Stopping over for beef two ways

25 07 2010

Hawaiian Burger at Tropical Hut

TROPICAL HUT has punctuated a number of memorable scenes in my childhood.  Whenever we’d go to Pasig or Greenhills, my Mama and I would consider stopping over for quick bites at this place.  As a kid, I felt that choosing Tropical Hut over the really more popular Jollibee or McDonald’s somehow made me a non-conformist.  Wow, I was a kid with issues.  Hahaha!

A week ago, two colleagues and I felt the need to make a quick stop over to satiate grumbling tummies, before we continued on our way to a wake.  Just when we thought all hope was lost, a Walter-Mart complex figured to our left, thankfully before we had to hit the freeway exit.

My companions looked at me quizzically and asked, “Saan mo gusto kumain?”  (Where do you want to eat?).  Instantly, I felt just like a kid again, one so taken care of.  Channeling the sentinments of my childhood,  I beamed, “Tropical Hut”!

At the counter, I ended up perusing the extensive menu at my leisure, totally oblivious to the line that was forming behind me.  As I’m all about noodles, I asked for their Beef Noodles, which was quite a steal at a measly Php 39.00.  My being a skeptical consumer kicked in, and so, I added Beef Stew Rice to my order.  I figured that a 39-peso bowl of noodles would be nothing more than a small portion.

The food arrived at our table and I had never felt happier to be proven wrong.  The bowl of Beef Noodles was quite substantial!  It had a generous amount of really tender beef, noodles that had been cooked with still a bite left to them, napa cabbage, and chopped spring onions in a robustly flavorful broth.

Beef Noodles

I assumed that the beef in the noodle dish started off as a stew, something that I was about to savor in the Beef Stew Rice that came next.  I was resigned to my self-fulfilled fate of savoring redundant dishes in one meal, so imagine my pleasant surprise when I caught hints of cilantro in the mound of rice, on and around which were strewn the chunks of beef.  I swear I almost asked for another one of the exact same rice.

Beef Stew Rice

There was plenty of beef in each serving!

It’s been decades since I first enjoyed Tropical Hut – looking out the window to see kids my age with spaghetti sauce all over their faces at the nearby fastfood outlet – and it’s still as good as I remember it to be.

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