Another benefit of having lunch alone - although it's all because I still can't muster the courage to invite Neobie
for lunch - is me actually getting to watch what I eat. And if the past nine weeks are any indication, my performance has been bleak.
So it's no surprise that I was very excited over dinner before I went to the iPhone 3G launch
last Thursday. I had it all planned out from the bus: I'll go to the food court at SM
Makati and choose something with vegetables. I ended up buying this value meal with three viands and rice. It's a good deal, considering I got it for P88, while the McDonald's
meal costs around P120. And, most importantly, it has chop suey.
Only when I sat on the table did I tell my parents that I have arrived in Makati. "In Makati na
," I somehow ceremoniously said. "Eating at SM food court. Gulay sa wakas!
Over the weekend, I've been somehow gorging over vegetables. Sure, we had pochero one day and sinigang the other, and both still have a significant amount of meat, but I haven't exactly turned vegetarian, although my history professor says we're destined to be such. Perhaps it's me after five work days of settling for kebabs, burgers and grilled stuff. I gotta have some crunchy intake, after all.
I can't remember a time in my childhood when I particularly despised vegetables. My relatives have a simple description for it: "kahit ano kinakain mo.
" Perhaps the only thing I never grew fond of is okra, and not because it's slimy. Nevertheless I've welcome vegetables as a part of my diet. It tastes good, too - from a culinary perspective, it provides texture that is hard to replicate with meat and other products. Can you give me a way to make a slab of beef really crunchy without burning it?
So, with the freedom I was ill-fated to receive every afternoon, I've tried searching for items in the menus of the many restaurants along Pearl Drive that has, at least, a hint of vegetation in it. I can't always eat microwaved adobo or chicken nuggets, obviously. So far, though, the search has been quite unsuccessful; aside from the pickled vegetables with my pork barbeque, the buttered vegetables on my microwaveable rice mean, or the lettuce in my chicken burger, there's nothing. Well, that, and the gorgeous sotanghon soup at Reyes Barbeque.
There's a concession, though. I haven't tried all restaurants in the area yet. There's this restaurant at the Tektite Towers (where my dad works) that offers home-cooked food for cheap prices, something akin to the school canteens I grew to appreciate. The two times I've been there - accompanied by my father, as I was unemployed back then - I had sinigang one day, and a vegetable omelette on another. And then there's The Venue, which should be a familiar name if you're from DLSU
like me. Then again, I only eat there if I'm with somebody, because it's the type of place where you shouldn't be seen alone.
I guess that's a reason for me to actually invite sick-with-the-flu Neobie for lunch, isn't it?