Three times was not the charm

13 08 2010

Skewers of my favorite grilled chicken liver at Mang Inasal

THE GREEN LANTERN was feeling under the weather so when he hinted that he would want to have lunch at the newly opened Mang Inasal restaurant nearby, I was game.  Nevermind if this was about to be my third day in a row munching on heavily annatto oil-basted grilled chicken (“chicken inasal”).  I would be there to support a friend who was after the place’s complimentary hot broth, perfect to soothe a scratch in his throat.

The Green Lantern and The Flash asked for identical meals – the chicken breast-and-wing cut, referred to in the Ilonggo dialect as “pecho.”  A couple of our other friends asked for the same.  As for me, I opted for five skewers of my favorite grilled chicken liver.  The best thing about “chicken inasal” is that, unlike the usual barbecued chicken, it is infused with the flavors of lemongrass, and annatto oil, among other aromatics.  The usual accompanying dipping sauce is a concoction of soy sauce, organic vinegar, calamansi (Philippine lemon or calamondin), and lots of bird’s eye chilies.

"Pecho" (chicken breast and wing)

But why did I say that this third visit was not the charm?  It was the service.  We went to the place for the hot broth, served to tables as the orders arrive.  However, this time, I probably went down three ring sizes hailing the wait staff with my hands, trying to ask to be served.  It would have probably been fine if they couldn’t see me – or if they weren’t telling me, “Yes, Sir, kukunin na po.” (Yes, Sir, right away.)  But no, they kept promising, kept going back to the kitchen, but would be back not with what I requested for, but to get other tables’ requests.  Was someone smacking them in the head in the kitchen, driving them to forget?

I’d had enough and that’s when I went to the service area and – politely still, I may add – asked for soup.  The girl who attended to me, turned around…  and yelled at the people at the kitchen.  Gosh!  I mean, she didn’t have to yell.  Then, the forgetful wait staff came out the kitchen door, figured in front of me…  and ignored me yet again, about to serve a table of newly arrived guests.

That’s when I had it!

Excuse me, but you are not going to ignore me!”  He turned around, feigned surprise, and apologized.  He proceeded to our table and I walked right behind him.  (I was actually tempted to go for the Oscar-worthy line, “I’m not going to be ignored,” complete with the intonation, vibratto and the head tilt.  But I didn’t want to make a scene.  Hahaha!)

I’m not a difficult customer.  I’m even overly animated when I relate to the service crew sometimes.  And, not to make a big fuss out of it, I do tip well.  I don’t do it out of a sense of obligation that I should subsidize the wait staff’s wages (that’s something their employers should be taking care of).  But I do tip well to express appreciation for attentive service and excellent performance of one’s job.  It’s just a mere token to say thank you.

But this turned out to be lunch from hell, or in hell.  Well, just for me (I tried not to ruin “totally” the others’).

I lost my appetite and didn’t eat.

(Though I’d surely come back to eat at Mang Inasal.  I understand that this branch is still going through birth pains, being really new.  Besides, The Green Lantern loves this place.  So I most definitely will find myself back – soon enough.)

I guess all these chilies got me all fired up!

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




One response

13 08 2010

Seriously, I love the superhero names!

Inasal is indeed always good!


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