Posted in Restaurant Hopping

In Which Breakfast is a New York Classic…

Time for a cappucino...
Time for a cappuccino…

You know the drill: wake up at the crack of dawn, throw yourself into the shower, throw some clothes on, dash out of the house, sally into traffic, and still get to work late.  This is the scenario that has become all too familiar to anyone who lives in the Greater Manila Area these days.  Things are bad enough that you end up eschewing breakfast all together just so you could try to get to work on time.  Of course, when this happens, you get to work with a very bad temper and an achingly empty belly – and that’s never a good thing.

Because I’ve been told to stop starving myself (not that it’s ever helped me lose any actual weight), I have to eat something at the start of the day.  Otherwise, my energy levels will flag and I will be bloody surly two hours into the workday.  Today, because I wanted to spoil myself a little after the stress of the past four months, I decided to grab at bite at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf where I got a breakfast that’s a throwback to the appetising stores of the more heavily Jewish districts of New York City.

...and a bagel.  With a schmear of cream cheese.  And lox...LOTS of lox...
…and a bagel. With a schmear of cream cheese. And lox…LOTS of lox…

I ask you: can there be anything – and I seriously mean anything – better than a warm chewy bagel split through the middle, smeared over with cream cheese, with thick coral-hued folds of belly lox (cold-cured salmon belly) piled upon it?  It is the breakfast of champions in my book and one that I find a necessary indulgence to guard against the worries of the day.

Have salad, will travel.
Have salad, will travel.

It is a most satisfying thing: smoky and salty; creamy smooth because of the cheese yet crisp and sharp because of the vinegary shallots sprinkled on top of the fish.  Sure, it’s not something I can have every day; but, whenever I do, it is more than necessary fuel.  It puts a smile on my face and, for a little while, I forget the stress at the office and I don’t miss my best friend/sounding board.  For a short while, I can forget that I have CFS and I feel strong and I feel like I can do anything.  For a short while, I can be just a shade happier than I normally am in these rough days.  And speaking of that friend…

It’s Dragonfly Collector (Clem Castro)’s birthday today.  The video above is from a performance at the Boiler Room earlier this year where he performs the title track of his album The World is Your Oyster.  Incidentally, his The World is Your Oyster – Philippine Tour wraps up in Puerto Princesa on Saturday, 12th December 2015.  If you find yourself there, he’ll be playing at Katabom.  Go say hi and congratulate him for me.  🙂



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

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