Monday, March 17, 2014

Quickie Meals 2 & 3: Ice Giants and Big Tom's

Sometimes people just rise to get a quickie. Nah! You are taking the wrong route my friend. It ain't what you are thinking. What I mean is when you live independently (meaning away from family), maybe to work, or even study, it takes heaps of self motivation to rise up and fix your own meal. I go lazy at times and the thought of cooking just sinks me back to bed. It isn't always, but, I am just saying it does get to me sometimes. The remedy? Fastfood hunting.

Now this is tricky. You think because you are ordering spaghetti or a hamburger, they will cook the fastest in food shops. But it isn't always the case. At least not in these shops.

Meal 1. Parfait, and Burgers with Fries. (~Php400 total)

I went to Ice Giants a couple of times this month. At one time, I ordered the Black Forest parfait and a hamburger meal. Like anyone would, I pushed aside my anticipation for the parfait as I thought desserts are served last. I was surprised it got served first after waiting for a good 10 mins. Now, I love ice creams so I went from a spoonful to another and the refreshing feel of cold desserts in your mouth never fail to lighten the mood. I've tasted other vanilla ice creams though and I must say, this kinda fell a little in comparison to the ice cream shop we have in Negros or the one in Ice Castle. I gave it a thought and decided, maybe it was their own creation. So I dismissed my judgement as I always have high regard for original recipes. Despite that, however, I asked. Then it sunk my heart again to learn it was in fact a commercial ice cream of Selecta's competitor. After years of tasting this type of sorbet, I've loved Selecta's texture and its creamy, rich flavor. Since then I am biased but not absolutely exclusive.

Finally, I am ready for my Hamburger meal. I read the newspaper...then flipped on their menu... then played with my cellular phone. From time to time, I glanced and made sure I made eye contact with a crew as if to remind them I still have a pending order. I swear the imaginary tick-tocking of the clock is becoming louder as I hang on in patience. Over half an hour, then, at last, my hamburger and potato fries. The presentation was neat and looked beautiful but bland and tasteless. I'm sure it must've been delicious but I realized my taste sense was already numbed after finishing a tall glass of ice cream I got served with ahead. If there was a take-away for me in this experience, it should be that desserts must always come at the end of a meal.

The second time I visited the place, waiting time was worse. If I must cite what the franchise is strongly convincing at, it would be their variety of menu items and their inviting ambiance. You see, when you think of ice cream, you think of "happy". Their bright blue wall colors, huge wallpapers and pictures of desserts, their crew's sailor uniform, cool brand name and bright lights make an effectively brilliant appeal to the customers -- a happy pill.

 Ice Giants Desserts and Snacks Cebu
The Strip Osmena Boulevard Cebu City 6000
Operating Hours: Sundays-Thursdays 10AM-11PM
                              Friday -Saturdays  10AM – 12PM

Meal 2. Spaghetti with Meatballs (Php 160.00)

As if I deserved a bonus for good work, I arose for another quick fix. This time at Big Tom's which is famous for its hamburgers. I marched to the store to claim my incentive after a long day of office work with mind initially made up for that burger patty. As soon as I entered the shop, the chalk-drawn sign on a black wall caught my attention "Spaghetti Meatball". Now, the only real deal I tasted was in Italiannis a very long time ago. I figured, it is time I dig into it again. Twenty minutes and then it came. Served on a white plate, the pasta looked great, wetted at the center with spaghetti sauce and tiny chunks of real tomato. Sitting on top was the glorious meatball drizzled with just the right amount of parmesan cheese scrapings.The feeling was like being Flint in Sony Pictures animation of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs without the audio track. Geezz.. i cut through the meat with my knife and a fork and enjoyed the pasta to the last string. I think Big Tom's was certainly trying to serve it as Italian as possible, hence, the absence of the sweet Filipino taste. It is always good to know the difference so you can quickly toggle perspectives in both taste preferences. The basil (or so I think) in the meatball certainly made a difference, although, I imagined if it was flattened, it would have made a good burger patty too.

Photo from here.

Big Tom’s Charbroiled Burger
Address: 111 Juana Osmena St. Cebu City 6000, Philippines
Operating Hours: Mondays – Sundays 11:00AM -9:00PM
Contact/ Delivery Number: 032- 514 -7007

Now that I have reached the end of this article, I realize that fastfoods are not solely defined by the food they serve. You could be ordering siomai for take-out because you are in a hurry, but if the kitchen crew prepares it from scratch and steams it in front of you until it's cooked, you stepped into the wrong shop. They make you wait because they want to serve it fresh. Here is a caveat: You are always who you are in control of. Get familiar with the shops you visit and know how they do service. Then, you can decide which to sacrifice: Time or Quality. If you chance on a shop that does well on both, tell me about it.

Sometimes all you need is a quickie. And wow, aren't quickies delicious!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Quickies can also be naughty. :)

    Try Oriental Spice Gourmet in Mactan. So far, it's the only restaurant that I've come across that serve fresh food fast.

    Baktin Corporation

    1. I regret the day I let that invitation pass. Tsk tsk :(

  3. Argghhh.. you and khonie are brewing the idea too much.. I could go at anyone's invitation, eyes shut, no questions asked!!!


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