Of all cuisines the one I love most is American fare. The portions are large, and many of the selections are comfort food to me. And in most chains, food is consistent in taste, the atmosphere is always jolly and the service staff have personalities in tune with the mood of the place.
Whenever I visit San Francisco, my brother-in-law Henry Enriquez has a new dining experience treat for me. He was the one who first took me to the House of Prime Rib in downtown Van Ness, and there is not one visit to the city that I don’t dine there.
These days he just broils a delicious prime-grade and thick rib eye steak and serves it with mashed potato on the side. Best broiled steak ever. Love it!
One time, I was surprised when he and his brother Bombet took me to an American restaurant which I wasn’t familiar with. But I just put my entire trust, knowing them and their standard of choice.
The menu was typically American: burger and ribs, humongous salads, thick and rich milkshakes, and a variety of Tex-Mex dishes. This chain became top of my list among American-theme restaurants. But the only time I could have it was a visit to Henry’s side of the world.
Many American chains have opened on our shores since. There’s TGIFridays, Chili’s, IHOP and, just recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see Applebee’s at BGC.
Flashback! This was where Henry and Bombet had taken me in the US. In no time, I had gathered my family, and there we were staring at the very interesting menu and its bestsellers.
We started with drinks. I loved the Oreo milkshake. The strawberry banana drink was also refreshing and different. Among the appetizers, I really enjoyed the sriracha shrimps. These are spicy, plump, crispy shrimps that will require one to take a sip of the smoothies or milkshakes. We also ordered the wanton tacos, which are spicy ground chicken with all the “fixins” of a taco. Also very good.
We ordered Fiesta Chicken Chopped Salad—chopped lettuce, black bean corn salsa, black beans, tortilla chips, white cheddar, spicy jalapeño dressing and chimichurri-glazed sliced chicken. Very, very good! I was still craving for it two days later, and then had it on a solo flight at the resto’s newly opened branch in Eastwood. It is a huge salad for sharing.
For mains, we ordered a variety of burgers. I guess my kids all took after me; all of us love a good burger, especially my daughter Ali. The one that looked new and different to me, and which tasted best, was the Quesadilla burger. Instead of buns, a thin and unleavened crispy tortilla was used. The thick patty tasted like a traditional American burger that relies on the catsup and mustard to take it to a higher level. Fantastic!
We also had a whole rib with two of the best-selling sauces. I had them split in half. Ask the server. The ribs are tender, and perfectly stick to the bone.
For dessert, don’t miss the Butter Pecan Blondie. This is a butter cake topped with baked nuts and ice cream, glazed pecans and cream cheese sauce. Served sizzling and bubbling, it is a mix of hot and cold, salty and sweet, crunchy and creamy—the best dessert on a very interesting menu.
Applebee’s, W Global Center, 30th St. corner 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; tel. 0918-9656840; and just recently opened in Eastwood, QC, behind McDo.
My brother Bong
My niece Isabelle was giving me tips on how to lose weight: “Tito, no wheat, rice, pasta, bread and sweets.”
I have been on it for about 10 days now. Ang hirap! But I have lost six pounds. Not bad.
I would like to thank all those who condoled with our family at the passing of my older brother Gabriel “Bong” Daza III. He touched thousands of lives. I will never forget when he attended a party, the theme of which was “wear your worst clothes.” He wore my favorite shirt. “Langya ka, kaya ako na-insecure,” I told him. I love you and will miss you, BD!
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