in This time it's personal

Everyone’s a food critic

Food reviews are complicated.
How do you even begin to describe the taste, let alone the texture, of substances that we willingly — most of the time at least — put in our mouths?
Is the meat tough, like substandard bubble gum dispensed by a machine older than your pimply-faced teenager? Was that glass of green tea refreshing, like ice-cold beer consumed on a warm evening, preferably in the company of a smart and pretty female?
I barely have an idea.
Besides always eating on the run — supposedly bad for your health — I generally subsist on what are now considered as relief goods.
I am not kidding.
Twice a day for the past few months or so, it’s been pork and beans and meat loaf for me.
Fortunately, my nutritional deficits are covered in one way or the other by multivitamins and the occasional fruit, usually locally-grown bananas. (However cheap and tasty, imported fruit incurs more carbon emissions since these have to be transported at long distances.)
Just about the only domestic privilege I enjoy, food-wise, is coffee, thanks to a machine that keeps on brewing, virtually maintenance-free, six years after it produced its first cup.
Without my dependable Braun coffeemaker, my daily food fare would have shamed displaced refugees, disaster victims, and domestic airline passengers.
As far as I’m concerned, any meal served with china and silver is already cuisine. It can be a hot, smoky carinderia along a dusty highway but if the plates are ceramic and the utensils gleam at the smallest sliver of light, that’s fine dining for me.
Which now explains why I find it difficult to write food reviews.
With my unbelievably low standards, how can readers trust my taste?
Take this establishment I agreed to visit three weeks ago with three co-workers — Jayme Gatbonton, who later wrote the food review; Analyn Perez, who took pictures; and Jonathan Perez, who smiled and ate (and vice-versa) even though I continued to talk to him with my mouth full.
No question about it: the food was great.
The poultry could have been a little tender though — the flesh struggled with spoon and fork inside the small battleground of a bowl.
But the fight was worth it.
Every bite was a winner, allowing sweet, salty, and spicy flavors to slowly come together in the palate, an experience that anyone used to fast food fare would do well to savor.
And so, on that Friday evening, savor I did, knowing that it might take more than a month before I could get my dose of fine dining again.
It was, I am not afraid to admit, an altogether pleasant experience — good food taken with good company.
Had alcohol been served after the delicious yogurt dessert, it would have been perfect.
After all, man — especially this one — does not live on good food alone.
But then again, that’s a completely different story altogether, best told after work in the company of like-minded tipplers.
Anyone up for a drink later?

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