Mezza Norte night food market joins QC foodie scene
For those who like to go on food adventures, the emergence of weekend food markets in Metro Manila in recent years has been a welcome development.
There’s Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio Global City; Soderno in Alabang; Banchetto at Ortigas Center; Salcedo Market, Legazpi Market, and Distrito Makati in Makati; the Weekend Gourmet Market in Eastwood City; and the Sidcor Sunday Market at Eton Centris in Quezon City, among others.
The newest kid on the block is Mezza Norte, put up by the people behind Mercato Centrale, Soderno, and Distrito Makati. The market flung open its doors (or tent) wide to foodies in the northern part of the metropolis Thursday evening, at the UP-Ayala Technohub on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
“There was a strong clamor from people here in the north who really love Mercato and want to bring the same experience closer to home. And we wanted to have that same vibrant food scene in the north,” television host RJ Ledesma, one of the organizers of Mezza Norte, told GMA News Online.
“And not only that. We also want to surface new food entrepreneurs, give them opportunities. So any food entrepreneur should feel free to join us. Taste test lang ‘yan,” said Ledesma, host of the Kapuso show “Best Men.”
Indeed, Mezza Norte featured food booths run by many small enterprises and home-based chefs and bakers who don’t have a presence in malls.
There was Dadi’s Berd charcoal-grilled chicken, Carlo’s Kitchen crunchy belly (the glamorous way to refer to chicharon, in my opinion), Big Bob’s Freshy charcoal-grilled burgers, Merry Moo ice cream, Maria’s Ilocos empanada, and the ever popular Mercato favorite Mochiko ice cream-filled mochi balls, among others.
Catering mostly to the after-office crowd, the UP community, and the call center workers on duty at the Technohub, Mezza Norte was jam-packed on opening night Thursday.
People were enticed by the smell of meat hot off the grill, from booths such as Amang’s Grill, Edgy’s (which had baby back ribs) and Spare Ribs Delight. Young people crowded booths selling sisig (take your pick: pork, bangus, vegetarian), kebabs, buffalo wings, mini tacos, takoyaki, Angus beef tapa, burgers, roast beef, and Korean faves bibimbap and bulgogi.
Regional cuisines were represented by booths selling Ilocos empanada (stuffed with meat and vegetables, then fried) and Tuguegarao pancit and longganisa.
There were lots of cakes and ice cream for the sweet-toothed, and the thirsty can take their pick from fresh fruit juices, milk teas, and mocktails.
The selection could be improved, though, with more healthy choices. And the dining experience would be a lot better with more space and elbow room.
But a foodie can’t complain, right? As long as there’s food—and lots of it—we all have a reason to smile. Throw in free Wi-Fi and live acoustic music, and everyone’s happy. – YA, GMA News
Mezza Norte is open Thursday to Saturday, 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.