About This Site

Writing With My Mouth Full is the culmination of all my years on the Web. I realized I liked food so much I was willing to write about it, whether it was because of a recipe I tried at home or an experience during my travels I wanted to share with other people.

Food tells us about our relationships with the earth and our surroundings. It can also summarize cultures and traditions, and most importantly, it invites us to relate with other people. Writer Mark Kurlansky said that food offers writers “material that is both universal and intensely personal–something that illuminates the nature of humankind but also offers insights into the unique and intimate foibles of an individual.” Writing With My Mouth Full is the grown-up ext212; the grown-up pabulum. If you’re familiar with those two sites, thank you for following me here.

Who is writing with her mouth full?

My name is cia_b and I’ve been blogging even before “blog” was in people’s lexicons. I’m a Filipino who has been calling New York City–“the big grid of blasted streets and no apologies”–home for the last 22 years. I worked in the fashion industry before the Web taught me most of what I know today.

In one of my past lives, I founded generationrice.com, an online magazine for Asians and Asian Americans. You may email me at my Gmail address or subscribe to the RSS feed. I now update exclusively on Instagram as @ext212.

About the recipes

I’m inspired to cook by the produce currently in season. I visit New York City farmers’ markets for the freshest produce but I also visit a handful of specialty stores and supermarkets. Some of my frequent haunts are listed under Pages at the bottom of this page.

I have a few favorite cookbooks that I always turn to when I cook, but I also adapt from the newspapers, magazines and books I’m currently reading. After cooking, I edit the recipes to make sure that I’m only publishing them the way I interpreted them. This may include changing the ingredients and the measurements.

About the restaurant reviews and ratings

When I’m not cooking at home, I’m out and about eating. I usually go by my current mood unless there’s a new restaurant I want to try. I eat out less often now, as my current life includes a New York City mortgage and monthly maintenance fees, so I’ve switched the focus of the site to more recipes tested at home.

For existing reviews, some restaurants may have changed information or closed since the time of writing, so call or check your local listings to make sure.

Advertising on the site and product reviews

There are a few advertising links here that help pay for the site’s hosting bills. I also accept complementary products from manufacturers and PR firms for review consideration on the site. When I review a product that I didn’t personally buy, I make sure that I mention it on the post; same goes for restaurant reviews comped by management. I’ve since stopped doing those because I found that they treated me differently when I’m an invited guest. I am now testing partnerships on my Instagram account @ext212 so please request to follow me there.

Some recent mentions and awards:

» FoodyDirect published my list of 2014 restaurants, April 2015
» One of my favorite sites, Mint.com, interviewed me about eating and traveling on a budget, November 2014
» HotelsCheap interviewed me about New York City, September 2014
» A photo I took of Harold’s Chicken Shack in Chicago was used by Food and Wine Magazine for their Best Fried Chicken in the U.S. feature, October 2011
» Photos I took of the Octo-dog were used by Food and Wine Magazine for their Wacky State Fair Foods feature, June 2011
» A photo I took of Ditch Witch in Montauk was used by the New York Observer and Manhattan Magazine for their summer issues, May 2011
» Three of my photos were published in Carolyn D. Johnson’s Harlem Travel Guide, February 2011
» Named one of the Best Travel Sites on the Web by IgoUgo.com (Full disclaimer: I used to work at IgoUgo.com in 2003 and left in 2007 soon after being bought by Travelocity), February 2011
» Included in another SEO tool site; this time the Guide to Culinary Schools100 Best Restaurant and Dining Blogs, December 2010
» Interviewed by a German radio show (you can hear me around 3:45) while eating with the Gastronauts at Txikito, November 2010
» Included in SEO site Guide to Culinary ArtsVoracious Reading list, September 2010
» Interview by Jazz Hotels on where to find cheap food in New York City
» After more than a year of being slow on extra curricular activities, I contributed Food & Design Mash-ups with Rachel Khoo in Theme Magazine‘s #22 issue
» A photo I took of the Jollibee in Cebu City made it in Queens Tribune, March 2009
» I contributed a BBQ tale in Theme Magazine #18 food issue
» Gawker used a photo I took of the Elizabeth Street fire, which Eater and Gothamist picked up
» A photo I took at Pickle Day made it, uncredited, in Driven‘s October 2008 issue
» A photo I took in Barcelona made it in Everywhere Magazine‘s last print edition
» A photo I submitted to Scenic Hudson was selected as one of the finalists. A special exhibition at Muddy Cup Coffee House in Poughkeepsie showcased the finalists’ works August 8-31, 2008.
» Home & Abroad used a photo I took of the Josefa Sudka Gallery in Prague
» I contributed an article about using my farm share to the Stanton Street Harvest (PDF)
» My Reykjavik food photo essay was featured on Everywhere newsletter, June 2008
» I wrote an article about my favorite New York City restaurants for the Philippines’ Manila Bulletin, April 2008
» I submitted my lentil soup recipe to Good Magazine‘s Project 009: All You Can Eat
» a photograph I took in Las Vegas was used on Schmap!! Las Vegas
» some of my Cuba photographs were used in Kindred Media’s video (at 4:01) about artist Juan Alonso
» a photograph I took in North Fork, Long Island was used on New York Magazine‘s travel section
» produced a few videos with chef George Weld of Egg in Brooklyn on how to make the perfect eggs for SeriousEats.com
» a photograph of me taken by The Los Angeles Times was published in one of their travel features, “Nicaragua’s Corn Islands, An Unspoiled Paradise”
» Bocas del Toro, a photograph I took in Panama was published in L!ve Travel Guides‘ 2007 Central America book
» I was the project manager for the spoon+fork Web site which won the 2006 American Graphic Design Award for Excellence in Communication and Graphic Design
» “Just Married”, a photograph I took was exhibited in Brooklyn Borough Hall as part of Positive FocusReal Brooklyn, a Day in Our Life 2003 exhibit attended by Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz
» I was the co-founder and editor of generationrice which won the Best News and Zines Web site at the 2002 Philippine Web Awards
» I was featured on shift.com, “Rice is Her Vice”, December 2002
» I was featured in “Feeling Homesick” in Pinoy City USA, September 2002
» I was featured in the Manila Girl column of Filipino Express, August 2002
» I was featured in Filipinas Magazine, June 2002
» “The Pimple”, a short story I wrote was published in the 2001 anthology, YELL-Oh Girls! Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity, and Growing Up Asian American by Vickie Nam
» I was featured as the “Fun, Fearless, Female of the Month” in Cosmopolitan Philippines Magazine, April 2001
» I was mentioned in Ten Magazine, Spring 2001
» I was mentioned in Yolk Magazine, 2001 Issue No. 5
» I was a guest on Pinoy Radio, 2001
» I was featured in AsiaWeek Magazine, May 2000


The site logo was created by the talented folks of Spoon+Fork Studio. It’s of a pig because when they asked me for a list of my favorite foods, most of them were made out of pork. It’s also reminiscent of a computer mouse.

18 thoughts on “About This Site”

  • 1
    rob on April 26, 2007 Reply

    now that’s some braggin rights!
    keep it up!

  • 2
    AnP on September 3, 2007 Reply

    phew… cool, young girl talaga!

  • 3
    Mauro Canas on September 13, 2007 Reply


    You’re very kind and your article about our flower of salt/flor de sal was magnific. We love it! Whenever you wish to visit us, we will be pleased to show you our salt marshes – right in the heart of the Natural Reserve of Castro Marim.


    Mauro Canas

  • 4
    Soya on January 1, 2008 Reply

    I’m so happy to have found you and your work! Can I be your PA?
    I’m hoping to start my own Lumpia truck (inspired from Mexican’s taco truck) so I have been doing a lot of research online just about anything written about Filipino foods. And, that’s how I have found you! I look forward in reading all your food adventures and meeting you in person someday! besitos -soyamorena

  • 5
    FAT TAKO on January 9, 2008 Reply


  • 6
    Maria Ricapito on March 6, 2008 Reply

    Hi there–I sat at same table at Kona blue event… boy they sent a lot of fish! i like your recipe, will try it!

  • 7
    robert larow on June 2, 2008 Reply

    your writing is excellent as well as your tips!, i was reading your posts on igougo and ended up here. thanks for sharing and keep it up



  • 8
    marcie on June 21, 2008 Reply

    OMG! Cia!!! There you are. So glad to find you online…I’ve missed you and your writing/art. PS. We moved to Southern California from NJ!!!!


  • 9
    EricC on March 31, 2009 Reply

    Hi, I can’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please :)

    • 10
      cia on March 31, 2009 Reply

      The RSS button is at the top left corner of the blog.

    • 11
      cia on August 30, 2010 Reply

      It is now at the bottom footer as an RSS feed link. Please update!

  • 12
    Amy Sanders on February 18, 2010 Reply


    i am planning a 5-night trip to Carros de Foc for my 10 year anniversary….am having a terrible time finding specifics (in English…my Spanish is not great). Would love to ask you some questions and get some recommendations if you have some time.



  • 13
    Tony on September 11, 2010 Reply


    I was browsing on the net researching about Kilimanjaro and came across your blog and photos. Love your trip journal. You did the Machame route in just 5 days… wow! Bravo!

    I’m planning to do the Machame in Feb ’11… likely 6 or 7 days. any extra tips?

    anyway, a great site… well done! Cheers.

  • 14
    how to write a book on May 14, 2013 Reply

    Hola! I’ve been following your web site for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!

  • 15
    RJMesana on May 29, 2013 Reply

    dear cia_b,
    Wow, surprised and glad to see that you still have a site. I read your blogs when you were writing Palubum/ext 212 and was with the “Dr.” Congrats on your successes!–from Texas

  • 16
    Pat on July 12, 2013 Reply

    Yo, Cia,

    Glacier Park:

    Hike from Many Glacier to Lake Elizabeth through the Ptarmigan Wall.

    Out through Poia Lake.

    • 17
      cia on July 19, 2013 Reply

      Thank you, Pat! :D

  • 18
    Sheena Medina on March 24, 2015 Reply

    Cia baby!! I bookmarked your pinterest map of where you eat what in New York city and have since “gifted” the link to several friends. Anyway, I found myself here after another friend asked me for good restaurant recommendations in midtown. Your map is sparse in the midtown area (I already know why). But also, you’ve been on my mind because yesterday I went to an event where entrepreneurs pitched their food startup ideas. Most of them had products in market already and were looking for feedback. It is called Foodstand Spotlight Series: http://www.thefoodstand.com/events/. Anyway you should come with me next time! Miss you. -SM

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