All the best, Giant Paulo!

28 01 2011

A pensive Giant Paulo

IT DOESN’T come often in a person’s life that he or she could claim to be really proud of his or her direct manager.  It just is hard to come by.  But as a direct manager for a while now – to a total of 44 bright young minds, as of last count, spread over five years – this sense of pride has surfaced often enough from my end, allowing me to appreciate those who have spent time in making my team at work a winning team.  If ever I have been regarded to have performed well, I was just a mere reflection of all of those who have been making things happen.  Giant Paulo has been there eversince I got my promotion.  And apart from the exceptional performance he has delivered year in and year out, I guess I owe him a loyalty medal if ever I would give one.

So, for all those times he stood by me, for all the truth that he made me see, for all the joy…  Oh, I got carried away.  I’m not quite sure about the joy part.  Hahaha!  Ok, seriously now.

So, quite naturally, I couldn’t let him move on to a better and more challenging phase in his career without at least hosting a dinner in his honor.  Brother and The Tycoon – themselves Mr. Pure Energy and Mr. Total Performer, respectively – had been in on my plan.  We told Giant Paulo it would be nothing less than a fab steak dinner.  A warm, succulent, plump, and juicy steak dinner.  We made a shortlist – Mamou at the Serendra Piazza, Mr. Jones (they have beef after all!) or  Myron’s Place at Greenbelt 5, or Highlands Steakhouse at the Mall of Asia.

And then that bus bombing happened.  While nothing would come in the way of our planned dinner, common sense prevailed and we had to scratch off Mamou, Mr. Jones, and Myron’s Place from the list.  We eventually decided on Highland Steakhouse.  Unfotunately, after I had made the ounces-to-grams conversion of the meat portions on their menu – I was asked, I don’t usually do the math when it comes to food – another round of check with our common sense led to a reasonable concensus – Café Mediterranean.  It’s one of my own favorites so I was ecstatic with the choice.  Besides, the mere mention of “kebab” and “lamb” did put a smile on Giant Paulo’s face.  So I knew that with every step we were taking, we were inching closer to gastronomic heaven for the guest of honor.

I won’t be commenting in length about the food.  I have done that, to a different spread, here.  Suffice it to say that it was a well-received dinner.  I was quite happy with my Roasted Vegetable Soup, creamy in texture and robust in the smokiness of a melange of vegetables most likely roasted for hours to caramelized goodness in the oven.  I found it interesting that while the flavors came from the bounty of the Mediterranean Sea, my dinner pairing of this soup with the classic Greek Salad echoed thoughts of a belly-pleasing combo that was so American in nature.  I got reminded of this juxtaposition while I unconsciously rubbed my expanding tummy as wedges of deep red roma tomatoes burst with their juices in my mouth, marrying perfectly with the coy sharpness of the Vidalia onions and the creaminess of the crumbled feta cheese.

Roasted Vegetable Soup

 

Greek Salad

 

Salmon Linguini

 

Marinated Olives

 

Barcelona Pizza

 

Complimentary Side Salad

 

Iced Mint Tea

As Giant Paulo’s dinner was conceived with unapologetic carnivorous thoughts in mind, I gave in and asked for my own Lamb Stew served over Mediterranean Rice.  The stew was wonderful – though I realized right there that cinnamon suppresses The Flash’s appetite – bringing to Iron Man’s mind an unavoidable comparison to the Filipino beef mechado.  I devoured all the tender – almost gelatinous at times – chunks of lamb, unfortunately picking through my Mediterranean Rice as slivers of almonds turned out to be my cinammon.  Note to self:  say, “No almonds, please,” next time.

Lamb Stew over Mediterranean Rice

 

Giant Paulo had the Lamb Kebab with Pita

 

Lamb Kebab with Mediterranean Rice

 

Moroccan Grilled Fish with Pita

 

Lamb Stew with Couscous served on the side

The full (security) alert status notwithstanding – that turned EDSA to a giant parking lot, yet again – the evening’s only rose, the very lovely K-Girl arrived, well into just the meal’s start.  She started with a little of the salad then asked for the Pesto Basilico pasta.  While waiting, she got into all the catching up, not parrying any questions at all.

Pesto Basilico

I knew that the dinner was thought of as just a fitting gesture to say farewell to Giant Paulo.  But as I skewered yet another wedge of tomato and a chunk of Vidalia with the tines of my dinner fork, I looked up and saw everybody gathered around the dinner table – swapping stories, throwing knock-knock jokes, spilling the latest on what-not – and I knew I was right where I wanted to be.  And that we had fulfilled what we wanted to convey:  it was a celebration of the good times and a silent commitment to recreate the same.  Some other time.  Some other place.

Bon voyage, Giant Paulo!

Here's to more times together!

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

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One response

29 01 2011
Paulo

thanks boss for the wonderful Mediterranean dinner. I loved everything we ordered especially the greek salad and the roasted vegetable soup. I was already full even before the lamb kebab arrived.

blossom was so happy with the krispy kreme donuts! thank you daw!

thanks to brother, the tycoon, the flash, iron man, and K-girl for the company. I AM HONORED.

see you boss in SG! we’ll have many more dinners there. see you there ha?!!!!

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