The Rich Does Affordable

My workplace is relatively remote and exclusive, and the cheapest place to have lunch is McDonald’s.

But today was pretty special. I found out from my colleagues that the next cheapest place to buy lunch was just a block down from the office, at a rather fancy-pants residential condominium, One McKinley Place.

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At first I was a bit baffled, since I pass by the place all the time, and I never see any restaurants. It turns out the restaurant is on the other side, which isn’t a major road that gets a lot of traffic. Right off the bat, I was intimidated by the location of this restaurant. I was already in awe of One McKinley place from afar, but seeing it up close further affirmed my admiration for the structure’s modern architectural design.

But I digress. So as I was saying, I was already beginning to have doubts that there could be an affordable restaurant in such a fancy-looking place, and while I enjoy dining out in those kinds of places, now is not the time to be splurging when I have yet to sell anything at work (I’m in real estate, by the way. If you’re in the market for a condominium property in Bonifacio Global City, Philippines, let me know), which basically translates into my lack of salary. No transaction, no commission. That’s how it is in sales, apparently. Anyway, as I walked on, I was already mentally computing what few bills I wish I had accidentally stored in my wallet.

Finally, I found the place. This is the wall that greeted me. I literally stood still, because it exceeded all my expectations. I mean, come on, when someone says it’s cheap, you just don’t expect it to have this kind of exterior.

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The name of the place? Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria, Joey’s for their patrons. I have no idea whatsoever who the hell this Joey person is, and frankly, I don’t think you can actually call a restaurant a pizzeria when their pizzas are not the main attraction in the menu, as evidenced by their many pastas and sandwiches. I honestly hardly even noticed their pizza selection.

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As I sat down by my lonesome on a corner table, I surveyed my surroundings. I couldn’t help comparing it to Amici di Don Bosco, the little cafeteria in Makati City that serves authentic Italian cuisine and is run by Italian priests. Of course, since Joey’s is a full-fledged restaurant, unlike Amici, the interiors are way, way, way better. And while it didn’t exactly have Italian interior decor, I loved the contemporary finishings and modern furniture, especially the chocolate brown woven chairs.

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And as with any other restaurant, the food is the most important aspect. I ordered the Chicken Parmigiana, and for dessert, the Affogato, which is vanilla gelato served with a shot of espresso.

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The food was delicious, a little bland maybe, but definitely tasty nonetheless. And while it wasn’t swimming in fat like in Amici, the food, unfortunately, didn’t taste authentic Italian at all. It tasted more American, actually. They also didn’t have a wide gelato selection as with Amici, and the vanilla “gelato” in their Affogato simply tasted like plain ordinary ice cream, only made more palatable with the addition of the bitter espresso.

Having eaten here, I have come to realize that yes, there is a difference in flavor between ordinary ice cream and gelato, and that most of the authenticity in the food in Amici comes from the heavy-ladened oils and assorted herbs. Which is really stupid, since I should know this already, having graduated with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Duh…

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~ by iamnotfrodo on November 23, 2007.

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