i'm at sm megamall now. i just payed for my monthly electricity consumption at the bills payment section of the mall, and later proceeded to have my lunch at goldilocks. i ordered beef caldereta and fried rice like i always do, whenever i find myself dining here. looking at the attractive pictures of their menu displayed before the counter, i was tempted to try one of the combo meals which looked tempting enough (pork barbeque, laing, pancit and rice), but decided to opt for my first choice instead.
my love affair with the goldilocks caldereta goes back some fifteen years ago, when CSI Mall (yep, after the famous tv series, but obviously its predecessor), the first big mall in pangasinan opened its doors at dagupan city. i was around twelve then, i think; and i thought to myself "wow, such a huge mall with nice airconditioning!" hahaha. promdi talaga. well, we go to manila every now and then (refer to previous posts) but dagupan is the closest thing to a bustling metro that's well within reach whenever tatay needs to buy stuff, see sights or just go check on whats new. so there i was, with tatay; and i think nanay and ate were there too, but my mind is a bit hazy on this bit of detail. it was already noontime when we've already finished making the rounds of the newly-opened shops. we soon found ourselves at goldilocks with its clear floor-to-ceiling glass panels, so people outside the mall can be all the more enticed with whats being had by its hungry patrons.
tatay being the foodie expert started pointing at this and that dish, and soon enough he had the perfect pairing ready for us to feast on : beef caldereta, fried rice and lumpiang shanghai. just imagine--tender beef slices in a spicy-creamy tomato sauce concoction topped with green peas, potatoes and grated cheese. pair that with the steaming, multi-textured goodness of their fried rice with sliced ham, carrots, garlic and onions... lovely. of course, lumpiang shanghai perfectly complimented the fried rice and provided a good contrast with the saucy caldereta. yum. i think i had two orders of fried rice then. hehehe.
that was my first goldilocks experience; and to a young promdi boy of twelve years or so, it was a sumptuous one. i remember the late afternoon sun warming my skin as we traveled back to urdaneta after a day of scouring the streets of dagupan; but moreso, i remember the caldereta, the shanghai and the fried rice.
so whenever i find myself in a goldilocks restaurant, i always have this pairing in my mind's catalog, ready for easy pick-up. its like having a little part of tatay with me wherever i go. uy, its been an hour na, since lunch. maybe that part of tatay is being digested na as we speak. hehehe.
when i was in first year college and still learning the ropes of living by myself (and SM City North Edsa was the only SM City known to me), i remember how the caldereta i used to order there being so much closer to the caldereta of years passed. that one was much bigger in serving, too, than the one i just had (and is currently digesting in my stomach). the taste is still close to the caldereta of CSI Mall's opening day, but the serving is an itty-bitty version of the glorified caldereta in my mind. even the size of the fried rice was halved. i didn't order shanghai btw, as i'm a bit on a tight budget (and shanghai is far too common nowadays--even our canteen in the office has a similar-tasting dish offering). well, what am i really saying? all i'm saying is that i'm just a bit disappointed with the experience. and that's the whole point of this blog, really.
well, ang nagagawa nga naman ng isang buwang pagkawala. hehehe.