Two days ago, I entered my 29th year as a breathing, eating, living specimen of female humanity. (I share my birthday with Dennis Hopper, Bob Saget, and Jordan Knight of the New Kids On The Block. Or NKOTB—when they tried to stage a comeback in 1992, releasing the wannabe OG single, “Dirty Dawg,” which not many people got but which I liked ‘cause it was Donnie Wahlberg being resident bad boy… I like to know these things).
Anyway… In celebration thereof, I present, in random order...
1. Breaded Porkchop. With gravy, rice, and bean sprouts. At CASAA, UP-Diliman.
2. Quikiam. Authentic Chinese. With spicy sweet sauce. At a food fair my parents brought me to when I was a kid.
3. Green Tea and Sesame Seed Ice Cream. At Teriyaki Boy.
4. Lumpiang Shanghai. Best with Nido with Quail Eggs Soup. At Chopstick Restaurant, Cubao, when I was a kid and the waiters/waitresses all told me to come back and eat some more. I did come back, several times, and I ate. More and more. The Chopstix restaurant in Cubao today is not the same restaurant. It’s a poor replacement.
5. Chicken Macaroni Sopas. With hotdog bits, carrots, green peas, raisins, and yellowed with a block of margarine. Homemade, by my mom.
6. Dayap Chiffon Cake. At Chocolate Kiss.
7. Leche flan.
8. Salted Fried Squid. At North Park.
9. Pork BBQ. Great with itlog na pula (duck egg), misua soup, and of course, 1 and ½ rice. At Beach House, UP-Diliman.
10. Pancit Malabon. In Malabon.
11. HFIK. Hotdogs fried in ketchup.
12. Quarter Pounder. With Twister fries. At McDonald’s. McDonald’s should make Twister fries a regular part of their menu. I should petition McDonald’s. I probably won’t, though. Have lots of nothing to do.
13. KFC Chicken. Original.
14. Carbonara. At Napoli’s / A Veneto.
15. Halo-Halo. Minimalist, just 3 ingredients. At Razon’s.
16. Lechon Wrap. With hoisin-mayo sauce. My sister’s wedding.
17. Zeb-Zeb. Cheesy puffed corn. In Malabon.
18. Isaw. Pig and chicken entrails. Grilled, charred, dunked in vinegar sauce. At UP, near SC and also near Balay Kalinaw.
19. Root beer float. At A&W. The only thing that keeps A&W, ahem, afloat.
20. Chicken and/or Seafood Crepe. With some kind of white garlic cheese sauce and a siding of veggies. Best with Maggi Savor. At Full House in Katipunan, during the late 90s when I was a dorky college student. Full House has been replaced by The Old Spaghetti House, which I’ve not been to. After all these years, I still long for Full House, with its nursery school ambience, Maggi Savor on every table (or was it Knorr Seasoning? I can’t remember.), and profiteroles in cups. Sweet.
21. Sisig. Chopped pig face (ears and cheeks), sautéed until crispy, seasoned with Knorr Seasoning, calamansi juice, and hot sauce. At Gerri’s Grill. At Congo’s, too, for sisig with mayonnaise. Monterey’s for instant sisig.
22. Ika Fry and Potato Balls. At Tokyo-Tokyo.
23. Yakisoba. Instant Japanese style cup noodles. Nissin’s.
24. Apple flavored wine.
25. Fresh orange juice.
26. Green mango with alamang (shrimp paste).
27. All meat pizza.
28. Longganisa, longganisa, longganisa.
29. Chilli dog. Smokey’s. There’s one in Ortigas, which is great ‘cause I thought Smokey’s had ceased operations. What a beautiful surprise! Will be in Ortigas on Monday. Might drop by Smokey’s, see if the hotdogs are still, in the words of future inmate Paris, HOT.