March 27, 2010

Red Ribbon's Combo Meal: Hooray for Cake!

I know my posting schedule has fallen off over the past month or...more. And I can't even blame it on Lost anymore since I now only watch one episode a week instead of my previous four-episodes-a-night marathons when I was catching up on the first five seasons. (By the way [spoiler alert if you haven't watched the latest episode], I love this image from Videogum's episode recap.) My explanation: my brain has deteriorated about 50 years in the last month and my brain just ain't working to the point that I now go to bed at 3 a.m. in order to fit in all the stuff I want (mostly in the category of "watching videos of cute animals doing funny things") and need (work) to do.

Which is why it's no surprise that I'm staying in on this sunny (and chilly) Saturday afternoon with some sort of illness that is making my throat itchy and my coughs hacky and phlegmy. As my mom and just about everyone else in the world has reminded me, five to six hours of sleep a night isn't conducive to good health (which could explain why my brain isn't working so well—and thus I'm caught in a cycle of failure). And that's on top of my normally unhealthy habits of eating tons.

But before I retire to my cold, lumpy bed for a late nap, I'll give you a preview of my next post that hasn't been written yet, except in lil' bits and bobs in my head. Although it's rare that I ever want to pull something out of my stupidly long posts in fear of something good getting buried, this won my attention:

IMG_3648 copy

Last Sunday while I was in Queens for an afternoon of Filipino face stuffing with Veronica, Kelly, and Francine, we stopped into Red Ribbon for my first Filipino bakery experience. And that's where I discovered one of the best combo meals ever: the kind that comes with cake (and soda).

IMG_3647 copy IMG_3646 copy

Check out dem cakes.

I didn't try any of the non-baked goods—palabok, arroz caldo, and baked macaroni—as I got the impression they're just supplementary to the cakes. And I was already full from lunch, but I'll talk about that more in my next post.

Cake slice. I feel like i just went to a birthday party.

The mango cake consisted of three moist, spongy layers spread with light mango bits-speckled frosting. Nothing life-changing, but it was a satisfying, not too sweet cake treat. I would've tried the ube cake if they had been selling slices of it that day.

The cake combo meal may not seem noteworthy to Filipinos, but it was a first for me. Even though I could order a slice of cake, a soda (well, I can do without the soda), and a savory dish separately at a bakery that has all of the above, I like knowing that this chain bakery puts them all together for a most nutritionally unbalanced, but potentially happiness-inducing combo meal. And I feel like the term "combo meal" is important; if they presented a deal like, "Add on a slice of cake and a Pepsi for only $X," it wouldn't feel the same. They granted you one less decision to make: "Yes, you want these three things. Everyone wants these three things. Do not stray from the formula; we have perfected it." Is my affinity for the concept weird? Probably. I DON'T CARE.

My stomach + Filipino food = YAY; I obviously need to get my bum to the Philippines. Some of you have been telling me that for years. While I don't know when I'll be able to make the trip, Manila is first on my list of "non-U.S. vacation spots." So a warning to you Manila-ites: I want to meet all you guys/gals, and I want to stuff my face with fried pork and cake. SIMULTANEOUSLY. (I mean, I want the "meeting you" and "eating" parts to be simultaneous, not a meal where there's fried pork and cake in every bite.)

But first, nap time.


Red Ribbon
65-02 Roosevelt Ave, Woodside, NY 11377 (map)

Posted by roboppy at 5:47 PM

Tags: bakeries, Filipino, Francine, Kelly, Queens, Red Ribbon, Veronica


That's a crazy array of cakes! If, and yes, IF you could have just one cake for your birthday. What would it be? (Great reference for your friends, hehe)

Posted by: kim at March 27, 2010 8:26 PM [#]

that purple cake will change your life; it changed mine.

now that green cake looks mighty good too...

Posted by: Jane at March 27, 2010 10:28 PM [#]

Whoa, cake! I really do love the stuff, and I enjoy cake for breakfast. That green cake looks pretty tasty.

As for your sleeping habits, at least you don't like coffee. I have your problem of late hours coupled with "Well, I didn't mean to drink 5 cups of coffee before bed because I wasn't planing on going to bed... ever...."

Posted by: Christina at March 28, 2010 1:41 AM [#]

Wow, I'm surprised you like Red Ribbon :) the franchise is now run by the same owners of Jollibee (I'm sure you've heard about this fastfood chain). I personally don't like their cakes because they're too 'spongy' for my liking, but then again I think it's usually how Filipinos like their cake. Their savoury menu is Filipino comfort food.

If you happen to find yourself in Manila, we'll be happy to feed you :)

Posted by: frances at March 28, 2010 2:44 AM [#]

roboppy you HAVE to come to the manila. i have a condo with a bedroom with your name on it. not only that, it's less than 2 blocks away from a mall with over 100 restaurants...and there are a dozen restaurants/bakeries on the way over! CAKE EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!

Posted by: santos. at March 28, 2010 2:45 AM [#]

Have you been to Jersey City? There is a Red Ribbon bakery like two blocks from my house. And that's not even the exciting part! I pretty live in the Filipino center of America! You must come.

Posted by: Laryssa at March 28, 2010 3:29 AM [#]

You have to try the lechon! And the crispy pata, which is fried pork leg. Holy delicious.

Read this:

Anthony Bourdain called it the Best. Pig. Ever. and it made his top 5 food porn moments, lol.

If you can't make it to Cebu, they do ship it to Manila- but I'd really recommend eating it fresh.

Posted by: Rebecca at March 28, 2010 9:17 AM [#]

I have asked you to come here since...well....forever.


:) I will host too! Methinks it is time to activate the FOODIE NETWORK.

So there!

Posted by: Mahar at March 28, 2010 9:56 AM [#]

Kim: One cake? Ahh!..I don't think really have a favorite cake. Whatever cake is made with LOOOVE. Hehe. :)

Jane: Damn, I wanted purple cake. Maybe next time...

Christina: Oh man, I can't imagine what I'd be like if I were caffeinated. I don't drink caffeinated sodas either. I just stay up...on energy that doesn't exist. :O Last night I tried to go to bed at 8:30 but I think I was awake for at least four hours in my bed before I fell asleep. That was partially because I couldn't breathe through my nose though...:(

Frances: I went to Jollibee too! :) All we did was share a pie there.

I think I'm used to spongy cake; that's the sort they sell in Chinese bakeries too. I LOVE SPONGY CAKE!

santos: A mall with over 100 restaurants? WUUUT. Magic!

Laryssa: I've never been to the Filipino part of Jersey City (just the Indian part)! Damn, I should go there.

Rebecca: Lechon and crispy pata are two of my favorite foodstuffs in the wooorld. Yessss. I totally want.

Mahar: I know; you've been telling me for yeeears. ;_; I like the sound of "Foodie network, ACTIVATE!" It would involve lasers and ...roasted pork

Posted by: roboppy at March 28, 2010 3:48 PM [#]

My best friend had the purple cake for her wedding cake! It was.... very very purple!

Posted by: Su-Lin at March 28, 2010 7:51 PM [#]

Yay! I'm excited to see your longer blog on Filipino food. We're not as famous for food as our other Asian neighbors but we loooooove our food. Come for a visit!

Posted by: Miriam at March 28, 2010 10:31 PM [#]

I shall make sure to be back in the Philippines when you do touch down in my home country. You know Lori will want to take you around too! Come! Bring Greg! and Diana! The three of you are so cute together! Sorry, that didn't come out right. But you know what I mean!
As for Red Ribbon, they're ok, but we have so many fantastic bakeries, and bakers who make really good cakes, so I think you shall find happily stuffed with pork and cakes.

Posted by: Mila at March 29, 2010 1:45 AM [#]

Come to Cebu! I don't even know what food to begin recommending to you. Everything from lechon and chicharon bulaklak (roasted whole pig and fried crispy chicken innards) to halohalo (icy dessert with all manner of fruit bits, jellies, ice cream, and the little umbrella).

There's also a lot of great Chinese, Japanese, and Korean restaurants. They're practically authentic --- something I can say from a comparison of their quality with dishes I've eaten in their original homes / countries.

And as expected, there are a lot of restaurants with the soda, entree, and cake combos. :D

Posted by: Daisy at March 29, 2010 3:48 AM [#]

Somewhat related, your post makes me want to hop on a train and go to Jollibee's right now.

Posted by: Nicholas at March 29, 2010 6:28 AM [#]

Su-Lin: Nice choice for a wedding cake!

Miriam: I don't understand why Filipino food isn't as famous. It's so easy to find Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai food here...Filipino, not so much. Waaah.

Mila: Oh man, I would eat at so many bakeries over there. I WANT EM ALL IN HERE (points to belly).

Daisy: Whoa whoa, whole pig's head with crispy chicken innards? UM, AWESOME. Gah, there's too much out there that I wanna eat!

Nicholas: All I got to eat at Jollibee was a fried pie, so hopefully I'll get to try..the real food another time, hehe. But man, the wait to get that pie was about 15 minutes—not a big chunk of my life, but at a fast food joint it feels like FOREVER.

Posted by: roboppy at March 29, 2010 8:05 PM [#]

Hmm. We should grab some Filipino food next time we hang out!

Posted by: Jason at March 29, 2010 8:35 PM [#]

The Red Ribbon cakes here are much cheaper by a 100% :P I wonder if there's something special with the cakes.

Posted by: Brian Asis at March 29, 2010 9:52 PM [#]

Do try the ube cake next time! It's one of my favorites. Their palabok's good, too, but if you want the best, Razon's is the place to go. :)

Hope you could come and visit the Philippines soon! Cebu is a good first stop (the lechon is to die for), then you could swing by Ilocos, Pampanga, Binondo, Bicol, Iloilo... :P

Posted by: ailene at March 29, 2010 11:00 PM [#]

To get a glimpse of what's in store for you in Manila, check out Chubby Hubby's blog dated Aug 2009:

You should have come recently, Paramore and Justin Timberlake were in town for concerts.


Posted by: Mac at March 30, 2010 9:43 AM [#]

Jason: YES, we shall do that.

Brian Asis: Methinks it's the NYC prices. :[ Probably nothing special with the cakes! Jollibee was pricier than most fast food joints too, I think.

ailene: I think I'm gonna have to make multiple trips to the Philippines. :D

Mac: Oh god I forgot how awesome Chubby Hubby's blog is. Sweeetjeesus.

I'm not a fan of Paramore and Justin Timberlake, but I should definitely coordinate a trip with concerts...I need to listen to some good local music.

Posted by: roboppy at March 30, 2010 10:34 AM [#]

OH GAWD. That mango cake looks so good. Too bad it would kill me. Sad face.

Posted by: food.overture at March 30, 2010 9:57 PM [#]


(in caps for dramatic effect, but it's probably also not true haha)

Posted by: Nicholas at March 31, 2010 5:56 AM [#]

Omg, I just tried Red Ribbon Bakery in CA and wrote an entry about it, because my friend told me it was really famous over there. I didn't know there was one in NY!!! This is pretty exciting. Try the polvorone and the mocha sponge cake. Those are really good! I really like the cakes too because they're light and Asian-bakery-ish, without compromising any flavor.

Posted by: Eileen at March 31, 2010 9:25 AM [#]

I totally want Filipino food right now... Filipino food + cake + coke! It's a magical combination!!!

Posted by: bionicgrrrl at March 31, 2010 12:06 PM [#]

woah. did you see last night's lost episode? can there really only be six left?

I am on of your regular lurkers. Your style of writing (and photo captioning!) lifts up my spirits.

However, its your admission to a 4-episode marathons of seasons 1-5 of lost is what really makes you my comrade! I didn't think anyone else founds lost as late as I did. Seriously. Marathons. Think .. taking a day off to watch half a season.


Posted by: gtrine at March 31, 2010 5:33 PM [#]

oops .. i am obviously excited and very generous with the typos. sorry! hehe

Posted by: gtrine at March 31, 2010 5:34 PM [#]

Red Ribbon! The noblest of the four horsemen of Filipino fast food (Pinoy/Pinay, Jollibee and Chowking filling the other slots). The palabok is actually not bad there; I used to work across the parking lot from a trio of these chain outlets and stop in for the lunch special every now and then. My favorite thing to do at Red Ribbon, though, was to buy and eat a loaf of pan de sal :D

Posted by: James at March 31, 2010 10:24 PM [#]

food.overture: Do not want dead you. :(

Nicholas: YES!..wait when are you leaving WUT.

Eileen: I did try the mocha sponge cake! I ate it in like 5 seconds. It was a good 5 seconds.

bionicgrrrl: We should get that magical combination. Filipino outing is in our futuure.

gtrine: Oh noooes I didn't watch it yet!...actually I never watch it on Tues cos I don't have a TV. Or rather, our TV isn't hooked up to anything but a Mac Mini. So sometimes i watch it on Hulu on Wednesdays, but it's pretty late right now so I bet I won't get to it. I might not get to watch it until Friday. It's sort of impressive that I managed to watch so much of it before and now I have trouble just watching ONE EPISODE A WEEK.

But yay. Let's join in our "late to Lost" harmony!

James: I didn't try that!...I don't think I could eat a whole loaf, but now I wanna try. Hm.

Posted by: roboppy at March 31, 2010 11:39 PM [#]

You did it again!Now you have me thinking all about Halo-halo from Chow King. (Surprising but I actually think the best Halo-halo I had in both Cebu and Manila is from a local fast food joint!)I hope they have a Jollibee in NYC. They serve the best Chicken Joy (fried chicken)in the world. Definitely miss the lechon, chicharon bulaklak, bangus relleanos.

Posted by: reese at April 2, 2010 10:36 PM [#]

Yo Rob, it's me, Lori! :p It's been YEARS I know, since I last came around. What a coincidence it is that when I finally make it here, it's a Filipino-ish post you've got here. We *must * meet again, whether it be in Paris (again!) or in my home country. Hope you've been well. What are you doing now? Drop me a line!

Posted by: lori at April 3, 2010 4:39 AM [#]

I love cake. All types, and these look frosting laden and temptimg!

Posted by: lg at April 4, 2010 6:49 PM [#]

reese: I went to Jollibee after Red Ribbon but only tried the fried pie..was too full for more meat. BUT NEXT TIME, yesss.

lg: I cannot declare love for all cakes...but these are definitely on the "good cake" side.

Posted by: roboppy at April 4, 2010 10:12 PM [#]

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previous entries

» 06/20/15: Bye, Taipei, and Thanks for the Despair Juice

» 11/17/14: Visiting Seoul from November 23 to 30

» 11/10/14: Thank You, Cafe Kuroshio, For Pulling Me Out of "I Don't Know How to Chinese" Dumpsville

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» 03/09/14: Taipei 2011, Day 4: Keelung River Bikeway, TAS, Beef "Pie," and Din Tai Fung

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