First stop was breakfast at a stall near the main entrance of UPLB. Though the silog was generic and the bacon too little to even reach my esophagus, these heart-shaped eggs were enough to make me smile. See, I’m easy to please. :]
The best -seller was Phila Maki: rice, fish, mangoes and Philadelphia cream cheese. This was simpler than most Makis I’ve had but I like this one the most. It’s delicious and there weren’t too many flavors. Will definitely eat this again the next time I visit or will ask someone to bring one for me as pasalubong.
After lunch, Chap had to meet with a friend while IJ had a class to attend. April accompanied me to buy the most famous pasalubongs from Laguna as per my sister’s request: Letty’s Espasol and The Original’s Buko Pie. The Ube halaya was hers (April). The espasol was chewy though I prefer it if the shape was long and thin instead of round and thick. I am not an avid fan of buko pie but The Original’s version was delicious! It was creamy and not too sweet and the dough was moist. I wouldn’t mind having a slice of this delicacy regularly.
After the sugar rush, we decided to spend the hottest part of the day holing up in April’s apartment. I don’t know why but I enjoyed doing nothing in elbi. It felt like I live there so it’s typical to have days where I just stay at home. haha.
When we woke up at around 4:00 PM, we decided to grab some snack at Faustina’s near Raymundo Gate. Actually, before going to elbi, I made a list of all the restaurants I wanted to try. Unfortunately, we only eat three times a day and I only stayed there for two days so I wasn’t able to scratch off everything on my list. Gah! Too many foods to eat, too little time!
Anyway, I fell in love with Fausty’s (what the students call Faustina’s) menu adorned with love letters written in third person from the year 1946. Sweet! I am definitely going to write love letters when I meet “Da one”. Char!
The place was small and there were only 5 tables inside. Maybe because the price range was a bit expensive for a typical student. This, I believe, is reserved for special occasions and not for daily meals (unless you’re filthy rich).
While choosing the pizza flavor, I asked April what she wants and she replied “anything as long as there’s no vegetable” so we settled for good old cheese. One of the reasons why we’re friends is our shared love-hate relationship with anything green (and healthy for that matter). Sometimes, the simpler, the better.
After Fausty’s, April and I walked around UPLB before I leave for Manila and again, I lay under the fertility tree. I will miss this place. Seriously, I get easily attached to places I almost always come home with a broken heart after every trip. I want to stay longer because I know home will always be where it is.
The place was intimate I could only imagine it being full during Valentine’s day. Other restaurants with interior like this often exude an aura that says the diners should be prim and proper and keep their voices at a minimum. I love that Joe’s didn’t have that aura because an enthusiastic conversation always makes meals a better experience. Also, the hole-in-the-wall (because it was located in the middle of a subdivision without streetlights) feel gives it some sort of authenticity.
This was what she gave me. Sweet, sweet girl. Another reason why we’re friends: we can tell each other our deepest, most narcissistic desires and we can be brutally honest without taking anything too seriously.
I usually settle for water to cut off the unnecessary calories (they’re better enjoyed when eaten rather than drank) but this Lemonade was so good I didn’t feel any sign of guilt even if I broke my rule.
For main course, I had Atasha, “delmonico steak served with a choice of rice or mashed potato and buttered veggies“. This was delicious and I savored every bite of protein goodness. The meat was tender and reddish in the middle though it was lacking juices. Serving of mashed potato was hefty I only managed to finish half. Buttered veggies were generic.
April had Cheesy Bacon Linguine “due formaggi” and other people might find this pasta too cheesy but it was fine for me because “too cheesy” simply does not exist in my vocabulary. And a serving was enough for two people. April wasn’t able to put a dent on this dish and she offered it to me. Much as I wanted to devour it and lick all the sauce off the plate, my stomach couldn’t accommodate anything else after I finished my steak.
When I was in first year college and April was in fourth year high school, I promised that I’d visit her in Elbi before she graduates from college. Lo and behold, even though I almost broke my promise (because my ading will be graduating next week), I finally did visit her in Los Banos! hehe. Thank you April for pigging out with me even though you were forced to splurge money on food because I can’t afford to pay for both of us. I promise to treat you next time if and only if I finally get a job.
And that concludes my somewhat-spontaneous, two-day trip to Elbi. I can’t wait to be back and try other items off the menus of Faustina’s and Joe’s and Eat-Sumo and other places! Plus the hike to Peak 2!
Salamat sa mga taong sumakay sa lahat ng trip ko: kay Marie, IJ, Chap, at lalong lalo na kina April at Emman!