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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Banchetto » Street Food Fiesta for the Hungry Insomniacs

''Humans are inherently nocturnal eaters'' - Ori Hofmekler, Author of The Warrior Diet.

After long weekdays of working like ants, we usually meet up with friends and officemates on Friday nights to chill out, have a bottle of beer or simply satisfy our cravings to reward ourselves for surviving a toxic week. On a TGIF night out, my officemates and me normally go to a nearby pub, usually at Cuba Libre in Starmall or Central BBQ Boy Grill in Madison Square. 
  
However, there are specific barkada moments when we all get tired of vodka and beer and just want to pig-out and hunt restos that can satisfy our nocturnal hunger. This is when we discover Banchetto at Megatent Meralco Avenue in Ortigas. The area is conveniently located at the business district of Ortigas at the parking area of Megatent, which is also a tricycle ride away from our office along EDSA.

Parking Lot Food Fiesta

It was my first Banchetto food trip, which has turned my regular rainy Friday evening into one long night, seven times satiated and seven times satisfied. I could still smell the savory smoke and the appetizing flames teasing the t-bones and steaks against the lovely rains.

Banchetto Megatent: Parade of Food
Buon appetito is the only Italian word I know (which I learned from the animated movie flick Ratatouille – which is actually French) but I later learned that Banchetto is also derived from Italian word that means, “feast.”

Food stalls at Banchetto Megatent parking area
By the way, if you haven’t tried Banchetto don’t get the notion (like me) that it is an Italian restaurant. Banchetto is an overnight street food fiesta held weekly right in the middle of a parking lot or a street. They put up mini-tents for the food bazaar and dining tables and chairs for the food trippers. According to Banchetto’s official website, it is a project commissioned by the Ortigas Center Association (OCAI) and Rotary Club of Ortigas Center (RCOC) hoping to promote the Ortigas Center Tourism Council.

View of diners and food stalls from the dining area for guests
BPO companies are no doubt booming like mushrooms at the Ortigas business area and the initial target customers of Banchetto are the call center employees who work in the wee hours of the morning. However, it turned out that call center agents are not the only hungry insomniacs in the area that’s why Banchetto gained popularity even for daylight zombies like us.   

Foodie Ukay Ukay

Cheap sweets, cakes and pastries
Barry Schwartz  in his article The Tyranny of Choice argues that sometimes although having  some  is  better  than  none, more  is  not  always  better  than  less. Simply  put,  he  argues  that  sometimes  having more  options  is  not  always  beneficial  to man. Maybe he is correct but I must say in Banchetto, like an ukay-ukay – more food options, mas happy!

Original Glomy's Empanada from Batac
For the appetizer, we tried the giant double egg especial Empanada, famous in Batac Ilocos Norte. Yes, that’s right – you don’t have to go all the way to Batac Ilocos Norte just to have their famous Empanada.


Food stalls are filled with variety of food from the usual street foods - siomai, fishballs and isaw to jumbo burgers, pasta, pizza T-bones and steaks.


Banchetto also offer a wide array of home specialty food, Pinoy and rural delicacies, Chinese and Japanese food varieties, fruits, veggies, meat and seafoods. Definitely you’ll never run out of choices.


Ooopps, don’t forget to leave a space for dessert because there are lots of sweets to choose from. Cakes and desserts of all sizes and flavors would be an awesome finale on your night’s food trip. Then take it all down with a nice freezing fresh fruit shake! 

This is what I ate on my first Banchetto experience

Banchetto Good Points
  • Wide variety of food to satisfy your cravings
  • Very accommodating and professional food vendors
  • High quality and delicious yet cheap foods
  • Foods are carefully prepared and clean
  • Location is very convenient for commuters
  • Security guards are available and the crowd are mostly professionals
  • The “Bring Me” game helps in setting up the festive mood

Observations and Tips  
  • Not enough tables and chairs to accommodate the crowd of food trippers
  • Schedules and locations are always subject to changes unlike in regular restaurant so always check the announcement first before going.
  • Best enjoyed with your barkada, officemates or together with the whole family
  • It’s better to grab a bottle of softdrinks or water at a convenience store on your way to Banchetto
  • Best time checking in is an hour after the opening when all the food stalls are already opened.      
Miscellaneous Information:

Banchetto Locations:

» BANCHETTO MEGATENT
The Megatent is an event venue is located along MERALCO AVENUE, (between Renaissance Towers and the Department of Education building) Pasig City, Philippines. Click Location Map  

» BANCHETTO LIBIS
Located at the OPEN PARKING AREA  of SHOPWISE LIBIS, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue Quezon City, Philippines

» BANCHETTO FORUM
Located at the back of Cybergate Plaza and Tower 1 Delivery Bay area of FORUM Robinson's
Pioneer Street corner EDSA, Barangka Ilaya, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
Click Location Map

Schedule:

For important updates regarding Banchetto schedule, please check their website or contact them on their contact details below: 

or check the Schedule of Events (2011) : Banchetto Schedule of Events 

BANCHETTO CONTACT DETAILS:
               http://banchetto.multiply.com/
Mobile:     63 922 8178910 / 63 922 8800861
Landline:  63 2 6550590
Email       info.banchetto@gmail.com
Online Contact Form:
               http://www.banchettomanila.com/p/contact-us.html
Twitter:   (@ilovebanchetto) for real time updates
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Banchetto/141191545906217?ref=ts

____________________________
Related Links and Articles
» ALVAREZ , KATRINA PAOLA B.  07 December 2010 “A Midnight Feast” Businessworld Special Features: 07 December 2010 [http://www.entreprenews.com.ph/inside.php?url_link=1291651200&id=53&article_type=mainstory] Retrieved: 08 August 2011
» Biado, Ed. 27 October 2010 “Food trip at Banchetto” Manila Standard Today, Lifestyle
[http://edbiado.blogspot.com/2010/10/food-trip-at-banchetto.html?ref=nf] Retrieved: 08 August 2011
» Bolido, Linda B. 05 January 2010 “Nights at the Forum”Philippine Daily Inquirer: Money-Top Stories. [http://business.inquirer.net/money/topstories/view/20100501-267522/Nights_at_the_Forum] Retrieved: 08 August 2011
» OIGA, JACKY LYNNE A. 07 April 2010 “Chowtime from dusk till dawn” Manila Bulletin-Lifestyle-Food [http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/251509/chowtime-dusk-till-dawn] Retrieved: 08 August 2011
Citations: 
» Thumbnails Image Source: Photos Inspired by Seven Deadly Sins 
» Schwartz, Barry The Tyranny of Choice: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less – Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paradox_of_Choice:_Why_More_Is_Less [retrieved: 08 August 2011]






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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan freethinker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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