Short, Fat & Old…

The “Eyeball” or was it really an “Eye Ball” was superb! eb7Too bad for those of you who couldn’t make it! All this muttering on photo-napping had me really down over the weekend, the blog felt like a pre-law journal, so thank Buddha the EB was long scheduled for Sunday the 20th of November… I can honestly say now that I was seriously apprehensive about the idea of coming out of the shadows and exposing myself to the reading public…would we all be ogres and strange food deviants? Would people enjoy themselves or just stare at all these other strangers in silence as they munched on the food? Who knew this would be so much fun? Read on for the scoop on the food and the guests…

First the food. We had earlier arranged with Galileo Enoteca eb3for a slightly modified menu for our party of 30 guests and at a per head cost of PHP500 instead of their normal PHP350 lunch. The cold cuts and appetizers were over the top – there was prosciutto, ham, mortadella and salami served with slivers of parmigiano reggiano, grana padano and auricchio (spelling?), there were several delicious servings of fresh buffalo mozzarella with cracked black pepper, an interesting combination of corned beef in aspic, green and black olives, sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, and small green salads. There were also the most delicious fresh anchovies that are so much better than canned! I knew vegetables were not big on the menu so I brought a few more appetizers like cold thin asparagus with thin shavings of lemon rind and olive oil, a cherry tomato salad with basil, grilled yellow squash, eggplant and onions, grilled and marinated red peppers. All of this was served with this terrific baguette-style bread made from Italian flour supplied by the Enoteca to their bakers. The red and white wine flowed freely.

We should have stopped right then and there. eb4Thirty foodies munching on all of those appetizers with wine is a sight that truly lifts one’s spirits. Everyone did their share to nearly wipe out every morsel of food and the average calorie and salt intake was impressive. Seated on two long tables with benches, it was relaxed, convivial and conducive to talking, meeting, laughing. The arrival of the pastas was almost universally greeted with a groan… probably because we overdid the appetizers. We had a Sicilian pesto pasta with fresh tomatoes and lots of garlic, we had a penne with eggplant and porcini and finally, we had a spaghetti with sausages… What was really nice is that all the food just stayed on the table so people could continue to munch on olives with some pasta, anchovies with more bread… in other words, it was the ideal set-up for a lively, pleasant eyeball…

I moved around the tables a bit but still missed more than 70% of the eb5conversations I am sure… I hope the guests will write in some of their impressions of the lunch to give this entry more interest. The guest list…what fantastic range, variety, backgrounds, etc. The youngest was perhaps in their early 20’s and the oldest in their late 60’s! Most were in the 20-30 something range, highly articulate, boisterous, loud, confident, self-assured, interesting and easy to be with. I must be old or spend too much time in front of my computer but I got a real lift from the lunch… so nice to see people who don’t know each other from Adam just spontaneously engage in several conversations with new found fellow foodies. There were bankers, a chef, a doctor, a college counselor, advertising executives, food writers, several bloggers, grandparents and out-of-towners!

For the most part, everyone savored their food, eb6but surprisingly many were just wickedly fit and maddeningly thin… gym was not a foreign word to most of these folks though others would still be in the “gym?, that’s where I used to play basketball as a kid…category.” At one point during lunch a few of the guests were giggling conspiratorially at the end of the table and when I asked them to spill the beans… they sheepishly said they were comparing notes on what they thought Marketman would actually look like. After some coaxing, they all basically blurted out that they thought I would be shorter, much fatter and really old! Yikes, am I supposed to take that as a compliment?! Heehee. This was a group of well-traveled, intelligent, accomplished, interesting, erdudite and well, just fun people. However, comments and their content and tone do not foreshadow the bodies behind them… While some people slotted straight into my pre-conceived notion others just simply blew me away. Hurrah for diverse, interesting and unique backgrounds!

We had hchie and her husband who flew up from Negros, gracious and proper. eb1Mila, the diver and schoolmate from HS (but she went a decade later!). Jun, a banker and his wife Maret (both lurkers no more). Katrina, the “loudest” but extremely engaging ad exec and her friend Felipe, a neck surgeon who were the life of the lunch. Maricor, Gemma, Leonida and Mary Ann who all knew each other and came for the food and out of curiousity. They sat near Anson, a food writer and Bubut, a banker. Ichabod a frequent commenter on the site and gorgeous statuesque blonde who preferred not have her photo published (I jest). Gigi and two friends who came armed to eat and who were just the life of the party their end of the long table. IvanM of OldManilaWalks was there as was Alicia, the reader who clued me into Galileo Enoteca to begin with. Lori of Dessert Comes First and her husband Bindoy, who works at a multinational that promotes all those hair care products that are supposed to miraculously make your hair straight, shiny and swishy… Lori is also the “oh my God, she does how much exercise lady?” Chris was the reserved chef who is always on the lookout for food sources, went home with a price list of Enoteca deli items. Tina or Wysgal a fellow blogger that had trepidation coming to such a strange gathering but who seemed to enjoy herself, sat next to bogchief, a young and fit lad that thought I was going to be this short, old and fat fart. He arrived with his friend and co-bloggista, Xilca, who turned beet red when she introduced herself at filet minion (intentional spelling)! We also had Belle, who seemed close to the Enoteca family and who just enjoys the marketmanila website and she sat next to Joey of 80 Breakfasts who turns out to be a highschool classmate of Lori. My wife and I rounded out the guest list… If I have skipped anyone, please email me.

It’s hard to summarize the lunch other than to say it was a genuine pleasure. eb1Folks were relaxed, amused, inquisitive, sharing, self-assured, themselves, engaging… the list could go on and on. Most everyone stayed at least until 230pm and the conversation was lively. Some insisted on a “speech” but all I could think of to say is “thanks for being a part of Marketmanila…” shortly before everyone went home, I brought in some ensaimadas that I made from scratch (photo up top, started baking at midnight the previous evening!) so that everyone could have a preview taste of my ensaimada special coming up in a few weeks… I didn’t take many photos of the participants and I know some would not necessarily appreciate having their faces up on the net so I leave you with just two photos of the gathering and if anyone has any objections, email me and I will take them down immediately. Again, many thanks to all of the guests, and if you leave comments, please leave some mystery as to who I am and what I look like… Now, I feel like the holidays are really about to begin…


56 Responses

  1. i still don’t believe that i actually met THE marketman. and got his autograph to boot! i still have a sneaking suspicion though that whoever appeared before us that day was just your stunt double/ decoy. i’ll admit that i am just concocting this conspiracy theory coz deep inside i am still desperately hoping that you look like santa claus with a big belly, long white beard and slightly balding on the top. but it’s okay, your santa-like gesture of gifting us with ensaymadas makes up for my disappointment with your non-santa-like resemblance.

    i had a fascinating time marketman! even if i did arrive late and had to leave an hour earlier, thus missing out on the bulk of the clever conversation and failing to fully engorge myself with all the leftover pasta. i hope there’s a next time. and i hope it’s soon!


  2. i really hope there would be a sequel for those who didn’t make it. nevertheless, cheers, mm! your blog have started something revolutionary here!

  3. I had a fantastic time! Thanks for a great and tummy-filling encounter :) Both the food and the company exceeded my expectations…

  4. Kakainggit! I have concocted several excuses just to be able to attend the EB but the “other” event I had to attend to was at our house (grrrr.)

    The pictures look great and I know you all had a heck of time. The food looks divine (I’m salivating!).

  5. It was good fun MM! I have never been surrounded by so many foodies in my entire life! Filipinos do love to eat, but not with as much gusto as the group gathered “in your presence”.

    Seeing everyone partake in the seemingly bottomless plates of cold cuts, cheeses and pastas that afternoon — I now know what my friends and family mean when they say they like to watch me eat because of this look of sheer enjoyment and pure bliss I have on my face.

    The pleasant surprise for me was to see how easily everyone got along with everyone else; and how there were only 2 degrees of separation between many — friends of friends, former schoolmates, etc.

    And as you mentioned it was interesting to see how fit the manic foodies were, despite all the cooking and eating everyone supposedly did. Including yourself, MM, who is disappointingly (?!) not a short, chubby man that carries a bayong everywhere.

    Ultimately, food as a common denominator always leaves people with a lot to talk about. =)

  6. Forgot to mention…I loved the ensaymada, both the taste and texture…even the “toastiness” factor! Ate half of it there. Was going to keep the other half for later…later indeed! I gobbled it up in the car! Haha! :)

    Have also posted a little write up on the EB and have placed a link to your post :)

  7. i’ve been waiting for this post! lucky people! the food and meeting MM!

    MM, I did imagine you would be bigger from all the great food and all! And like wysgal said, I found my 2 degrees of separation from reading your blog.

    Gigi, you know my dad’s cousin (i think hehe), fernan aracama. I imagined MM would look like him hahaha

  8. after reading you post, i went to read ms. lori’s n saw the photos. great time and food you had there! super inggit ako! next time, sana we could be there too! keep up the good work guys and all the best to you and your fellow bloggers!!! hep-hep…Huray !! :)

  9. Looking at lori’s photos, I jurst realized that I missed out on the anchovies (yikes!) Oh but the pasta and ensaymada was more than enough to make up for it…


    And may I add something on the ‘pre-conceived notion’ bit’, the first time I met you in the BIG Binondo Food Bowl, you were uhm, very reserved but you were the exact opposite during the EB…how thats for being the life of the party!

    Great meeting market manila fans out there!

  10. …would we all be ogres and strange food deviants? Haha! that’s exactly what I was thinking too when I went up the door of Galileo Enoteca from the street, I almost didn’t want to come in! Although I knew what to expect from you since we have met before, I thought what about the others? Would we
    all be staring at each other?

    But everyone turned out to be great. We all quickly found something in common, other than our love for food of course! I’m a quiet person as you have noted, so it was really great to have some ‘loud’ people around to carry the conversation! Please don’t take offense, Lori and Katrina. You
    two were the life of the Eye Ball! (if there is such a thing) :)

    Thanks Marketman. We all had a great time. The ensaymada was great, by the way. Just as I like it- almost brioche-like and not cloyingly sweet and sticky from all the quickmelt cheese, butter, and sugar you find in others. Just a few more tries, you’re well on your way to producing a dignified
    ensaymada. But just as it is, it’s already better than most ensaymadas available in the market.


  11. did you notice how your guest reacted when you showed up and say “Hi! i’m marketman !” if you can only get a video cam and catch the reaction of everyone everytime they come in, that would be nice. Everyone is really expecting an Old man in ‘bayong’. The EB was really fun! the food is great, the place is cozy and the ensaymada is delicious! Meeting the foodlovers and MM himself is a great experience. How about a potluck on the next EB ? God bless!

  12. Now that we’ve met, I suppose I can’t be a lazy lurker anymore, can I? ;-)

    I was absolutely thrilled to be there yesterday! The EB exceeded my already-high expectations, and the food was, as one would expect at a gathering of foodies, blissful. Few things make me happier than the combination of delicious food, interesting people, and stimulating conversation. I had such a lovely time that I couldn’t wait to tell my family and friends all about it afterwards. I’m still basking in a MarketMan EB afterglow! :-)

    Felipe and I can’t thank you enough for relinquishing your anonymity and giving us a perfect way to spend our Sunday afternoon.

  13. Wow, sounds like everyone had a great time! Wish I could’ve made it and met other fellow foodies. Perhaps next time…

  14. 30 foodies in the first EB?! Wow that is mighty impressive. Glad you had a grand time with all those food and wine. I hope I could come in the next one …

  15. Too bad I was out of town that day. I thought I had a great time savoring provincial fare (Visayan) in the two days I was away. But what you guys had was sinful! And I would have gladly sinned with you if I were here.

    Congrats,MM. Btw, how about a piece on traditional Filipino fare during fiestas or celebrations back in the 1800’s to early 1900’s? It would be interesting to know what our forefathers had then. If we could share recipes, that would even be better. More power…more food!

  16. Great EB Market Man! It was delicious in more ways than one, great company, witty conversation and great food! Showed my friends the website’s photo and they all now want to join in the next EB. Maybe something Pinoy and potluck?

  17. Wow, look at all the food! Nice to finally see you MM. I’m pleasantly surprised, just like the rest, I thought you’re much older. Will you have an EB here in the East Coast? :)

  18. Thanks again to all those that had the nerve to show up and to participate in someting that turned out to be so much better than any of us could have imagined. As I say in the post, it was really a positive experience. And for those of you who are not there, I may not necessarily be in any of the photos…only the 28 guests will know for sure…and as filet minion suggests…I might have even sent a double…hmmm. I wonder what Santa Claus eats for Christmas dinner… McDonald’s because he is flying all over the world at the speed of sound??? Heehee.

  19. Tnx marketman for being such a wonderful host.You have exceeded our expectations on this eyeball.Great food and great company.Btw where did you buy those young asparagus?most of the time its those big hard ones that we ususally see in the market.
    Till the next EB again. :)

  20. belle, I got them from my suki at the FTI market. You just have to look out for bunches that have just arrived from Baguio… Jean, gotta keep you all guessing…

  21. Had a really fabulous time at the EB, the food and the company were tops! The relaxing rustic ambience combined with the wonderful italian fare was just perfect for a sunday lunch. Twas really a pleasure to have finally met the Marketman in the flesh! You’re a wonderful host, you even went out of your way to bring in those delicious grilled vegetables and burned the midnight oil to bake those ensaymadas. Lets not forget Mrs. Marketman, who was bustling around like a mother hen making sure everyone had their nametags and was well fed. Thanks for a great time, Im certain everyone went home elated plus a pound or two heavier. For those who missed it, dont miss it next time! (*hint) Thanks again and more power!

  22. Ka inggit! I so wanted to be there. It looks like so much fun. I have to admit Im kind of expecting you to look like carlos celdran. :D
    And all that food and fun people! I think a christmas EB will be perfect.

  23. I absolutely hate being late. More so when it causes me to miss the fresh olives, anchovies, mozzarella, asparagus, grilled veggies, and cherry tomatoes. But I still had fun eating and meeting. Thanks MM and groupies for the good time.

  24. This finally lays to rest my boyfriend’s suspicion that you are Maurice Arcache. (No offense to both parties, but I wonder where he got that impression!) Too bad I missed what was obviously a delightful gathering of kindred spirits.

  25. It was a wonderful eyeball although I must say I mingled with the food more than the peeps! I was chewing and moaning and grunting half the time at the different exquisite tastes my mouth was flirting with! Good grief, I singularly snorted the prosciutto and green olives!

    Hey, Marketman! “Attempt No. 5” was not a bad attempt at all! Loved it with my Passionflower-Chamomile-Lavender tea mix! Everyone shout with me please — “Marketman for President!”. Wooohooo!!!! My bonus too is to was meeting Lori, my Rock Star. You and MM hamper my productivity at the office! Hahahaha.

    Let me just say too that ang gaganda ng fans ni Marketman …. talk about fabulous foodies! Wink! ;)

  26. Might we join in on the chorus? Thanks Marketman for the hearty repast of fresh greens, cheese, pasta and traditional ensaymada. Apart from the glorious food, the merry mix of totally fascinating foodies elevated the meal to a wonderful dining experience. Our compliments to two of the most genuinely nice people one could meet – Mr. and Mrs. Marketman. You were perfect hosts. We can’t wait for your next EB event.

  27. Maurice arcache?? that IS funny. Between his “palanggas” here and “moi” there, Maurice can barely string two sentences together; MM on the other hand is articulate, so your boyfriend truly was way off the mark i have to say. And yes, maurice is a friend of mine so no worries haha

  28. gonzo, shucks, I didn’t even ask I was so crazed. At PHP500 a head food and wine, they were not pricey, I can tell you that. Lani, no other EB’s planned anytime soon… Maurice Arcache? YIKES! :) Jun and Maret, glad you made it to the EB! bogchief, I just checked your blog and you folks have spent months in Africa and Vietnam, how lucky is that? Ichabod, glad you joined us for lunch! My internet provider was down most of today, that’s why there is no new post! Will try to do one tomorrow…

  29. Oh, I forgot to thank Mrs. Marketman too! Please let her know we all sincerely appreciated her graciousness that day. She was as much a pleasure to meet and talk to as you. What a fun, funny, and fascinating couple you are!

  30. Mrs. Marketman, thanks for being such a gracious host too.

    Gonzo, as MM said we were all too busy talking and eating, nobody really took a good look at the wines. I think it’s a Marco Maci- if you call galileo enoteca, I’m sure they’d be able to tell you exactly which wine it was.

  31. Never in my wildest dream did i think of you as old,short and balding but, i always imagined you as a wonderful,articulate,fun,tall,dark,bloody handsome bloke. Ang suwerte naman ni mrs.MM.

    Glad that you all had a grand time!More success to you MM.

  32. Sounds like I missed a really great party. Am heading over to Galileo Enoteca this weekend where I plan to impress my guests by asking the ktichen to produce the Marketman EB Special (attribution promised). Do you think I’ll need to cal it in in advance?
    ps just heard from a friend that judging from the way the tables are filling up at GE, business has increased considerably since their name first surfaced in Market Manila. Gladwell and Hughes should be calling you for research material.

  33. I’m posting this late, was out in the boonies for a couple of days. Divided my ensymada, one section ate alone, another with hot chocolate, and another with ham. Can’t decide which was a nicer combination, since I loved them all equally.
    I’m bringing another bunch of folks back to Galileo, and we’re definitely looking out for those lovely anchovies.
    What I loved the best was how our blogworld has brought folks together who’d never have met in the first place. Lovely meeting Lori of the great desserts, wysgal and chichajo.
    MM and Mrs. MM, lovely seeing you both, you were hosts beyond the pale. And 82 and 88 are not one decade late!

  34. Hi. Visited here again to get the latest on the photo napping fiasco and then found out about this EB…too late:) I must say your EB is one of a kind, and maybe the first of a kind. Usually pag nag EB kami, KKB haha. Congrats and I hope there’ll still be a second one

  35. Ajay, this was just like any other food EB, and it was KKB, everyone paid their own way, I just made sure they got their money’s worth and added to the appetizers myself. Dessert was just a way to test my latest attempts at ensaimada!

  36. so sad that i’m too far away (bacolod, not too far away really but far enough) and too poor to join the EB. P 500 is really a fair price to pay for such amazing spread, it’s the plane fare that would kill me. Been looking at the group pics and really wonder why all of you look fit?
    I eat a gram and gain a pound! :)

  37. wow!!! wish I could’ve been there… hoping that I could attend at least one future EB…

    have been reading about the photo napper… haven’t even gone home to taste the yema that you found for me… sooo thankful for what you’ve done MM…

    let me just say that I really appreciate all food bloggers. been learning a lot from you guys.. BRAVO!!!

  38. Hi marketman, I love reading your foodblog and the other filipino food blogs! yum!! I am a manila foodie too! I love trying and looking for new places in Manila. I live for food and wine(in moderation!). Unfortunately I do not have a blog yet. I am in Italy now taking my Master in tourism, prior to that I took some cooking and wine classes in florence and had a gastronomic adventure there trying out different casalinga, enoteca and of the beaten path restaurants in tuscany. I hope I can join you “EB” sometime or if you have any food get together. I am going home to manila for the holidays. But for sure next year, I’ll be Manila for good so hopefully I can be part of the manila foodie group! Ciao! Keep up the good work and thumbs up to the Manila foodies!

  39. hmmmm. . . so bad i wasn’t able to come . . .i have work that time we have several functions in the crowne plaza hotel so i couldn’t ask for a leave. . .

  40. Enjoyed reading EVERYTHING about the “Eyeball” get together.It was a vicarious experience perhaps not only for me but for others who missed the event but still wanted to be “part” of this “community” of foodies.
    You are still a “mystery” for us who have not met you and that makes you and your website more interesting aside from the interesting articles that you put in. Thanks so much for being so unselfish and thorough in your search for the best.
    Btw, can you share a really good recipe on Fresh Corned Beef that is easy to follow and ingredients readily available.
    Thanks again.

  41. That was an unforgettable gathering at Galileo MM! Thank you so much for the exciting and unique food experience, everything and everyone just seemed to gel together.I especially loved the veggies and the anchovies. We really liked your A#5 too, it’s not the usual oily, sticky ensaymada. It’s great to finally be able to put a voice and an image to my daily reading of MM. Thanks too, Mrs.MM.

  42. I hope the next meet will be the same time that I will be in Manila. I love to eat and cook. You seem to have a great community here that shares the same love for food.

    Everytime I go home to Manila I pretty much spend most of my time trying out every restaurant in sight.



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