Melissa Geronimo, 23, works at an Internet café in Sampaloc, Manila. Her job sometimes entails breaking up fights between kids who get into a heated argument while playing Counter Strike. So every now and then, she steps out of the shop for a breath of fresh air.
This afternoon, she takes her lunch break with us at Erlin’s Tapsilog along Maceda Street, where she orders deep-fried boneless bangus (milkfish) served with fried garlic rice and egg on top, and eggplant with bagoong (shrimp paste).
Erlin's is known for its "tapsilog." The name of the dish is a contracted form of tapa (cured beef), sinangang na kanin (fried garlic rice) and itlog (egg cooked sunny side up) — popular in the country as an all-day breakfast meal. Bangsilog is a variation of tapsilog.
Erlin’s is for people on the go, 24/7. The service is incredibly fast and during the wee hours of the morning, the eatery is still busy with customers enjoying hot soup and a silog meal.
Melissa is particular about her food. To be honest, she says, she'd rather cook her own meal at home. But that doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy eating out every now and then.
WHAT MELISSA ATE: Bangsilog (boneless milkfish with garlic rice and fried egg), eggplant with bagoong (shrimp paste), and soda, for a total of PHP105.
WHAT MELISSA THINKS: She likes that her boneless bangus is fresh from the deep-fryer yet not oily. She doesn’t also eat the fat part of the fish but still enjoys it because of its big size. The bagoong is sweet and complements the eggplant.
WORDS OF WISDOM: “Sa na-obserbahan ko, nag-iiba talaga ugali ng mga bata kapag na-adik na sa computer games. Noong hindi pa kami mahigpit, makikita mong sumusuway talaga sa magulang ‘yung mga bata para lang makapaglaro at nakikipag-away talaga para lang manalo.”
Erlin’s Tapsilog, 1421 Maceda St, Sampaloc, Manila. +63 927 6315582. 24/7.
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