Mad About Mexican : Our Latest Burrito Extravaganza
Nothing gets Anthony more excited than Mexican food, which to my mind is right up there with his love for pizza (of course), the Black Eyed Peas, and anything pistachio-colored. For as long as I’ve known him, he has always been on the hunt for a well-made burrito, and so far our default place in Manila has always been Ristras, which continues to be a favorite of his and mine as well.
A few months ago, I was talking to my good friend Cheryl, who highly recommended Orale Taqueria Mexicana, which we finally got to visit recently. Tucked in its own quiet little corner at the Fort Strip (quiet coz it was a weekday), we walked in and were instantly intrigued by its fun interiors. “I think we’re on to something here,” Anthony said excitedly, “I gotta feeling….“
A huge mural featuring cultural icons greeted us upon entering Orale, infusing the restaurant with a colorful Latin vibe. Can you guess which of them is my "favorrrrrito?" (Not quite sure why I rolled my R's on that one, but it was fun anyway.)
As you enter to the left, you will find this curious little rooster, also eager to extend a warm welcome.
What better way to kick off the afternoon than with a round of frozen strawberry margaritas, or "margies," as we fondly call them. Always with a ring o' salt, of course!
All it took was a few sips of my margarita and the next thing I knew, I was giving Anthony my best Frida Kahlo expression. And yes, I had to stand up to "get into character."
What I'm about to say will probably have no relevance to you whatsoever, but this is actually my first ever documented encounter with a tortilla press.
Speaking of curious little roosters, we snooped around and discovered a little window at the back of the restaurant with painted masks that kept us entertained while waiting for our orders.
Here, Anthony pays a loving tribute to Jack Black's Nacho Libre, a movie which ironically annoyed him on many, many levels…
… While I, of course, jumped at the chance to finally experiment with facial hair. Thoughts?
Not a fan of frills nor flounce, Anthony strips down his burrito to its bare essentials, requesting only for meat, beans, and rice. Today, he went with the carnitas, or pulled pork, which was perfectly seasoned and, in his words, "oh so good!"
I'm not as big a fan of Mexican food as Anthony, which is why I prefer my burritos "naked," or without the tortilla wrap. The closer it resembles a Filipino platter, the more likely I am to eat it. Hahaha! Don't get me wrong, though. I devoured this entire platter, Speedy Gonzales style.
Out of the goodness of my heart, I am sharing with you a close up of my amazingly tasty carnitas. I often daydream of sitting through a movie with a big bowl of this, instead of the usual popcorn. And as much as possible, no sharing. (I'd give if I needed to, but I'd be giving begrudgingly. Hey, just bein' honest!)
A satisfied Anthony raises his handmade totopos, or tortilla chip, in honor of a good meal.
Ay-yay-yay. That's one hot jalapeno!
I was feeling innovative and came up with my own original dish… Jalapeno Pie! You heard it here first, folks!
Noticing that we had both fallen silent for a few moments, I glanced across the table and found Anthony looking back at me, happily munching.
I am 100% sure that Cheech and Chong would have loved loved LOVED it at Orale.
Throughout the meal, I was eying this colorful maraca, which was laying on top of the restaurant counter…
…And as soon as our table was cleared, I was able to give it a few festive shakes. Shika shika shika!
Now that was a fun meal, y’all! In fact, Anthony is already planning our next visit… Hahaha! By the way, I heard that Orale is a popular late-night hangout on Saturdays — I would understand that coz after all, doesn’t Mexican food just hit the spot after a night of drinking and dancing?
Happy Tuesday, everyone! And please let me know if you think I look good with facial hair. It’s up for consideration…