Sunday, September 19, 2010

Carinderia Buffet

Lazy Sundays have become a rarity. So when we do have time to spend, I cook familiar food like sinigang or adobo that we can share throughout the day (and sometimes even through the next days). But there are times when we seek a restaurant that serves good home-cooked food. After all Sundays are family days, even in a household of two.

Several weeks ago, we got our lazy Sunday and since I was too lazy to cook, we decided to try out a newly opened restaurant that looked promising- Carinderia Buffet alongV. Luna Avenue.

Buffet for less than a hundred bucks sounds like manna for the freebie-loving Pinoy. I think the restaurant owners we smartly named the restaurant after the Philippine common street eatery, the "carinderia". There is no promise of anything fancy, only familiar food for the budget conscious. The place itself is unpretentious, open-air with square tables that could be placed side by side for big groups. The diners were dressed up either for Sunday mass or laundry day.

The spread was plentiful enough with two buffet stations having the same menu- Karekareng Goto, Ginataang Langka,  Guisadong Pansit, Afrtida, Chicken Pork Adobo, Ampalaya con Carne, Dinuguan, Laing, Sinigang, Pakbet and a variety of fried seafoods from talangka to galunggong.  

I started out with the Guinataang Kuhol (pond snails stewed in coconut cream and chili), Halaan Soup and Chicken Feet in Tausi. All tasted like, well, standard carinderia fare. The chicken feet though, lacked the spicy kick one usually gets from the same dish if ordered from a Chinese restaurant.

My plate of rice, fried galunggong,  arurosep salad, crispy talangka and adobong manok was filling. But, (yes, there is a but) if you've worked in Makati and eaten packed styro lunches served by ambulant vendors who provide food with the only purpose is to fill up your belly so you can go through the rest of the day without hunger pangs, then you'd know what I mean when I say the fare here tastes the same. 

But you have to realize that since this is a budget buffet place, it should be expected. Nakamura ka na nga, naghahanap ka pa ng gastronomic experience!

The dessert choices that day was limited to two: green gelatin and a rather forlorn Maja Blanca. A. was happy with his green gelatin, though, because ite reminded him of the desserts that Ate Carmen, their distant relative and kasambahay, used to make for  him and his siblings.


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