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Not sure what to order? Let your TV decide

By SHARWIN TEE, The Philippine STAR Published Jun 17, 2021 6:00 am

I’m the kind of person that thrives when my options are limited, and I suffer from “analysis paralysis” when I’m given too many options.

Almost every single restaurant now offers their food for delivery, so the choices are endless.

For the past few weeks, whenever I’ve been too busy or lazy to cook my own food, I would order food for delivery and I actually let the kind of TV or streaming shows I watch dictate my orders. I have to say, I’ve had some awesome results.

Slice, slice, baby

I was one of the thousands of Filipinos hooked on the Korean drama Vincenzo, where superstar Song Joong Ki plays an Italian-Korean who works as a mafia consigliere.

One of the running jokes I found funny was he kept eating at an Italian restaurant whose chef didn’t actually know how to cook Italian food and he kept getting disappointed. I knew I didn’t want to get disappointed, so over the week while I was watching Vincenzo, I made sure to order my pizzas from experts.

I’ve actually enjoyed letting what I watch on TV dictate the type of food I’m ordering. It’s almost like playing a delicious version of roulette.

Francesco’s in San Juan had been on my radar for a while, so they were the first place I called. While they are not linked to an online delivery service, they can prepare your food and you can send a rider for pick up or, if you ask nicely, they can help you arrange for a rider, too.

 Franchesco’s Pizza Rustica brought back nostalgic thoughts

I got their Pizza Rustica. One bite and I was hooked on it as much as I was hooked on the K-drama. They did not skimp on the mozzarella cheese, the caramelized onions and roasted tomatoes provided sweetness and umami, and the sausage was delicious. Their crust, a little thicker than a Neapolitan one, brought me memories of my childhood for some reason and that is always a good thing when it comes to food.

They are not just known for their pizza, though. Don’t sleep on their Polipo Alla Griglia, grilled octopus, perfectly tender with that smoky, charred flavor that’s laid on top of a rich cauliflower cream; the dish is just so good even a picky eater like Vincenzo wouldn’t resist.

 Roman-style pizzas from Tyler’s Cafe are stunningly delicious.

Meanwhile, continuing on the second half of the K-drama, I ordered more Italian food to satisfy my cravings. This time, I placed an order to Tyler’s Cafe in Quezon City to try their new, Roman-style pizzas.

The chef in Vincenzo made a passable Margherita pizza, but Tyler’s was exceptional. The high-hydration crust of the Roman pizzas provides such a great contrast of textures, with the bottom crunchy and the top layer of the dough beautifully chewy. Topped with fresh basil leaves and homemade tomato sauce, it was one pleasurable eating experience.

They’ve got two other flavors, too — Salami and Ricotta Mushroom — both of which are just as delicious. I can tell you that with authority because I left the box unattended for half an hour at home, and most of the pizza mysteriously disappeared. Needless to say, the folks at home were pretty happy with it, too!

MVP (Most Valuable Pljeskavica)

One of the best investments I’ve made in the past few years was to sign up for an NBA League Pass so that I get to watch every single NBA game throughout the season. As the NBA playoffs are underway, a new MVP or Most Valuable Player was named and it was Nikola Jokic from Serbia. To celebrate his achievement, I thought it was appropriate to order some Serbian food. 

Dobro in BGC is run by Marko Batricevic, who also ran the Balkan restaurant in San Juan years ago, which was one of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood. Dobro makes their food available for pickup and if you make a large order, they can help you arrange for a rider to deliver your food as well.

My go-to order is their Stuffed Pljeskavica, which is a delicious beef patty stuffed with cheese and then flame-grilled to get their signature smoky flavor. Its savory taste combined with the cheese makes for a very satisfying meal to go with fries or rice.

You also have to try their Stuffed Lamb, this time a ground lamb patty stuffed with feta. This one’s definitely a keeper and I will order it again soon, no matter how well Nikola Jokic and his team, the Denver Nuggets, do in the NBA Playoffs.

The chocolate made me do it

Netflix finally released the second half of season 5 of the show Lucifer. One of my favorite shows, it follows the adventures of the devil himself as he teams up with a detective, who is a single mother, to solve crimes and punish the guilty. The detective’s daughter, Trixie, is such a cute character on the show and her favorite treat is chocolate cake. While I may not be as much of a chocolate cake addict as Trixie, I do appreciate one sometimes.

 The Cookie Monster Cake from Cakes by Louise is the ultimate classic.

Enter into the picture the classic Cookie Monster Cake from Cakes by Louise. It is fluffy, super-moist with the perfect level of sweetness and I have no doubt it will pass Trixie’s exacting standards.

The cake definitely has that nostalgic taste to it and that is because the Louise in the name refers to the cakes’ 12-year-old maker, who is a third generation baker, using her family’s well-loved recipe, which they have revived after 20 years.

If symptoms persist, ask your TV

I’ve actually enjoyed letting what I watch on TV dictate the type of food I’m ordering. It’s almost like playing a delicious version of roulette. Now I’m left to wonder what to order when I watch the new Filipino anime, Trese.

Any suggestions?