Callos for Christmas?
Have you ever stood along Session Road, clueless and hungry wondering where to eat lunch? On a weekday, let your feet take you to the La Azotea food court and sample the different food stalls there.
Students, bankers, government workers go to Eden’s and George’s food stall at the 2nd floor of La Azotea in search of delicious and affordable food, mostly Filipino. They offer “budget meals. “Pedro’s” is now called “Chrismer’s” .
Merly “Eden” de la Cruz and Ursalina “George” Gilles have been in the food business for the last 22 years. Not counted are the 11 years Pedro’s had been in operation since 1989 under Pete and Emma Siapno before they migrated to the United States in 2000.
The name might have changed but the recipes remain the same.
For instance, they still have the all-time favorites of regular clients for the last 33 years such as: Korean beef, pork binagoongan, pork steak, lumpiang shanghai, dinuguan, nilasingna hipon, fish fillet, fried chicken , tortang talong or fried, sinigang na baboy, tinolang manok, pork w/ black beans, chicken curry, adobong pusit, picadillo, pork kare-kare, dinengdeng and on Fridays, monggo and bilo-bilo.
Once in a while they offer chicken skin, pansit and japchae. They also offer turon na saba and maja blanca for dessert. These are just some listed on their daily menu.
Eden and George said: “Yung iba naming customers kumakain at umoorder na sa pwesto nuong estudyante pa lang sila, hanggang ngayong na mayroon na silang mga pamilya at asawa, nagpupunta at umo-order parin sila ng mga paborito nila. Madalas may mga kasama pa silang kaibigan. Laging silang bumabalik. Yung mga tiga banko naman nagpapa deliver pa rin. “
Some of their customers are owners of big hotels and businesses. Eden started cooking with Pete when she was just a teenager. George, on the other, was a security guard for eight years. They live a simple lifestyle. Masaya at mapagbigay. Tanungin nyo ang mga bus girls at bus boys.
Eden’s most delicious and famous dish is “Callos”.
“Spanish recipe po ito na mayroong ox tripes o “twalya’, sa Filipino, lambi o ox feet at beef. Hiwa – hiwalay po palambutin ang mga karne, na nilalagyan ng garbanzos, green peas, tomato sauce, chorizo de bilbao o sausage, bacon, pepper, onions, virgin olive oil, at black olives,” shares Eden.
“Matagal po lutuin, higit kumulang mgadalawangoras,” she added.
Eden has a special way of preparing the ox tripe to make it soft and tasty. Masaraptalaga at malinamnam. At kung nag-iisip kayo ng espesyalna regalo o handangayongPasko, maganda itong pang regalo at masisiyahan kayo saNoche Buena.
If you are contemplating of ordering Callos for Christmas and New Year, or the other dishes, place your order 2 days in advance. Minimum order is for 10 people). Order dates are December 23 for Christmas and December 30 for New year. And for the New Year, buying 13 kinds of fruits to welcome the year for good luck is sometimes stressful, just order a “fruit basket”.
Saves you the time and trouble of going to the market. When we have family gatherings or special meetings, we just call Eden and George, specify the food and dessert that we want. Call or text their mobile number: 0943 615 0258 or visit them at La Azotea. They are open from Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Eden hails from San Carlos, Pangasinan while George is from Southern Leyte. It’s a stroke of faith or a case of north meets south. They have a 19-year-old son named Christian.
Chrismer comes from the combination of the names Christian and Merly. Eden and George come from big families. Eden has eight siblings –Rodrigo, Natividad, Maria, Ernesto, Pedro, Emilio, Yolly and Freddie– while George has five siblings –Felix, Isidro, Alicia, Edith and Carmela.
These two good Samaritans have sent about ten of their siblings, nieces and nephews to school. They are simple, noble and philanthropic. They really work hard. Enjoy the holidays!
“ Hard work should be rewarded by good food” — Ken Follette.