While Thanksgiving is really more of an American Tradition, Filipinos value good food and gatherings on the very same day and so we find good reasons to be thankful for a good meal. This year, the U.S. Potato Board and U.S. Department of Agriculture invited Happyfoodies once again to partake of another all-potato full course meal for Thanksgiving. We enjoyed Chef Sau’s creations at M Café last year and this time it is Chef Ariel’s turn to whip up some magic at Lolo Dad’s Brasserie.
We’re a rice-eating nation and even with the globalization of the Filipino taste buds, rice remains to be our main source of carbs. But every once in a while, one just wants a break — maybe a pasta dish here or a sandwich there. With the birth of The Spud Diner, you can add potato dishes to your list of options. It used to be that potatoes are relegated to side dish status on the dinner table (mashed with gravy on top or sliced into strips, deep-fried and served as French fries). Maybe, that’s because most of the potatoes that are served here are imported from the U.S. of A and saying “I’m a meat-and-potatoes person” sounds very colonial and un-Pinoy. But Spud Diner, an offshoot of the flavored fries institution called Potato Corner, rises up to the challenge of giving potatoes its rightful place on the table by providing this staple with some surprising twists.
Ask a typical Pinoy what food he/she associates with potato and chances are, it would be (a) French fries, or (b) mashed potato. Can’t blame us Filipinos for thinking that way as we are really rice and not potato eaters. So when the invitation to share Thanksgiving dinner with the people of the U.S. Potato Board and U.S. Department of Agriculture at M Café in Makati came up, we wondered how an all-potato full course would taste like. How could anyone, even a chef the caliber of Sau del Rosario, get away with an all-potato course was a question on everyone’s mind.
One of the perks of eating out of town is the chance to taste unpretentious food. Not to say we’re jaded by city food but there are times when one would just like to sit down to no-frills fare. So when your happyfoodies went to Virac in Catanduanes, we had to ask the locals where they’d prefer to eat out. One place that keeps popping up is Sea Breeze Restaurant. That it’s mentioned in Jens Peters’ Philippine Guide only whetted our appetite to give it a try.