It’s been a while since I wrote about Banchetto. And a lot have happened since then.
Foremost of which was the end of the Banchetto at the former Emerald Avenue on May 7, 2011, which according to one of the organizers, was a result of “collateral damage” between the area’s barangay government (Brgy. San Antonio in this case) and Ortigas Center.
For a time, the Banchetto Fridays were held near the Forum Robinsons Mall in Pioneer St. in Mandaluyong, where Banchetto has been holding an overnight food market every Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Then on June 2011, Banchetto Fridays found its new home, at the Megatent events venue grounds along Meralco Avenue in Pasig. For one thing, the new venue is more spacious, with some parking space available too, if you’re lucky. The food choices have stayed pretty much the same as well, not to mention the atmosphere, with the crowds coming in (sometimes so much that even Megatent grounds could not handle) and the view of smoke from the grills that can block one’s view.
For a while, Banchetto-Megatent was the undisputed food bazaar venue in the Ortigas Center area. Then came some competition by September 2011, with the opening of another food bazaar, located meters away from Banchetto, located in the commercial complex of Metrowalk. It has an Italian name too, called Il Mercanti, The Merchants in Italian.
Unlike Banchetto, Il Mercanti boasts a larger and spacious venue, with some open space at the back to boot. Being near Metrowalk, Il Mercanti also has the advantage of being easily accessible to a commercial area with some more entertainment choices one can go to.
However, being a new venue, the choices are not as varied as that in Banchetto-Megatent. But give it time and it may give Banchetto a run for its money. But for now, it’s an interesting venue enough to consider, especially if you’re an avid foodie.
© The Urban Roamer