour | Bakla Ako, May Reklamo? (I'm Gay, Got a Problem With That?) says:

    [...] The Trinoma Bloggers’ Pig-Out (Part 1 of 3) EventsEventsLink: [...]

  2. Bakla and His Cabalen TriNoMa Experience | Bakla Ako, May Reklamo? (I'm Gay, Got a Problem With That?) says:

    [...] The Trinoma Bloggers’ Pig-Out (Part 1 of 3) ReklamoReklamoLink: [...]

  3. Baklang AJ says:

    What’s Your Secret? Lel, kidding!

    Bubba Gump’s service is really great, no matter which branch you go to. And the food, even if the price range is a bit on the high-end, is always great! Shrimp Shrimp Shrimp! I love the way wait staff are called: You flip the blue sign “Run Forest Run!” over to reveal the Red “Stop Forest Stop!” and a wait staff will come rushing to you in so short a time! :) Love Cabalen! errr, Love Bubba Gump!

  4. noemi says:

    Well it was wrong for the guide to just let you on your own. Our Trinoma guide went with us all throughout the tour. She would introduce herself to the restaurant staff then go to us and say it’s okay to go in. In that way, there was no awkwardness. No wonder you got lukewarm treatment.

  5. JM says:

    @Baklang AJ I really loved Bubba Gump. I’m gonna dine there soon! Hehe. Go Cabalen! =P

    @noemi weh talaga po? Tsk. Andaya. Yung guide namin hinayaan lang kame. Tas namemressure pa sya pag medyo tumatagal kame. Hiniwalayan nga namen! Hahahahaha =P

  6. Baklang AJ says:

    so what’s the secret to living a healthy life? heheheh. Sarap talaga ng Bubba Gump. And cute yung isang may-ari :)

  7. JM says:

    Hahaha. The secret to living a healthy life is a healthy love life. Wahahahahaha. =P No wonder payat ka. Peaaaacccceeee!!! =D

  8. Baklang AJ says:

    Che! Sumbong kita sa jowa ko! bwahaha

  9. bleue says:

    I loved Bubba Gump either. Bait ng mga crew, nangawit ang ang panga ko kakangiti. Talagang great service, food and ambiance. Pero syempre what made a mark is The GoodEarth, na after the event (around 9PM) ay tinawag pa kami ng guard dahil wala daw yatang nagpunta sa kanila. They prepared a complete meal for us! Whoa! Naubos namin! Hahaha! Ayus na ayus. Ang bait din ng crew, iniiexplain nya kung ano yung ni-prepare nya sa amin at sooooper sarap naman talaga. Before we leave, the manager even shaked our hands and asked us kung saang Magazine kami nagwowork. Lols!

  10. utakGAGO says:

    Good thing I haven’t eaten at Cabalen.

    Hmm, some restaurants are slightly unprepared. Dunno who to blame anyway. But I enjoyed the tour nonetheless.

    Just fix my grammar, I’ma little bit drunk.

    I LOVE BUBBA GUMP and their staff. GAAAAAAAAD. They’re such warm-hearted people, and very much accommodating. But of course, Haiku will always be my NUMBER ONE. Mwahaha.

  11. JM says:

    @bleue I heard about that Good Earth nga. Too bad di na ko nakasama. Hehe.

    @utakGAGO di kame nakapunta sa Haiku. Anong food dun? Crazy Maki ng Oki Oki pa rin. Hehehehe =P

  12. Gian Paolo says:

    Why participate when you aren’t prepared? Weird.

  13. Robby says:

    Hi Kuya JM. Add nyo naman po ako sa blogroll mo. Thanks!

  14. bleue says:

    plus nice interior ng haiku!

  15. Andrew says:

    I happen to like Cabalen but I haven’t eaten there in years. Sad that their service had gone downhill. I liked the food at Mann Hann the best. The free iced tea at Teriyaki Boy was a godsend (shoot me Benj lololol) while the spinach and artichoke parmigiana of Italianni’s was nice too.

  16. Andrew says:

    Can I also add that Bread Talk sucks? :D

  17. aajao says:

    oist john mark walang take-out food? :(

  18. Neil says:

    “I believe I have tasted every possible dish available for pork, beef, chicken and shrimp out there”

    I think we munched on fresh fish and crab/false crab meat in a jap resto. Oh, the unknown meat in a Mediterranean dish. Blah. I ate too much and didn’t enjoy the latter food tour due to my slow digestion. Or perhaps I had too much lang talaga.

    —-

    Perhaps the tour guide didn’t want to tour us in the first place. Did she have a period or something, or she doesn’t want youngsters to spoil her solo food tour, no? :D

    —-

    Madison didn’t really piss me off. They might have confirmed participation in a short notice (thus, the big question mark on Trinoma’s postponement of the tour). And they still accommodated us. I should have stolen that bowl of cream cheese, though.

    —-

    Abe kinda irked me for forwarding us camwhores into their table with their best yet NO TOUCH dishes served. I should’ve coughed on that table para hindi nila ma-consume yun after the tour.

    —-

    I agree with their underestimation towards us bloggers. If not, unawareness of the existence of the blogging community. Those who accommodated us whole/halfheartedly during the tour might be fully aware of our capability of destroying their businesses.

    —-

    “Don’t get me wrong. We may have looked like hungry, malnourished (okay, not me, but some of us)”

    … ouch! ang sakit mo namang magsalita… (iyak sa sulok) Porke hindi ako nagbreakfast and lunch para sa tour (or talagang ayaw ko lang lumaki gastos ko)

    —-

    Oh, that Bubba Gump… the girls were really nice talaga. I swear, I would’ve taken more pictures of them. And the movie inspired concept was really phenomenal. YUn nga lang, I controlled my appetite towards their shrimp dishes. Mahirap nang pantalin ako.

    —-

    Exposing them on the Intarwebs is better publicity than a one-time stint on TV.

    Can I just make habol expletives?

    PAGKAIN! PAGKAIN! PAGKAIN! PAGKAIN! PAGKAIN!

  19. Jehzeel Laurente says:

    @ andrew – i also want to add that BreadTalk really sucks! haha :D

  20. richard says:

    sabi ko na nga ba ikaw yung andun eh., :) nahirapan talaga ako mag match ng url sa faces nung food tour., 1st timer lang ako eh., hehehehe., :)

    btw, classmate mo si mimi diola? :)

  21. Jehzeel Laurente says:

    @richard – mimi diola? hindi.. hehe

  22. richard says:

    si JM yung tinatanong ko., :) hehehe., :) anyways., i saw you there too no., we were in the same group pa., :) hehehe., :) and you gave out calling cards., :)

  23. JM says:

    @Gian i agree. it really got us in surprise.

    @bleue mukhang masarap nga ah! Sayang talaga di kame nakapunta diyan. Ugh.

    @andrew_ds siguro mga four establishments na pinuntahan namin served us iced tea. Kaya siguro nabusog ako kagad.

    Hehe, buti na lang di kame nagpunta ng bread talk.

    @aajao wala nga eh!!! Sana nga meron. Wehehehe.

    @es2pido haba ng comment mo. Wehehehe. =P Nice meeting you Neil!

    @Jehzeel thanks for dropping by!

    @richard yep classmate ko po si mimi. Haha sorry i didn’t recognize you from the event. how did you know mimi?

  24. richard says:

    classmate ko siya nung high school., :)

  25. JM says:

    @richard Oh I see. What’s your full name? I’ll make kwento you to her, errr, or whatever. Haha.

  26. Bloggers' Food Tour At Trinoma | edarevalo.net says:

    [...] The Trinoma Bloggers’ Pig-Out (Part 1 of 3) [...]

  27. Prudence says:

    Winner pa din ‘yung pic mo sa Cyma! Can I send the link to teamyehey? Fave ko talaga ‘yun! hehehe. Check mo sa blog entry ko about Cyma :-)

  28. JM says:

    @Prudence sige sige i-enter mo sa photo contest! tas hati tayo pag nanalo ka. Wehehehehe =P

  29. richard says:

    JM, i’m jan richard renes., :) hehehe., :) nabanggit ka niya ata sakin once., :) and i’ll link u nadin., :)

  30. Blue Pencil Chronicles » The Trinoma Bloggers' Pig-Out (Part 3 of 3) says:

    [...] Note: This is the Third part of a Three-part series on the Trinoma Bloggers’ Food Tour. Part 2 is here. Part 1 is here. [...]

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    [...] Words: Trinoma Bloggers’ Food Tour!!!  And oh, Cabalen sucks!  [...]

  32. Episode 28: We Love Trinoma! (A Video Spoof) : CokskiBlue - Pinoy Vlogs, Videos and Vodcasts says:

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  34. Atheista » Blog Archive » The TriNoMa Bloggers Food Tour: The Honor Roll says:

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  38. Restaurants in Trinoma says:

    [...] The Madison Grill As far as I am concerned, modesty, courtesy and all signs of civilization aside, we were out there for food. But it appeared that Madison Grill wasn’t prepared for our coming. They didn’t know what to do, they kept on talking in the background, which left me asking myself why they even confirmed participation at all. After a few minutes the chef came out and oriented us on the concept of the restaurant. In fairness to Madison Grill, their restaurant concept was nice, especially the do-it-yourself pizza bar and the huge pizza oven which was outside the kitchen. And in fairness to the chef, he was very accommodating even if he didn’t let us taste anything. – Blue Pencil Chronicles [...]

  39. monica says:

    THANKS for the bubbagump compliment. i think i’ve met you then.

  40. The CABALEN Trinoma Experience - If It Looks Good, Eat It! says:

    [...] The Trinoma Bloggers’ Pig-Out (Part 1 of 3) [...]

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