By Stella A. Estremera
Goin' Places

DAVAO has been abuzz throughout the Kadayawan Festival, filled to the rafters with visitors who cannot seem to run out of special requests for must-eat places.

Dabawenyos can understand that, after all, we didn't collectively grow our girths had food not been aplenty and yes, cheap and superb.

And thus, one more eating place joins the list that's worth a visit and a return.

Actually, I didn't expect much since no one among my food-spotters have mentioned the place and no friend has gone there yet. But the name caught my attention as I was stepping out from a taxi to go to Park & Shop at Victoria Plaza. Out there where restaurants are (amid the three Ahfat Restaurants) is one name "PNoy Resto".

Hmmmm... napapanahon...

Thus, after smooching up to Carlos so I'd have a dinner companion that night (and yes, was he playing trying hard to get!), I finally convinced him to have an early dinner. Deng too said she'll be coming over. Carlos arrived with his daughter Ally. Deng... wasn't anywhere to be found.

We ordered the Ensaladang Tagalog, Pinaanghang na Bihod ng Tuna, Kilawin na Kambing, and Inihaw na Tadyang ng Baboy.

The service was... fast. Like surprisingly fast!

Just out of nowhere, the waiter appeared with the salad, and I thought that was because it was a salad and didn't need cooking. But no, right after the salad came everything else that we have ordered. Impressive, huh?

First the salad. It was good. As Ally would put it, she liked it except the eggplant. But it's because she has some childhood issue with eating eggplants; definitely not the cook's fault.

The Pinaanghang na Bihod ng Tuna was hot! The cook (or chef) apparently went wild with spice there. Not contented with chili powder, the bihod was cooked in a sweet and sour sauce with chili fingers!

The Inihaw na Tayang ng Baboy was so much like babyback ribs, it was super tender. And the Kilawin na Kambing?

It was as Carlos expected (although he was the one who ordered it, just to try).

Let me recall... kilawin na kambing in spic and span restaurants like Pinoy, he said, will be very clean.

And true enough, the goat skin in the kilawin looked like it was scrubbed until spanking clean. It was good, but as we agreed, "kulang sa bastos".

Just as we were about to finish dinner, Deng arrives. Since Deng doesn't eat goat meat nor anything hot, then she had to order. She got "nilasing na manok" and durian palitaw. She wanted to get durian palitaw and durian maja, but I told her there's too much food already. That was a good decision on my part because when the waiter brought in the palitaw, he was also bringing a serving of cassava cake. "On the house," he said. And since we don't accept 'compliments' that easily, Carlos sang Happy Birthday to the waiter. Very loudly at that, embarrasing the waiter (and yes, his daughter) profusely.

Just as Carlos and daughter were all set to leave, Mecai with her friend and our Norwegian guest, Yngve, came in.

They already had dinner, but they nibbled a bit on the dessert. Yngve also gamefully tasted the kilawin even after we described it as goatskin that you can make into a drum if you don't feel like eating kilawin.

But that was all he was willing to do. He would later said, "It was like I had the goat tasted in my mouth for ten minutes." Hmmmm... His comment doesn't count. He's not Pinoy and this restaurant is named PNoy.

Oh, by the way, the nalasing na manok tasted like deep-fried chicken. But as I wrote in the comment notebook I was handed after our dinner, "Not drunk enough." The desserts were good too!