THE past few weeks I have been on a food binge, much to my wife's exasperation because she thinks I am getting bigger. But I like to eat and when I discover new places I try them out. Or when I like certain foods and places I go back. Again and again. And again. Here are a few favorites:

1) Belgian chocolate cake of Sugar Munch

2) The chocolate cake ( again) of Tita Ging at Humbertos

3) Lugaw and tokwat baboy of Dencias

4) The Unforgettable roast pork of Lachi's

5) The steaks of Claude's

6) The sinigang na lapulapu of Elena in Ma-a

7) The Vietnamese buffet of Hanoi

8) The marinara of Picobello

9) The binagooang( tama ba yung spelling) baboy of Sili't Gata

10) The fried shark's fin of Mandarin

11) The roast beef and oriental dressing salad combination of the Marco Polo buffet

You get the idea. I just like to eat. And so I am in continuous search of new places and new food items and as I said I am in a food trip mode. Let me share three of those trips.

Farfalla

This is a new eating place located at the Victoria Plaza Complex. It is a pasta bar and more. I was attracted to the place for two reasons: I like pasta and the chef and owner is a former student, Celine. She also happens to be the daughter of Claude.

I went there lunchtime. The heat at that time was really bad and it was refreshing to step into a quaint and well decorated place. It was cool and the place was cozy and romantic even on a hot day. The staff was courteous and efficient. One of them handed me the menu. My purpose there was to taste their pasta after all it was a pasta bar. I chose the Bolognese.

I like bread and so when they gave me bread I shamelessly wolfed all the pieces. I would have asked for more but “nahiya naman ako.” Their bread was good. After a few minutes the pasta came. I took one look at it and then swirled the pasta into the fork and ate. I ate everything, if the bread was good, the pasta was better.

While I was eating I looked at the menu and there was a lot to offer, which was an excuse to come back. The prices are a little higher than the rest but quality has a price, I was hoping that Celine was there so we could chat but she was not. So I left a note. A few hours later she texted me.

I will go back to Farfalla. The food is good.

Crab Buffet (Glamour Restaurant)

My wife and I like crabs. But we have to control ourselves because of age. During Balentimes (Valentine's ba!) we were thinking of where to eat. Actually we do not eat out during Balentimes because it is gubot. On the 13th we decided to eat the Crab Buffet.

Just the two of us. Migoy is not here, Raphael decided to have his Valentine's dinner with his girlfriend at the same time with us but he called us asking where we were. (I guess he just wanted to make sure we were not in the same place.) Gabo went to Manila to spend his Valentine's there. So it was just Chona and myself.

When we got to the place there were just a few customers because it was still early. We looked at the buffet table. There were crabs all right but we were a little disappointed because there were no prawns. We had soup and then the main course of crabs and crabs and more crabs. This was not the place for budding lovers because eating crabs can be messy. The crabs came and came and we slowly got stuffed. The first batch of crabs was not that big but after sometime the crabs became bigger and bigger much to our dismay (matanda na nga!) The aligi was tempting but I had to contain myself.

The crabs were good and if it were not for our age we would have eaten more. At the other table was a former student with his wife. Since they were younger they ate more! But we had to control ourselves.

Aside from the crabs there were other food items but the main purpose of going there was the crabs and they did not disappoint. For 280 pesos, you get more than you bargained for. But control yourself.

Polo Bistro

My wife decided to have a date. So we ended up at Polo Bistro at the pool side of Marco Polo. When we got to the menu we did not know what to order for salad. We discussed about it (in our family salads can be a big issue!) We ended up ordering Baked Chicken supreme with grapes, feta cheese and toasted almonds in balsamic dressing. I asked the food server what it was like and she was able to describe the salad for us. Good training there! Then my wife and I chose the main course. Sirloin steak.

The appetizers came first, salmon something. Then my weakness, bread. Then the salad which was really divine. The salad was tangy and creamy and scrumptious. Then the steak. I did not pour the gravy because I wanted to taste the steak itself. I sliced the steak which was juicy and tender and soft. Took a small bite and he did not talk to my wife for the entire meal. The steak was what I expected it to be. After the dinner we both started talking again.

We wanted to have dessert but we both were stuffed. The Polo Bistro dinner is something that I always look forward to not only because of the food but of the experience I share it with. The salads and steaks of Polo Bistro are worth it.

I am sure there are other food places out there waiting to be discovered. So wait for me, I am coming!

(By the way, the second batch of my book is now available. Thanks to you, the first batch was sold out. You can get the book at all Chicco di Caffe outlets or email me at rgal5@yahoo.com)