Dinner, dessert, a typhoon, and two new Superheroes

21 07 2010

Buon Giorno!'s Special Salad

MY BIRTHDAY comes and goes just like any other day.  It has been the case since far too many candles had been needed to top my birthday cake.

But I still manage to observe it with a few important people in my life.  Aside from dinner with family, I have dinners with friends.  I mean, real friends.

One such dinner was with The Flash and The Green Lantern at Cliffhouse in Tagaytay.  Actually, it was dinner at Buon Giorno!, then dessert at Café Breton.  Brother was supposed to be with us but he had to attend to really important personal matters.

At Buon Giorno!, I allowed The Flash and The Green Lantern to take their time perusing the huge menu while I attempted to start with the complimentary bread.  I was intent on making it a leisurely meal, even as the beauty of the Taal Volcano had by then been fogged by dense formations of water droplets suspended in the air near the ground.  (It turned out to be a portent of the typhoon that came pummeling down by midnight.)

The complimentary bread

The Green Lantern makes the bread dip. I love Buon Giorno!'s two-in-one extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar bottle.

My mind began to wander, thinking if the mist would reveal a demigod that had descended from the clouds, or perhaps a goddess from the lake within a lake, when The Green Lantern lifted his face up from the menu, and with wide-opened eyes beamed, “I want the Buon Giorno’s Special Salad.”  This was already the second Buon Giorno! meal that I was sharing with this Superhero so I was half-expecting for this salad to figure in front of us.  The salad has never disappointed.  The arrangement of plump tomato wedges, navel orange sections, cucumber slices, apple thins, grapes, and sticks of carrots and turnips nestléd on a bed of the crispest Lolo Rosa was always one of the most visually appealing and stunning, their bursting bright colors slightly tamed by a light stain of Buon Giorno’s “well-revered” dressing.

The Buon Giorno!'s Special Salad makes it to the table!

Extra helping of Buon Giorno!'s "well-revered" salad dressing

From the menu’s antipasti section, we decided on the Fritto Misto De Mare, “a succulent mixed fry of the ocean’s bounty.”  The Flash had to ask what it was, and I quipped, “seafood platter.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love love love how restaurants’ menus describe their dishes really fancy.  My calling the dish a “seafood platter” was not to demean it at all but to stay true to what I knew we’d get on the plate – really fresh succulent jumbo shrimps being the best of them.  It was served with a couple of lemon wedges and tartar sauce.  A light squeeze of the lemon brightened up the seafood flavors.  But I’ve always been partial to marinara sauce so I asked for it.

The "Seaood Platter"

A closer look at the day's fresh catch! The jumbo shrimps were really plump and succulent!

For me it's marinara over tartar sauce.

The Flash and The Green Lantern took time deciding on their main courses.  I turned to The Flash, and before I could even open my mouth to ask, he uttered, “Whatever The Green Lantern is having.”

And The Green Lantern was quick to decide on the New York Pizza for his entrée, offering to share it.  As I have never been a pizza person, I politely asked for my favorite pasta – the Angel Hair Pomodoro – which, I very well know, isn’t exactly on their menu.  The closest to it is their Fettuccini Primavera with Pomodoro Sauce.  All they had to do was replace the fettuccini with angel hair, and take out the vegetables.

This beauty almost converted me! Almost!

I didn't go gaga over the pizza, yes. But I picked out from the toppings. See that almost caramelized ring of white onion? I loved that!

The Green Lantern was a happy camper!

My Angel Hair Pomodoro!

The Fettuccini Primavera With Pomodoro Sauce is the closest to my Angel Hair Pomodoro. Buon Giorno! has never turned down making pasta that is not exactly on their menu. Their kitchen has never shied away from improvisation.

I washed everything down with a pot of really soothing and fragrant Tarragon Tea, akin to Ninong Allan Paz’s favorite Tazo Mint Tea with a pinch of Tarragon.  As for The Flash and The Green Lantern, they opted for the taste of the familiar – their favorite Grape Shake.

Buon Giorno!'s signature Tarragon Tea.

I took off the tea pot lid to allow whiffs of tarragon to perfume my immediate surroundings as well.

I put some of the tarragon leaves in my cup to allow the tea to steep further.

The Flash and The Green Lantern's favorite grape shake!

Two Superheroes toast to a better future!

By the time dinner was over, the typhoon’s advance party was starting to wreak havoc in the surroundings.  But being in the company of Superheroes, I didn’t feel fear nor the need to rush.  Instead, I stuck to our plan to have dessert at Café Breton, just across the piazza.

A portion of Café Breton's menu. "Salade Bretonne" was the inspiration to the salad that became Superman's usual.

I could have Café Breton’s crêpes plain, folding them many times over to create the illusion of stacked thin pancakes just doused with really good French butter.  Even before getting it in my mouth, I’d be drooling endlessly as the melted butter cascades down the sides of the towering pile.

The crepes are turned once. It actually starts with the light batter poured on to the hot griddle, then spread in a swift circular motion with the use of a rolling pin-like wooden implement. Bubbles forming on the surface tell that it's time to turn.


Slices of ripe mango go into the center of the "La Pinay" crepe.


...Then, lots of chocolate sauce!


The "La Pinay" ends up being folded to ensconce the luscious filling, while the "Nutella" crepe is folded into halves, then quarters.

But the evening being a celebration of my birthday called for a little decadence.  And I thought that a slathering of Nutella hazelnut chocolate spread was just the right kind of sin.  I didn’t intend to share it (Hahaha!) so the Superheroes had to share their own La Pinay dessert crêpe – ripe mangoes drizzled generously with chocolate sauce before being ensconced inside a folded crêpe.  A luscious scoop of vanilla ice cream turned the dessert a la mode, as more chocolate sauce was drizzled – on everything.

The Nutella crepe!


The "La Pinay" crepe! A scoop of vanilla ice cream and lots of chocolate sauce complete the presentation.


The Green Lantern and The Flash fight over the "La Pinay"!

Going into overdrive, all three of us continued to revel in sweet indulgence as we all asked for ice cream milkshakes – coffee for me, and vanilla for my two friends.

Dinner and dessert with The Flash and The Green Lantern made me realize how fortunate I am to enjoy great food with people I can really talk to.  People who can make things easy no matter how hard the realities are.

No wonder that the worsening weather conditions as the night went on didn’t bother me at all.

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

eNTeNG and David

21 07 2010

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I GOT this link from Ms. Jessica Zafra’s Blog, www.JessicaRulesTheUniverse.comI Write Like is a statistical analysis tool which analyzes one’s word choice and writing style and compares them with those of famous writers.

The website says any text in English will do – like a blog post – as long as it’s at least a few paragraphs (for reliable results).  I’ve made over 400 posts already on this blog.  To analyze my own writing, I used something I’ve written even before I had discovered blogging.  So it’s text that really is representative of how I write.

I’m not familiar with David Foster Wallace.  Though going through the Wiki entry on him, I find that his life had a mix of success and tragedy – stuff that an E! True Hollywood Story is made of.  Though I’m not hoping it to be mine.

Thank goodness the results didn’t say Dan Brown!

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.