October 22, Saturday, it rained…food! Say pancit canton sandwich for a morning snack; crispy pata, shrimp, sinigang, and nilaga for lunch; pizza and soda, and pandan ice candy for an afternoon snack. Food, food, and more food down to the day’s main event – family dinner at Barbara’s.
At the end of a long ride from Biñan, Laguna to Manila, past a breath-taking sunset we’ve watched from Roxas Boulevard, I was still – errr – so full. But who would say no to good food? Nay, not me.
Barbara’s is located across the San Agustin Church in Intramuros. Like all other infrastructures in the place, the building where Barbara’s could be found tells a lot about the Spanish regime, about Spanish architecture. Brick walls, crystal chandeliers, carpeted staircase, huge mirrors bordered by gold-painted brass meticulously carved with fancy floral designs; doors, windows, and walls all standing with the resemblance of Spanish taste.
We got Tabe 14, not really the best one since a wooden pillar blocked our view of their small stage. But good enough though, we were near the buffet table and the piano anyway. The smell of good food was right there!
In no more than 15 minutes, the buffet started. I snaked my way to the line, holding my huge plate like a child about to receive her slice of chocolate cake. The display was really (and seriously) enticing that all I could think of was satisfaction from good food, but what I had to do was hold it and pick only what I could manage.
I did. Yes, I did pick a little of almost everything in the array. And when I went back to our table, they were all so surprised with the platter I’ve just made. Funny, Mama and Papa couldn’t help asking if I could finish’em all, and it was like I could hear my sister and my brother say, “Seriously?” Maybe the only person who couldn’t care so much was my sister’s boyfriend because we had almost the same platter, plus extra plates of side veggies. Oh well, you don’t refuse to good food.
Fettucini pomodoro, tuna steak, Czech steak, chicken, pork strips, vegetable salad, and oh, rice! And I had coffee jelly for dessert, and the other one I couldn’t remember.
Mama had to remind me every now and then to slow down. Papa was just looking at me with a smile that couldn’t believe what kind of appetite I had. My sister and her boyfriend cheered for me, while my brother, as always, teased me for eating like a pig.
Then, after about an hour, the cultural show started with a serenade of Spanish music by a small string ensemble. And I wasn’t done with my food yet, mind you. Folk dances followed, and maybe it was half way through the entire show when I finally emptied my plate. I felt…victorious. Really. And very full.
Maybe it was a bit “unsophisticated” for a lady in a pretty dress and royal red shoes to empty a pretty huge plate. Somewhat, surprisingly barbaric, in a way.
Well, I thought I had just the right “barbaric” experience at Barbara’s. Amen to a whole day of eating! *Burrrrp* 🙂