In a rice-consuming country like the Philippines, what we eat with rice is as important as the rice itself. We’ve grown to love rice dishes like goto (porridge with beef tripe), pares (rice topped with braised beef) and silog (rice with meat and egg) that we crave them at any time of the day.
Yesterday, I had an afternoon date with Alexa at the newly-opened GOTO Love It! Tricia Domingo actually invited me to check out their Facebook page. I found more options other than the goto variants. The foodie in me got tempted.
The “gotohan” is pretty spacious, with tables not too close to each other. The neat orange walls scream food, love it! I asked Tricia’s co-owner, Arnel Condeza, what would he suggest to a first time diner and he answered, “goto!” I believe the food sense of this guy, and so I got “goto with everything sans egg in it”. Plus sweetened saba con hielo. Alex asked for tapsilog and I honestly thought she was kidding.
When the goto came, the first thing that caught my attention was the fragrant smell of the food, it had no smell as a matter of fact — something I consider foremost in my rice dish. I hate old, poor quality rice. Olfactory… I want it pure and appealing, so I can enjoy what else goes with it. My tripe was tender and the garlic bits were perfectly toasted. I tried my goto without any condiments and it was still tasty. Halfway, I added a bit of chili garlic and it was also great — some Chinese twist into it.
Alexa must have loved her tapa (Filipino fried marinated beef strips), nothing was left except for a little garlic rice. Not greasy, I was able to eat it without any side dish.
The sweetened saba (banana) with shaved ice brought back memories of summer as a child. We always had the delicious cooler at home. Theirs had diced banana, but just the same wonderful syrupy saba.
Julia Child was quoted to have said, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.” I congratulate the three owners, Tricia, Arnel and Chef Neil for coming up with a fine concept. Love it!
GOTO Love It! LDP Bldg., Balintawak St., Laoag City Open Mon-Fri 11:00 AM-10:00 PM
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