Northern exposure

8 02 2011

Photo taken with my brother's Samsung camera phone, at Giordano Outlet, Shell of Asia along NLEX

BROTHER ALWAYS tells me that my charisma appeals only to sales associates, service crew personnel, and to baristas.  I actually find this as a compliment, as the feeling is mutual.  I like sales associates, service crew personnel, and baristas.

By our second of three stops at Shell of Asia along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), I knew I’d already made a good impression when upon entering GIORDANO OUTLET, I was cordially met halfway at the floor by the same associate who assisted me a week before.  I didn’t make a huge purchase then – just a pair of jeans in royal blue, an affordable version of the Lacoste pants I had been lusting after – but her warmth was infectious and sincere.  I engaged her in a conversation and I think, I even walked her through my shopping philosophy.  Hahaha!  Too much information.  I came out of the store with three bags – a nylon jacket for my brother, a shirt for me, and a kikay hobo bag for my favorite Executive Administrative Assistant in the office.

A couple of doors down the strip was the Starbucks with the barista with the best penmanship.  Yes, the beautiful penmanship I harped about about a couple of weeks ago has now gone down in history as a has-been (So sorry barista at MOA!).  And it helps that the Shell of Asia barista is cute.  I didn’t buy everything on display at their 5ºC counter but I really felt treated well.  Friendship knows how exacting I am when it comes to my favorite Chai Tea Latte over ice (“Do you really really say all of that?!” she once snapped back thru text) that I would always expect to just be acknowledged with a blank stare after my litany.  And a part of me would always expect that they’d miss my specifications.

My coffee name. Cute barista, good penmanship.

“I want Chai Tea Latte, served over ice.  Easy on the milk.  Heavy on the strong tea.  I want it strong.  I want to savor the spicy black tea with just enough milk and sugar.  I want to be able to pick out the essences of ginger, fennel, cardamom, and cinnamon.  Venti.”  The Shell of Asia barista smiled, and even told me that if I didn’t like the drink, I could have it replaced, gratis et amore.  Now that’s service!  As it turned out, the blend was perfect and replacement wasn’t necessary.

“Sir, sana dito na lang kayo lagi mag-Starbucks.”  (”Sir, I hope you’d always get your coffee here.“)

How I wish I could!  Since I knew that my NLEX sojourn would come to an end by the end of January, the last time I was there, I surprised my newfound service crew personnel friends with pizza from the nearby Pizza Hut.  The people there were great too but it would border on hilarious to surprise them with a family-sized Cheesy Volcano Super Supreme Pizza!  Hahaha!

"Tomato" and eNTeNG at Pizza Hut


I miss you, Shell of Asia!


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

It’s Complicated but delicious

8 02 2011

THERE ARE movies that I watch over and over again.  In the past year, one of them turned out to be “It’s Complicated,” starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.  It came out in the year Ms. Streep’s other starrer Julie & Julia was released.  On any other given year, either of these roles could’ve given Ms. Streep her much overdue (third, second as Best Actress) Oscar.  But even her compelling turn as the culinary icon Julia Child – remember that quiet, heart-wrenching kitchen scene when she received news that her sister was expecting? – was trumped by America’s Sweetheart Sandra Bullock’s understated performance in “The Blind Side.”

I think that “It’s Complicated’s” biggest triumph was showing that women of a certain age can still be sexy, passionate, lustful at times, and most of all, in control.  Even in times when the heart collides with the head, she could still be in control.

The movie’s end didn’t succumb to the convenience of cliché, I liked that a lot.  But for me, its appeal mostly comes from all the luscious, almost sinful, reference to food, Ms. Streep’s character being a successful pastry chef/bakeshop owner.  Whenever I would feel down – including times when I would feel hungry but not really hungry hungry just yet – I’d put this movie on and either it would pick me up or it would cause me to create chaos in the kitchen.

I highly recommend this movie.  It has come to the point of me stopping total strangers and telling them they should see it!  Short of clutching them at both arms and shaking them like crazy.

Here are some of the really delicious lines that have been haunting me incessantly.



“It’s called croque monsieur.  The first thing I learned to make when I was living in Paris.  Because the ingredients are really really cheap.” – Jane Adler (Meryl Streep) to Adam (Steve Martin)


“When I was in my early twenties.  I went there to take a six-day pastry class.  And I ended up staying a year working as an apprentice at a bakery” – Jane Adler to Adam


“And the lavender ice cream was the best dessert of any sort I’ve ever had like…  in my life.” – Adam to Jane Adler


“I always make ice cream when I can’t sleep so I’m glad someone was here to eat it.” – Jane Adler to Adam


“I love when you smell like butter.” – Jake Adler (Alec Baldwin) to Jane Adler


“I brought you some coffee cake that you like.  Not as a bribe or anything.” – Jane Adler to Dr. Allen


Jake Adler:  “You’ll make the whole thing, the roast chicken?”
Jane Adler:  “And mashed potatoes.  And sautéed string beans.  And double fudge chocolate cake.  I know your favorite dinner, Jakey.”


“Uhm.  Oh my God.  Uhm…  uhm…  u-uhm…  Could be the best cake I ever made.  You want a piece?  It’s beyond.” – Jane Adler


“I actually know them.  Blueberry scone and a latte.” – Jane Adler


Adam Schaefer:  “Do you think…  do you think you have more of that chocolate cake at your house?”

Jane Adler:  “Hungry?”

Adam Schaefer:  “Starved.”


Jane Adler:  “Okay.  So, basically, I can make you anything on the menu.”

Adam Schaefer:  “No?”

Jane Adler:  “Or, even not on the menu.”

Adam Schaefer: “Really?”

Jane Adler: “Just name it.”

Adam Schaefer:  “Ok.  Wow!  What about a warm chocolate croissant?”

Jane Adler:  “Oh!  It’s my specialty.”

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