It's the first Thursday of the month and here I am, sitting in front of my netbook, Red Gee, writing my first entry on this month's Girls Talk theme, (which is all about food) as we celebrate the last month of the year two thousand and ten.
This week's GT topic - the best eat out place you’ve been to in your area. I live in a small town and we are kilometers away from civilization. (Okay, I'm exaggerating.) The city is about 45 kilometers away, and it takes approximately 90 minutes to get there (by public transport). There's no eat-out place here in our area.. But there are lots of student hang-outs. My home is within the vicinity of a well-known university, so you can just see students everywhere. And what do students enjoy doing during their free time (aside from studying?) Well, hanging out, of course.. Surfing the net for hours, doing research while eating junk food and making conversations over bottles of vodka. There are lots of student hang-outs in our place.. but there's no pig-out place. Well, none that I know of.
So whenever I do go to the city, that's the only time I can get to visit these food hang-outs.
First on the list. The all-time favorite fast food hang-out, Jolibee. I remember when I was a kid. I used to tell my mom over and over again, "Let's go to Jolibee!".. and then, if she says no, I'd go, "Jolibee! Jolibee! Jolibee!". Gosh! I was such a spoiled brat! Hehehe. I always go for the spaghetti meal.. the one with the burger and a glass of coke. Occasionally, I'd add some chocolate sundae or peach mango pies. Yummy!
Next is Mcdonalds. During my early years, I didn't go and buy food from Mcdonalds. Well, as I've said, years ago, I'm a fan of Jolibee. Mom told me that Jolibee is "gawang Pinoy", so as a grade school pupil, this line from our Sibika subject kept on popping in my mind. "Mahalin ang sariling atin." I don't know if that's true, if Jolibee really is a company founded by a Filipino.. but I never did forget that line from our Sibika subject. Hehe. It was only in my high school when I started buying Mcdo burgers and enjoying them. They really do taste delicious. I so love the Mcdo burgers. For me, they taste better than the others. And to be honest, I actually prefer eating at Mcdonald's rather than any fast-food chain in the country.
The last one is Pizza Hut. No offense to John Lloyd Cruz and to those who love Greenwich, I believe that Pizza Hut offers the best pizza in the world. For 52 years, they have been making pizza. And now, they also serve mouth watering pasta. These are delicious food and my taste buds are nodding in approval. Plus, they have this restaurant-style service.. no standing in line, no rushing to get the next vacant table.. just polite waiter service and great-tasting pizza. Bravo.
So these are my favorite food hang outs when I go to the city.
However, I think all of us have already enjoyed dining in these food chains. So allow me to once again, present you with another fave food hang-out here in Iloilo city. - The Tatoy's Manokan and Seafood Resto. It is located at Sto. Nino Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo City and is near the Villa beach. As paying costumers, you can choose to dine in a private villa (with air conditioned rooms) or in a simple cottage. Granted, it is a long travel from the city (about 10-20 minutes by jeepney, no traffic) and the food (though very insanely delicious) is a bit pricey. But when you do get to Tatoy's, see the place and taste the food, those thoughts of prices and traffic would just go poof! It's all worth it.
Tatoy's Manokan is our family's hang-out. Whenever mom and dad invites me to go shopping (for supplies) with them, there's only one place we'd go for lunch. Or when my brothers get home from work after finishing their job contracts (both are seafarers), they'd say, "Tay, pa-Tatoy's ta!". (Dad, let's go to Tatoy's.)
"Built in the 70’s by Honorato Tiburan Espinosa, Tatoy’s started only as a nipa shack with three tables tucked in a corner across from the beach. Because he was a fisherman, Honorato (Tatoy) harness his knowledge if the sea to source only the best and freshest seafood for his customers – and prepared these with the honesty and simplicity of an instinctive cook."
"When the word of mouth spread, the place become deluged with customers, and Tatoy’s was on its way to becoming the venerable institution it now is, with a beach front property that includes an indoor dining room, an outdoor pavilion and a convention hall. Although eight of his nine children help in the restaurant (the other one runs a separate restaurant named Nes and Tats), Tatoy and his wife are still active in the day-to-day operations. Often he can be found wiping a table clean or even serving the customers himself."
"Tatoy's specialty - native litsong manok, commands a high price for an open fire roasted chicken. For PhP300, one gets to enjoy a plate of this native Visayansstrain of chicken known as darag or just "Bisaya nga manok". And it's really worth it since you might never get to taste a litson manok anywhere else. offering is it's native litsong manok that tastes like no other."
Tatoy's Manokan and Seafood Resto is considered one of the finest restos in Iloilo City. Maybe because of it's superb-tasting food. Maybe because of the lovely and spacious dining area. Maybe because of the polite and excellent service. Well.. when you do come and visit Iloilo, make sure to visit Tatoy's Manokan and Seafood resto and find out for yourself.
*Excerpts and images of Tatoy's Manokan and Seafood Resto from Sabor Ilonggo.