Charlie’s and saga of the lost phone

Abi invited Dai and I on her side of the Metro, that is, Kapitolyo in Pasig for a taste of the celebrated Charlie’s Grind and Grill. The food joint was beside a carwash so I’m assuming they have the same owner or something.

When I saw these two, I knew the long commute and then the wait would be worth it.

We all had Wagyu Cheeseburger. The store boasts that their Kitayama wagyu patties “contains no antibiotics or added growth hormones, are made from vegetarian-fed beef raised on family-owned farms and ranches, wet aged for 15 days and are ground fresh daily. Cooked medium well, a little pink inside when served.

And I have to say it was really good. The lettuce was crunchy therefore fresh, the buns were soft and the patty tasted like everything they claimed above. Tender and delicious and flavorful.

And yes, it was pinkish in the middle.

We wanted to try their Vanilla milkshake but it was kinda pricey at 180 pesos and we were running low on funds. Maybe next time. Instead, Dai had their Iced tea with dalandan twist while Abi and I settled for good old Mug root beer.

The staff forgot to punch in the fries we ordered so it arrived late. These were the big cut kind and though it was really oily and not crunchy, it was surprisingly good. There’s something about their fries. haha

Now, the saga of the lost phone. While we were indulging ourselves in the goodness of the Wagyu burger, a guy in black shirt approached our table. He was holding a sheet of bond paper on each hand and was shoving them to us while saying that he was soliciting money for a basketball game. We politely said we weren’t interested but he still persisted. After sometime, he hurriedly left (bumping a waitress in the process) and just like magic, Dai’s iPhone was lost.

We were dumbfounded especially Dai because (1) hello, our friend just lost a phone and (2) the modus operandi was remarkable. It reminded me of something I watched in National Geographic last year about our brains not being able to pay attention to two things at the same time. The example given in the show was that of a guy engaging his victim in a conversation while the latter was being robbed. In this case, the papers, supposedly solicitation letters, were used to divert our attention. We didn’t even have a clear image of the guy in our mind even though he stood beside our table for more than a minute because we were trying to read what was written on the freaking papers! After the initial reaction that was shock, we remembered that the guy put down a paper on our table and then picked it up again. Maybe that was when he took the phone.

We then told the staff and one was kind enough to scout the area and look for the guy using his motorcycle, to no avail. Dai was midway between angry and furious. In her opinion, the place should be properly secured given the price of their products. Also, with the hope of getting an image of the thief, we asked the staff about the CCTV camera directly facing our table. They said it wasn’t working. Wow.

Happy with their food but disappointed with their facility, we went home to Abi’s place. At least there were lessons learned. One, always be vigilant. Two, never ever leave your valuables on top of a table even if you’re sitting right in front of it because your ‘attention’ is unreliable. And three, Lay’s Salt and Vinegar flavor, Hyuna’s Bubble Pop music video, photobooth vanity pictures and good friends will help you make it through the loss.

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