Friday, October 2, 2009

Comfort eating

Food was the last thing on my mind on Monday afternoon. Franzia and I met to discuss where we should go to volunteer for the relief operations. I had coffee and two bibingka (rice cake) before meeting her at Starbucks. But as we talked about what happened and what was still happening---the tragic death of people, the devastation of properties, the gut-wrenching scenes on TV with victims helplessly watching their homes destroyed by overwhelming flood water and mud, of children hanging on to their mothers' neck, the unspeakable grief of a father as he talked about the family he lost in the flood, of friends who spent all night walking in flood water to get home, I started craving for food.

Comfort food---to somehow ease the guilt I was feeling because my home was warm and dry, and my family is alright. Franzia told me about Cafe Juanita, a cozy resto in Brgy. Kapitolyo, where she had her birthday dinner.

Cafe Juanita has an extensive menu---it was difficult to decide what to order. We had the all-too familiar Molo Soup for starters, with lots of fried garlic. After the soup, I wasn't hungry anymore but decided to try a Vietnamese appetizer, Chao Tom, or grilled shrimps on sugarcane stick. A mixture of garlicky shrimp paste wrapped around a sugarcane stick then grilled. It was light and aromatic, and I loved the flavor. Served with vermicelli noddles and fresh lettuce and basil, it is eaten wrapped in crisp lettuce and basil then dipped into the addicting nouc cham (dipping sauce).

I love the idea of fresh sugarcane as a skewer with it's refreshingly sweet flavor seeps into the shrimp mixture while being grilled.

Franzia ordered Callos and steamed rice which we also shared (did I say I wasn't hungry?). The serving was generous and it was good but I still prefer Casa Armas'.

The conversation was getting interesting so we ordered Crepe Samurai for dessert. Layers of cream and mango to complete a delightful meal at Cafe Juanita.


Susan Ellis said...

Good thing it's dinner time, because your writing and photos have just driven me to the kitchen!

Anonymous said...

Mukhang masarap dyan. I would like to try their Chao Tom and Callos. Where exactly is Cafe Juanita?

Unknown said...

Thanks for dropping by, Susan.

Unknown said...

hi, djmarinas! Cafe Juanita in near the entrance of Brgy. Kapitolyo in Pasig, at the corner of United Street and West Capitol Drive. you can come from either Shaw Blvd. or Pioneer Street.

Meikah said...

Cafe Juanita is a good find! Will check them out one of these days. Your food here really look yummy! :)

My FTF entry is here.

maiylah said...

that callos look like a hearty feast already! i agree, good and filling food during this rainy weather we're having.

thanks for playing again, LM
keep dry and stay safe this weekend!

♥♥ Willa ♥♥ said...

God Bless your heart for doing a volunteer job.
Our country really need a people like you.

Ladynred said...

Everything here looks yummy!

agent112778 said...

yup, the sugar cane skewer is a pretty clever idea, may main dish na, may dessert pa, all in one di ba =))

my entry is here

Great day for us Food Weekenders:)

Thanx for the Visit :)

Clarissa said...

The food here looks sooo tasty,LM!!^_^I would love to try those Vietnamese appetizer!!

You and Franzia have a good heart--may God bless you more!!Thanks for dropping by!Have a blissful weekend!!^_^