Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sumptuous lunch for a time in our lives

I sometimes ask myself if I have a real life at all, if it's being lived, or if I've found myself mired in simply documenting that life and those lives around me. I really don't mind taking the souvenir shots for a Sunday family lunch at Mario's on Upper Session Road. It is our times-of-our-lives place. It has seen us celebrating graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases. And today's Mothers' Day.

We reserved our table by phone yesterday but were told we had to be there on time; they could only hold the table for 15 minutes. So you can imagine the beeline to the shower room before departure from home.
My favorite sections of the restaurant's Sunday buffet are those set aside for the appetizers and for the desserts. Today I didn't depart from my routine of waltzing to the appetizer table: two generous helpings of the pritson (fried slivers of lechon and veggies encased in crepe-like wrapping), samosas with a dip of mint and tamarind sauce and the oysters Rockefeller. Then I was ready for the reliable staples of paella, callos Madrileña, the cochinillo with liver sauce.

Those deadly starters had to be offset. So my dessert plate had some greens. It
was repeatedly replenished with squares of orange chiffon cake whose icing reminded me of those heavenly caramel cakes from Estrel's in Quezon City. I sampled the mango cheesecake, warm bread pudding and chocolate fondue. But the orange chiffon was top of the class.

My dietary offsetting consisted of one helping of sayote tops sauteed with plenty of garlic. Call it guilt eating. My partner liked how the vegetable dish was simply prepared. He took note of the components and said we'd have it done at home one of these days.
It's Mothers' Day. People like me who like to observe and live life fully now and then through Sunday buffets are entitled to guiltless treats.

Food photos by Babeth Lolarga
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