Category: love bites

Bob’s and my simple lunch dates … we resolve to have great fun with minimal expense, yet sharing hearty meals

love bites … the PORCH

it was midweek, Bob and i were left on our own.

we had an idea together to try a simple restaurant not far from we were and just have a little “just-the-two-us” moment.  i went through some possible options until we settled for “the PORCH”.

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it is located in a quiet neighborhood, although the porch is facing a main roadway, it still had the ambiance of quaintness.  in our islands, porches are not a traditional extension of a home.  maybe if the Lord allows us another chance to build another house, i would surely want to have one of our own.

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the PORCH is not like a restaurant, it felt like we were invited by a friend over for dinner (except that we had to pay for it 😉 — wink!)…  even the centerpiece on the table spoke of a homey feel.

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as always, we stuck to our “budget” date and ordered a salad and a main dish and shared the love.  i encouraged him to savor the bigger portion, since i have been trying very hard to limit my dinner intake, a personal choice 🙂

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the mixed greens were fresh and crisp, ably “dressed” by a fruity vinaigrette topped with clustered caramelized peanuts and slices of sweet grapes.  maybe a complement of feta or blue cheese would have added more zing to this lovely salad.

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the ribs were a hefty portion and cost reasonably.  the lean meat fell off the bones as i nudged the ribs.  they marinated and absorbed the flavors of saltiness and sweetness, making the dish a celebration of taste and succulence.

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i miss these moments with Bob, as he had been allowed a gift of work a few months back.  if anyone remembers, he was offered early retirement more than a year ago and i had this category to fill in as we went out on our “love bite-dates”.

after last night, i am now more resolved to ask Bob to take me out and just have meaningful evening dinners together… whether out in the porch, by the beach, under the stars, or a little nook in a corner store… having our “just-the-two-of-us” moments… like how it had been since we started twenty years and eight months ago.

always,
bob’swife

 

love bites: Cafe Lidia … a homey, hearty haven of good food

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A nondescript restaurant in a little town east of Manila where life is quiet and unpretentious … where neighbors are distant relatives in the 4th and even 5th degrees! The choices of cuisine in Cafe Lidia are tastefully thought of, delectably seasoned and delicately prepared; certainly, a hearty haven of good food.

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Bob ordered this scrumptious Caesar’s Salad … its simplicity elevated to a gourmet dining experience. It was made with crisp Romaine leaves, relished with freshly emulsified egg with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) dressing hinting of lemony flavor, topped with newly made crusty croutons and crunchy bacon … of course, not missing out on the freshly grated Parmesan cheese as a final compliment!

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Our older son is a carnivore who has a penchant for anything meat. And as soon as he saw the Salpicao on the menu, without much as a blink, he asked if he can have this for dinner. The dish was tenderly cooked beef, seasoned just perfect with enough garlic flavor. And not too much oozing butter and oil, just enough to enhance the savory taste of soy and garlic combined. Although, the serving was relatively small, it remains to be bookmarked as a dish to be re-ordered.

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We are a family who dotes on cheeses … in their “rotten” state, cooked over and with anything and most especially on pizza; thus, varieties of formaggio on one whole crust are always a satisfying treat! The whole gang loved the cheese pizza, its crust was evenly baked, no seared areas (hate black singes, would taste burnt, don’t you think?), red sauce had enough tart, unfortunately, it needed more mozzarella (i think, they were stingy on the cheese) and Bob tasted garlic to be overcooked. Overall, it was delish, a round two is in the offing!

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Our youngest has a sweet tooth, very much my side of the family, and he needed a sugar fix immediately; very much like his older brother, he didn’t blink a wink to hesitate to order this concoction and drank it to his heart content. I am guessing that it was one superb brew … chocolate and all!

love bites: go, great! Bistro 98

I have neglected to write about our lunch dates, and I am somewhat aggrieved by it because there have been quite a few done with matching great memories. We have managed to sneak in a few but time had been too short recently because of the errands for the holidays that I have not updated my stories.

bistro2Bistro 98 was a pleasant surprise when Bob and I chanced upon this simple café as we scouted around for a sweet dating place. We were suppose to have a sumptuous buffet date but God delivered us at the doorstep of these three young chefs whose culinary prowess have evolved into master chef caliber — at least by Bob’s and my standards — in their very young age.

Entering the bistro will not send shivers to your creative or artsy spine because there is nothing that will thrill the senses. Neither will there be a home ambiance that will tug at your heart but a shrill and very warm voice in a chef’s uniform will indeed welcome you and assure you a unique and young culinary feasting.

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Bob and I shared two paté specialties on foccacia bread which was served on-the-house while we waited for our salad and entrée. Both were delectably creamy and delightful.

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The vinaigrette on our crisp greens was prepared with precise blending of sweetness and tartness bursting luscious flavors together. And the addition of segments of peaches and tomatoes complimented a pleasant salad experience.

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The pulled pork sandwich, again on foccacia bread, was marinated in a well-blended combination of sweet and savory sauce and stewed delicately making the meat fibers tenderly succulent. There were side treats of potato chips, a pickle and greens dressed with a creamy Caesar concoction! It was a piece of heaven which is making me crave for it now.

Bob and I went overboard, we decided on dessert.

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And it was a great finale to a feast. The light brownie was baked to perfection and was not too sweet at all and the vanilla ice cream with a touch of chocolate syrup added much zing to a delightful indulgence!

love bites: just a little “loco” about “POCO”

We were in search of a delightful restaurant to treat our dear friends for the evening as we chanced upon this place when our tummies growled as it was way past lunch time.

POCO Deli has a distinct flair but not intimidating since it is in a friendly neighborhood of cozy eating places which serve good food.

Bob chose to have a bagel with a scrumptious tender meat filling topped with mozzarella cheese complemented with some deep-fried sweet potatoes that added crisp and texture to the entrée.  It was a delectable indulgence, as the meat was amply seasoned with the marinade of soya sauce and a tinge of sweetness spiced up with the distinct taste of pepper.

My share for lunch was a modest looking olive-oil based pasta with two unassuming Spanish sardines garnished with sliced black olives.  I had to request for parmesan cheese to highlight the taste which was quite meager in that sense.

The eatery displayed an extensive wine collection where connoisseurs can probably go frenzy with their smell and taste for pleasurable drinking sessions. Adjacent to where we were seated was a special nook set apart for quiet interludes for that purpose.

The lunch experience in the deli was one of pleasure, more so because it was fun to be with Bob … anytime and anywhere.

love bites: lunch on a hill

we initially planned to share a light lunch of taco salad from the Pancake House. but as we reached Green Street which is a neat address where there are restaurant options on a hilly suburb north of Manila, I told Bob that I had a good taste of Stacy’s and if he wanted to try it with me this time.

as we entered the restaurant, Bob had a glint of delight reflecting his eyes as he browsed around the homey ambiance of the eatery. although quite feminine in décor, as pink accentuated the vintage motif, its whimsical thrust set a welcoming atmosphere tantalizing the palate with the sight!

the yummy appetizer of popcorn, marshmallows and chocolate pink pretzels, and the table set-up of fresh flowers, yellow polka-dotted table cloth and blue cup gave the setting a very cozy feel.

the ceasar salad dressing which was very light and creamy complimented the grilled chicken fillet; and the crisp greens truly made the whole salad experience delectable.

the grilled scampi on pasta with a twist of lemon, cooked in olive oil and garnished with basil leaves had all those burst of flavors melded together that made it one awesome dish.

the dessert display that whets the appetite for a sugar rush was a perfect complement for a scrumptious lunch! indeed, it was one great date again, and I am looking forward to yet another afternoon interlude with my Bob soon.

love bites: pint-sized meals, big on heart

i would like to begin to share a little secret.

bob and i have been given more time to be together as we are expectantly waiting on the Lord. and we decided to give dating a chance. however, it will be simple lunch dates exploring little nooks of culinary delights.

these places may be far from where you are … you might need a plane ride then hop on other land mobiles to get you there. so I decided to share them with you, and maybe, virtually, you can taste with your sight and who knows maybe in a not so distant future any one of you may come and visit us in our islands …then, Bob and I can surely make you a part of our lunch dates!

my initial installment is our first date in a little Japanese restaurant aptly named: “CRAZY KATSU” which is serving as specialty the delicious deep fried pork cutlet drenched in flour and panko (flaky bread crumbs used in Japanese cuisine) named TONKATSU. however, as my tummy growled “hunger attack” I missed my chance at taking a photo of the golden nugget of  the delicious entree! but let me share its chicken counterpart.

the chicken katsu, as the server suggested, is their most ordered food on the menu, so we didn’t want not to be part of the crowd who did. bob loved it, and sweated quite a bit because it was a little hot but seasoned well with light sauce of soy mingled with a tinge of sweetness. the veggies added crisp and balanced the spicy flavor of the chilies.

we added soup to go with the viands and decided on sukiyaki.  it was a great blend of sweetness and saltiness, the perfect yolk added a light creaminess to the soup. the vermicelli noodles were perfectly soaked and cooked, and the meat was well seasoned, although i would have preferred a better cut of beef … tenderloin, perhaps?

the restaurant is minuscule, minimalist in decor yet cozy. But more importantly, the food is delicious without denting the pocket, and surely bob and I had a one scrumptious first date the second time around!

please indulge us and know more about our simple lunch dates, that is surely a big heart event for bob and me as we continue to wait and eat as God provides and surprises us more and more each day!