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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Like a Box of Chocolates


MANILA, Philippines -- But this article is not about truffles, pralines and chocolate bars. It is about Bubba Gump, that restaurant from the “Run, Forrest Run” movie in the ‘90s, remember? So this will be all about shrimps, life, love… and shrimps.

You know a big girl like me sometimes needs to live, love, and eat cute little crustacean things. Like these Best Ever Popcorn Shrimps lightly battered and fried to a perfect sunshine gold that is crispy and healthy – yes, healthy, because Bubba threw some pepperoncinis and roasted red bell peppers into the mix.

You see, just as life is like a box of chocolates, it is also like a newsprint cone of popcorn shrimps (or Bubba’s soft and tender House Special Calamari Rings) – you never know what you’re gonna get. But one thing for sure is this: With each surprise life throws you – sweet bell pepper, new romance, bitter vegetable, devastating heartbreak, plump calamari ring, succulent shrimp, the man of your dreams – you become a healthier, stronger and better person with even better taste.

Okay, enough about life, back to shrimps. They happen again in the Yin Yang Shrimp Salad. The crustaceans lay sexily on a bed of fresh Romaine lettuce, sweet mango slices and peanut bits tossed in a tangy Asian wasabi dressing and topped with a generous heap of fried wonton strips. Crispy, crunchy, yummy.

As if that is not yet enough shrimps for lunch, we have the Shrimper’s Heaven which put me into major Decapoda coma. Imagine beer-battered, hand-breaded coconut shrimps served with Cajun orange marmalade, chilly shrimps and fried shrimps with zesty cocktail sauce, and Japanese-style shrimp tempura in Asian tangy dressing. De. Ca. Po. Da. Co. Maaaaaaaa.

There is only one word to describe the Old Fashioned New England Clam Chowder, and that word is LOADED. It’s got so much stuff in it you finish the bowl and you’re good to go. I suggest sharing the goodness (and calories) with loved ones so you can try more of Bubba’s new creations like Farah’s current addiction – Kentucky Bourbon Wings. The lightly breaded, crispy chicken wings are coated in a syrupy sweet homemade bourbon sauce that can be mild if you’re a sissy, or spicy if you’re a hottie. Farah goes for spicy and she cannot get enough.

For the more health-conscious party (sorry, I belong to the opposition), Jenny’s Catch with Lobster Butter Sauce is the goody-goody choice. You get a simple dish of pan seared fish on sautéed spinach and creamy mashed potatoes.

Now for the less conscious people (or people who know how to enjoy life by having some pork) the slow roasted Dixie Style Baby Back Ribs is a no-brainer. The perfectly shaped slab of meat is smoky and tasty, firm yet fork tender. There is absolutely no need to raise my knife.

That is, until that chocolate thing arrives.

I just have to protect my share from all of the hungry, greedy and slobbering mouths.

The menu says, “We’re not sure what to call it, but we know you’ll love it!” So that is what they call this jar of awesome flourless chocolate cake… That Chocolate Thing. So soft, so moist and so very warm, you want to lick it, eat it and bury yourself deep inside it.

Forrest’s mama always tells him, “Miracles happen everyday. Some people don’t think so, but they do.” And Mama is right. Today’s miracle is served on a plate, in these bite size, hot off the oven chocolate chip cookies that bring happy delirium into my life.

Just like Forrest or Tom Hanks or any other John Doe, Jane Doe and Baby Doe out there, I admit this. I am not a smart man, but I know what love is.

And this chocolate chip cookie, this is it.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company is located at 2/F Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City, Metro Manila. They just prettified their private room called The Gump House. Call 757-5154 now to reserve.

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