Rockin’ Dad at Cajun Red Rock

There’s an advantage to not having a car.

We decided to celebrate Father’s Day early. Maybe to beat the rush. But we had also been suddenly asked to be on standby for Gospel Jam for tonight, and we didn’t want our minds divided.

The Pangilinans at Cajun Red RockIrl didn’t deserve that.

I had been telling him of Cajun Red Rock since Tuesday, when The Edge Radio DJs started swooning over it. And posting pictures of the food.

It was totally unfair!!

So Irl said we could go. We’d been warned that the food servings are big, so we decided we’d just order what we really really want. We ordered the kiddie meal for the girls — if Owie from the Edge was accurate, and I know she is, one plate would be more than enough for the girls. They chose fish sticks over chicken fingers, and they were served with fries and pasta, plus two dips.Just For Kids with Fish Sticks

No ketchup, of course. THIS IS A FINE DINING RESTO, PEOPLE!!! NO ASKING FOR KETCHUP, PLEASE!!

Although I think that if we did, they wouldn’t have minded. There were no high-brow chefs here, at least I didn’t see any. And the staff were patient and kind, volunteering to advance some of the orders we came up with while Irl tried to decide what he wanted.

The kids weren’t much on pasta, so Irl and I had that. It was nicely tomato-ey, not tomato sauce-y. With the girls’ simple tastes, they were actually happy with the fish sticks and fries, just trying out the dips for taste, but leaving it alone for the most part. Jodie wolfed her share down faster than we expected, but Roni took her time. I think she was expecting fish as in fish, not fish sticks, but she dutifully finished her share.

I was happy, or thought I would be, with the Tower of Sesame, actually onion rings crusted with sesame-seed batter, served with a bit of salad — coleslaw — and three dips: Shallot sauce, Jack Daniels dip and Sesame.Chef Tony's Special Ice Tea

We decided to just have a pitcher of the Chef Tony Special Iced Tea. Much cheaper than buying four glasses, or even two! Bottomless iced teas, green or strawberry, were certainly tempting, but we knew we would just abuse it.

Besides, we came for the food, not the drinks.

Tower of SesameI wasn’t happy. Happy isn’t adequate enough. I was in heaven!! The three dips gave each bite of the crunchy giant onion ring its own character, but I ended up finishing the shallot sauce. The Jack Daniels and Sesame sauces were for me variations of salt and sweet, but the Shallot sauce was unique. It was sweet, salty, tangy, green (I actually thought it was some sort of pesto with cream) with a touch of what tasted like coconut milk. I’m probably wrong. I didn’t bother to ask. I just tried to slow down so I could savor each bite. I actually could have been happy with just that dish!

Irl had decided on the Rib Platter. We knew it would be enormous, so we asked right away if it would be okay if we take the left-overs home.

In the Philippines, it’s not a bad thing to wrap up your left-overs and have it again later.

We were right. It was — gigantamous.Rib Platter Three slabs of baby back ribs in three kinds of sauces: Bourbon, Heinz, and Jack Daniels. They were melt-in-your mouth ribs, too. Only the actual bone was not tender. I had heard of “it’s falling off the bone” softness, but never encountered it until those ribs.

This time the Jack Daniels really complemented the meat, but guess what? Irl loved the Bourbon sauce, and if I hadn’t been pigging out on the shallot sauce with the sesame-crusted onion rings, I’d probably have forced my tummy to receive most of the Heinz-sauced rib. I know it’s usual to have food like this with wine, and it would probably have been okay because we didn’t have a car, so no one was designated driver. But surprisingly enough, Chef Tony’s Special tea rose to the occasion, providing a sweet foil for the rich sauce and tender meat.

When we couldn’t take any more, the sensitive waiters offered to take our dishes away to wrap up the left-overs while we had dessert.IMG0074A

Double Chocolate Overload is an understatement.

My family loves chocolate. Irl grew up in Taiwan and his mom would always have baked goodies for snacks. I grew up with the Filipino kakanin but the lady who used to sell them here hasn’t been around in years, so my girls didn’t get the chance to fall in love with puto, bibingka, biko, sapin-sapin, kutsinta… The only local dessert they love is leche flan. For them, it’s fudge brownies, or chocolate cupcakes, or chocolate spread on pan de sal.

Before you report me for neglect, this is not an everyday food for them. I only meant that between Filipino native snacks and chocolate, it’s chocolate.

Double Chocolate Overload was the Edge-recommended dessert. The six-inch wide, four-inch high bundt truffle topped with vanilla ice cream then covered with a chocolate shell that overflowed into “plain” chocolate sauce over the side and all over the plate…and was solid as it filled the space in the middle and supported the ice cream…

It blew us away. Literally. The chocolate sauce with the truffle was so rich yet not cloying at all, that Irl and I would recoil from the table. It went from your mouth straight to your head.

And the girls actually gave up attacking it. Even Roni, Daddy’s chocolate girl, couldn’t finish her share. In the end, we had to ask the waiters to wrap up about a third of it.

We must have brought home roughly half of what we ordered. Which means that what we had could have probably fed and filled four adults, six if they’re dieting and just want a taste of really really good and satisfyingly tasty food.Leftovers

And now comes the advantage of not having a car. Cajun Red Rock is on the Megastrip of SM Megamall B. It was not going to be easy for us to get a ride home from there. Or at least, not as cheap as the ride to get there. We decided to hike back to Ortigas Avenue to get a bus home. So we had the chance to walk some of it off.

It was meant to be a celebration of Irl’s fatherhood. That was why I encouraged him to get the Rib Platter. It was his treat. Yet like most dads, he paid for this treat, too. IrlWe celebrated him, but we depended on him to be able to celebrate. We are a single-income family. I’m a stay-home wife and mom. Irl’s job has been surprisingly more than adequate for our needs, which is why we could afford rare treats like Cajun Red Rock.

They say that fathers reflect God’s character to their children. And in our Father’s Day celebration, I know Irl reflected one aspect of God’s character that is dear to me. He provides for what we need, and even for what we want, and pays the price for our celebration of him.

Just as God sent His one and only son Jesus to pay the price required for us to be with and celebrate the Father. Someone said that if you want to know what God is like, think of what an ideal father would be. Everything you would have wanted in a father, not just what your own father is like. Everything you think a father should be, and more, God the Father is.

I was hoping we would rock Irl as we celebrated him as a Dad at Cajun Red Rock. I know that the girls know that their dad rocks! And that he just gave them a glimpse of what a rockin’ Dad God is!

Happy Father’s Day!!

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