Besides traveling, I also enjoy food walks that's why when I heard about this popular street food event in Ortigas, I tagged along with my fellow Bakastonistas. Banchetto is a street food night market that happens every Friday night in Emerald Avenue. Banchetto is an Italian word meaning 'feast' and yes this weekly event truly lives up to its name especially for food lovers. At 12am, the entire street is closed from traffic and is opened to a lot of people especially those who work on a night shift. This idea was originally catered for those who work in the call center industry but because of its popularity, even foodies from all walks of life now frequent the Ortigas area.
One of the crowd favourites is Monster Burger because of their half and quarter pounder burgers that sell like hotcakes for a price of around Php100 to Php150. They don't add any seasoning to their burgers except salt and pepper which makes the beef more tasty. And because this is one of the most visited stalls, the downside is that there are long queues most of the time. I remember waiting for my burger for almost an hour but it was worthit. One piece of advice though, better have a drink or a least a bottle of water ready just in case you choke up from eating.
Isaw is another crowd favourite that sells for Php20 per stick. You can choose either chicken or pig intestine but eitherway, both of them taste just the same. If isaw is not your thing, there's no need to be sad because there are other popular street foods that are available at very reasonable prices. They also have tenga (pig's ears), betamax (dried chicken blood), liempo , hotdog, dried squid, barbeque, squid balls and a whole lot more. Good thing there's a lot of stalls that sell these so you have plenty of choices and less queues.
Last on my menu to end the food walk is the scrumptious crepe fron Crepe-papips. They also have a long queue and if I remember it right, I waited for 45 minutes for this one. Price of their popular 'fruity crepes' ranges from Php50 to Php55. Don't be deceived though because for such a small amount, it's a one big crepe.
Given that this is a crowd-drawer, expect to either stand up or just sit along the sidewalk to eat. Chairs and tables are provided at both ends of the street but don't expect to find an empty one especially if you're going there between 12am and 5am. Don't consider it a big deal though because most of the people visit this place not because of the seats but because of the food. And the best part of going to places like these is that you could try out something new and delectable.
Of course there are other stalls that are also worth visiting and it just depends on your taste.
You can also visit the official Banchetto site for more information on other stalls that you want to check out.
The event itself has its own inviting feel and there's no chance that you wouldn't be tempted if you're already there. So if you're looking for some fun activity aside from clubbing on Friday nights, then this is definitely a weekly event that you shouldn't miss.
PS: Due to Banchetto's popularity, it now serves Forum Robinsons and Shopwise Libis as well. So now you have 3 options:
Forum Robinsons: Wed & Thurs 630pm-8am the next day
Shopwise Libis: Tues 6pm-4am
Update (June 7, 2011)
Banchetto-Emerald Ave is relocated and will now be called Banchetto-Megatent starting this Friday, June 10, 2011.