Friday, March 8, 2013

Paseo del Mar: Zamboanga's Food Haven and Nightlife District

Working parents usually have their weekends scheduled for getaways or strolling around the city. That's why Ryan's mom asked us to free our saturdays from any errands so that we can visit places in their pueblo, and the top on her list is to have dinner in Paseo del Mar.

Paseo del Mar is known to be the Food Haven of Zamboanga. This place is known to locals and tourists for its bars and restaurants. It's perfectly situated beside the shore and still with fresh air breezing the place. Families, party goers, observers, lovers and loners flock the place. As for me, this is where I fell in love with Zamboanga.

I never really had high expectations but this place surpassed my standard of a great gimik. The place is safe since there are a lot of police officers roaming around. The parking lot is spacious. The restos are well organized. Public wash room is not for free but they are able to keep it clean. And a lot of add-ups to beautify the place were put up just three years ago attracting more visitors to come. Now, they already have a dancing fountain.

Gimmiking for me is directly proportional to food hopping. Here in Paseo del Mar, that's well satisfied. I've been to a number of their restaurants, but not all though. Anyway, here is the list of all the restaurants you can see there:

1) Barcode

Cozy place with an entertaining live band at night. The place suits well for reunions and jamming. They serve platters of pulutan in a cheap price. Buckets of beers are also offered in a reasonable price. Located just beside the seashore, this restaurant has the perfect spot to witness Zamboanga's sunset.

2) Mano-mano

Mano-Mano sa Paseo is the extension branch of the Famous Mano-Mano in Greenfield. Unlike in Greenfield though, here they have limited selection of food. You can order platter of pulutan, some viands, or budget meals. The food is so-so, my expectations for good food was not met though. Their restaurant seems bigger compared to the others. They also have a live band to entertain you as you dine here. We dined with Ryan's family twice here.

3) Bistro

Just a stone throw away from Mano-Mano. Bistro Restaurant's stall is small. But they compensated in providing its customers cheap treats! You can order meals with unlimited rice and drinks with it. Their barkada treat is also cheap. Too bad they are being sandwiched by two bigger resto. Anyhow, you can definitely spend your money wisely here.

4) Distrito

People flock here because they have standup comedians entertaining their customers. If you want a fun-filled night while dining with your family and friends, then the best place is at Distrito. Their performers are truly entertaining. They even conduct contests to be participated by the customers. To someone who is affraid of bullies like me, I sat at The Bistro bar yet i still can overhear the jokes from the other bar.

5) Pinokyo

During weekend it is really crowded in Paseo del Mar. Your pack will surely have a dificult time to settle down on a place. Pinokyo is one of the restaurants which is not easily bombarded by the crowd. Maybe because they do not have a live band or other gimmiks. Foodwise though, they serve variety of food choices. From sushis, california makis up to sisig and isaw (grilled chicken intestine).

6) Kambingan

Craving for Kambing (goat meat) viands? Then good for you, here in Paseo del Mar, Kambingan specializes in cooking Kambing in varied viands. From papaitan to caldereta to adobing, Kambingan has it. Aside from Kambing they also offer other food like chicken bbq and beef steak. For an amount of less than a hundred, you can already enjoy what's on their menu.

7) Alavar

Known for its delicious CURACHAS topped with the addictive sauce is the Alavar Restaurant. Originally located at Brgy. Tetuan, this resto also expanded in Paseo del Mar. They have a small stall beside barcode, just beside the beach, also facing the sunset. However, opposite to what they are known of "pricey food", the food they serve in Paseo del Mar are more affordable yet THERE'S NO CURACHA enlisted. Anyway, their Alavar sauce could still be tasted on their other foods. You can even bring home a 1kilo pack of their sauce for a cheap price.

8) Edgardo Pizzito's

Also an outdoor seating restaurant located near barcode is Pizzito's. I had no chance to dine in here but I saw them last time offering buffet for only 99 pesos. I'll surely try what they offer on my next visit.

9) Pinoy Patio (Palmeras)

Knickerbacker is the locals favorite and it can be bought in Pinoy Patio. Knickerbacker is basically sliced fruits and gelatins topped with a strawberry ice cream, really great as an afternoon snack. Better leave some space in your tummy for this yummy dessert!!!!

10) Tony's na Paseo

A spacious restaurant located at the far side of Paseo near the parking area. Tony's na Paseo is a barbeque restaurant with a live band entertaining the customers.

11) Kape Zambo

Kape Zambo as what its name suggests is a coffeshop. Overwhelmed by the craziness of the party goers? Or you just prefer spending good chitchats with friends in a quiet place, then this place is perfect for you.

More and more renovations are being done in Paseo del Mar. Surely in no time, this place will become a depot of tourists. What I love about Paseo del Mar is their fidelity to their culture transparently shown in the food they offer.


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