eNTeNG’s The Best Of… Breakfast (‘An Introduction’ and 1st in a Series)

10 12 2008

A week after my birthday in 2000, I wrote an essay I entitled, ‘Over Coffee.’  And yes, I unashamedly forced it down my friends’ throats.  I sent them copies and ended up short of quizzing them about its contents – just so I knew they did read it!

enteng_leisure-coast-02

The best of breakfast at Leisure Coast Resort... was very affordable. Only Php 600+ for full breakfasts for four very hungry people.

In that work, I recognized that most of the good years and the good times of my life and my friendships had been punctuated by coffee.  And now I have to say, by food too.  And as I have said, I’ve been toying around with the idea of sharing my own ‘eNTeNG’s The Best Of…’ a.k.a. ‘eNTeNG’s Favorite Things(?)…’.  From the moment the thought of doing this ran through and ricocheted in my mind, it had been so persistent – an itch that had been dying to be scratched.

 

Whatever will make it under this ‘The Best Of…’ header, is purely eNTeNG’s opinionated voice speaking.  Without a doubt, all the ‘best’ items here were judged by no other than me, myself, and I.  So I won’t be too hard on any reader who would end up violently reacting.

 

Quite fittingly, my first selection is for the best of breakfast.

 

And in this world of fastfood chains that had sprouted everywhere, I surprised even myself with my selection that found me going all the way up north to Dagupan City in the province of Pangasinan!  It was a plate of hot garlic fried white rice; sidings of sliced cucumbers and tomatoes; a cute mound of “atsara” (pickled shredded unripe papaya, with carrots and shallots); and, the shining star that had got to be the crispiest, tastiest, most flawlessly executed deep-fried vinegar-marinated milkfish that I’ve ever come across!  I found this unassumingly simple platter at the eight-year-old Sabina Restaurant of the Leisure Coast Resort.  And my finding it was quite serendipitous.  I was in that beauteous resort, with friends, to attend the wedding and emcee the reception of two of my best friends – James (Spider-man!) and Juvy.

 

I had the milkfish for two consecutive mornings there and up to today, nothing has come close to it.  All I can do is look back to how perfect it was.  The flavor was awesome, as I got right away how the salt, black pepper and white vinegar blended harmoniously, infusing every shred of the fish meat with undeniable flavor that complemented well the resulting fried-to-golden-brown-perfection texture.  I loved the crunch that came resounding with every bite as if what I was having were crispy chitlings.  The first that would hit me was the subdued acidity from the vinegar, made more defined by the salt and rounded by the pungency of the black pepper.  Because of all these, hard as it was for us, we couldn’t leave any piece – not even a small one – for any cat to enjoy.  And I love cats.  Alex (one of our engineers) actually finished everything from the head to the tail.  No sign of the tasty fish dish was left on the plates.

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