Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our nights at Florabel and Rub

My family in Pasig never foresaw how Ortigas Center would turn into a boom town. When we moved to Barrio Kapitolyo in 1975, Pasig was still part of Rizal province and hosted its provincial capitol. Today, Barangay Kapitolyo, as it is now called, has become restaurant row and one eatery (cafe, grill house, inuman place) after another sprouts every few months along its main drag, East Capitol Drive. And the land where the capitol used to stand has been sold to the Ortigas Company which is constructing a warren of condos, shops and restaurants.

Last year, my mother was nearly horrified when an inasal joint was built right across from our house, supposedly a purely residential area. These days when a friend would ask for the landmark that would point to our house, I always say, "Look for Bokbok's Inasal." But do we even patronize it on nights when everyone in the house is too tired to make the effort to prepare a simple supper? A vehement "No!" because Bokbok's hasn't perfected its inasal sauce, and its other dishes are way too salty for our taste.

Over the last few weeks, my ravenous company of siblings and I (in our childhood the more apt description for us was "rambunctious") has had a chance to try fine dining at Florabel on the ground floor of The Podium at Ortigas Center, a few minutes drive from the house, and go super casual on another evening (we were in our pambahay shorts and t-shirts) at Rub two doors away from us on East Capitol Drive. I'm happy to report everyone went home with a smug smile on his/her face.

Today's blog entry is dedicated to my tall, svelte daughter Ida Fernandez who will be home for the holidays to partly satisfy  her food cravings. Ida, I'm telling you now that on some nights, we'd rather eat out at dinnertime so our dreams are laced with the sweet and the savory. Here's what you can expect.
Quietly tasteful interiors of Florabel
Prawn and pomelo salad with leaves from the lettuce family
The inihaw platter has nearly everything to please the pickiest eater from oysters to squid to chicken and pork barbecue.
No place for plain rice when we eat out. It has to be special like this adobo rice.
Being dessert freaks despite conditions of real and borderline diabetes, we had the creme brulee as first of the end course.
The frozen canonigo left us rapturous. We asked the maitre d' what went into it apart from the whipped egg whites and caramel sauce: there's a thick layer of mantecado ice cream somewhere there. No wonder!
That's my youngest bro Eric who always comes home from work with the greeting: "Anong foody natin ngayon?" Here he awaits our order of baby back ribs and assorted sidings.
Rub's wall decor speaks for itself--from John Wayne to Bob Marley. It covers a wide political spectrum.

I couldn't get a better shot of our main course. Way too hungry. My choice of sidings was filthy mashed potatoes (am joking but they're yummy). You don't need a knife to pry off the oh-so tender meat from the bone.
With fried Oreos, vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup for dessert, how much more nicely decadent can you get?
Photos by Babeth Lolarga
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