After a long stay at the beach, several waves of houseguests, meal after meal after meal of prepwork and cooking and clearing up and we are all typically wiped out. So on the way home, I like to leave the beach with the entire crew at around 9:30 am after a very light breakfast of fruit and tea and we head back to Manila at that odd hour to avoid traffic and better yet, to reach our favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Silang, Cavite called LZM. I wrote about them early in the life of this blog as having the best fried daing na bangus (fried milkfish) ever and I still believe that. Actually, itâ€™s the BEST VALUE bangus since the price of the entire meal at LZM is a fraction of fancier Pinoy restaurants in Manila. At any rate, we typically get to LZM around 11 or just after, settle into a grungy table, deal with or just ignore the surly staff, hope the aircon is working and there are no cooties on the cutlery that is brought to the table in a glass that was once a Nescafe bottle and is now filled with lukewarm (not germ killing boiling hot) water. So lukewarm in fact that most bacteria would feel they were in a cozy sauna and they would multiply like crazy… We have never gotten sick there in many years of patronizing the place and we have always eaten very well for very little moneyâ€¦
While I can write about fabulous meals in Tagaytay that may run a couple thousand pesos per diner, I have to say that there is special place in my stomach for LZM and restaurants of a similar ilkâ€¦no pretenseâ€¦good solid foodâ€¦great prices. There arenâ€™t too many restaurants that I have continued to return to several times annually for at least 7 years straightâ€¦ On the most recent visit, we discarded our standard order of sinampalukang manok (chicken and tamarind soup)for an interesting sounding sinigang na bulalo (boiled beef marrow soup with tamarind). Egads, was that good or what? I am not sure if the bulalo was a leftover pot from the day before since we got there so early but it was flavored with sinigang mix or fresh sampaloc (though I suspect the former) and lots of vegetables. The beef was falling off the bone, the bulalo was literally heart stopping material and it was a great way to start the meal filled with fat after fat after fatâ€¦ Donâ€™t forget the sawsawan of soy sauce, vinegar and crushed siling labuyo (bird’s eye chilies)â€“ yum!
After the soup, we got our standard 2 or 3 orders of deep-fried bangus (fat number two) that defies explanation. The fish were just THAT fat and meaty and though the quality varies slightly from visit to visitâ€¦it remains good to excellent no matter what. Plump and meaty, fried just right, with crispy salty edgesâ€¦I could eat just this and rice and some sinigang. But why eat just that when you can get fat laden lechon kawali (fat number 3) (deep-fried pork belly), binagoongang baboy (number 4) (pork stewed in shrimp paste), pinakbet, adobong kangkong, grilled or sizzling tanguigue, pusit, etc.??? Yikes! Does that sound outrageous or what? But the table quiets down, and the eating goes on in earnest. I always thank the crew for another successful holiday at the beach and for all their help and we suppress the inevitable burp and worse, for the guys, the bizarre urge to rub one’s stomach like a jeepney driver that has raised his t-shirt over the bulgeâ€¦heeheehee. I am joking, I DONâ€™T DO THAT. Heeheehee. Do they rub because the skin is so stretched from pigging out? We have never tried any of the desserts at LZM. And frankly, I donâ€™t think we ever will. For details, follow the link up top to the original post on this roadside eatery. Oh, total bill for say 8 hungry folks? Rarely more than PHP2,000, and trust me, we can eat a lot! Burp. :)