Pipino: Indulging in a guilt-free (and a major withdrawal) green lunch

Go green. go organic. go vegan.

Okay so maybe I was too engrossed with the go green campaign I’ve been working on for 2 weeks now and it’s been haunting me everywhere!

And the culmination of those 2 weeks was… Pipino! (it couldn’t get any greener than this)

Last Saturday we found ourselves in a cozy vegetarian restaurant in Malinap Street, Teachers Village. It housed 2 restaurants where Pino served “normal food” and Pipino, well for the health enthusiasts. A few minutes after I took this photo, people piled in and minutes after Pipino was packed!

With the place filled up, I was excited to see if Pipino was really as promising as it looked. I wondered how they would create their dishes and if it could measure up to Greens which was the first vegan restaurant I’ve tried.

Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino

Good thing we just ordered one Pipino special iced tea. At only Php35, their serving was huge and their blend was refreshing too. Its mix reminded me of carrots.

Pipino Iced Tea (Php35)

Then we had the Fresh Vegetable Lumpia which tasted normal too. I’ve had better though but by far this was the best part of my Pipino dining experience next to their iced tea.

Fresh Vegetable Lumpia (Php120)

They used an egg-less crepe which had quite an interesting texture to it and it was a bit chewy too. Topped with peanut sauce, toasted seaweed and fresh garlic. It was also served with crispy rice noodles that I enjoyed nibbling on. (There was not a pinch of saltiness in it, mind you)

My choice of greens was Pipino’s Garden Burger. The “pattie” was Carrot Bacon in Chili-Garlic Sauce on Whole Wheat Bun, served with Kamote (Sweet Potato) Fries.

Garden Burger (Php155)

Did I enjoy it? I wanted to run to the nearest Mcdonalds. I hate to admit it but I’m a fastfood / junkfood junkie. The moment I had a bite of the pattie, I wanted to run into the arms (if it had any) of a quarter pounder or a double cheeseburger.

The carrot-bacon pattie

Don’t get me wrong, it might have worked for those on a Vegan diet. It was guilt-free alright but I was suffering from major withdrawal after.

Jason’s choice was Squash Risotto. It had Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Vegan Sausage, Cashew Cheese Nugget and it was peppered with Fresh Ginger.

Squash Risotto (Php220)

It looked pretty appetizing. But as Jason had a spoonful of it, I couldn’t paint the expression on his face. When I had a bite of it, well… it wasn’t so cruel. You really have to get used to the taste. At first it was a bit difficult to swallow. The rice was sticky and soggy, (thanks to the ginger, I could imagine myself having Hainanese Chicken with it) and it was really hard to appreciate. The Vegan Sausage was  okay though and the Cashew Cheese Nugget. But if you eat them together with the rice, the latter’s taste would overwhelm the former.

It also had an aftertaste of garlic sauce so I pretty much imagined myself chowing down on shawarma / kebab.

At that point I was thinking of children being forced to eat their greens where mom would say “Mmmmmm….” to stimulate the poor kid’s appetite after feeding the kid a spoonful of ampalaya.

I’m not cut out for this diet really. I could only fool myself into a green and healthy lifestyle for an hour or two. But on the other hand, I lasted a week living only on broccoli and cauliflower.

I hope though their quite normal counterpart (Pino) is a lot better than this. After that guilt-free lunch, I’m sorry but I had to rush to the nearest Dairy Queen (in Katipunan) to reward my major craving. I had their Oreo Cheesecake, as Oreo is their featured flavor of the month and dare I say, it was the highlight of my green day. 🙂

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Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino

 2F 39 Malinap Street, Teachers Village

Quezon City, Philippines

Dairy Queen

Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City

Philippines