Some people love to drive. You know the type - they talk incessantly about how their BMW M3 hugs the road as they tackle a sharp corner at 100mph, and the adrenalin rush of surging from 0 to 60 in no seconds flat...well, I'm not one of those people. I don't enjoy driving at all. To me a car is just a tool to get from point A to point B, and the sooner I get the point-A-to-point-B process over with, the happier I am. That's why I was pleased to learn about Gold Ribbon - a Filipino restaurant and bakery in Milpitas that's just a few minutes' drive from my house. It seemed like a convenient place to satisfy my hankering for Filipino food.
I headed over there to try out their breakfast. Filipinos eat rice with every meal - including breakfast. Gold Ribbon offers a variety of Filipino breakfast meals which consist of meat, fried rice, and egg. I decided to go for bansilog, whose name is formed by mashing together 3 words:
bangus - milkfish
sinangag - garlic fried rice
itlog - the Filipino word for egg
The milkfish is deep fried and comes with a small container of sauce - which is made up of vinegar, garlic, and spices:
I found the fish meat to be too dry for my liking, and it tasted rather bland. The vinegar sauce help to liven it up a little, but the overall result was still flat and unsatisfying.
So next I go for a chicken empanada (pastry with meat stuffing). It was pretty much the same as the bansilog - the chicken was dry and tasted rather flat. It left me wanting more...hey, is there a pattern developing here?
I topped off the experience with a halo-halo (a Filipino dessert consisting of shaved ice and milk with a variety of sweet ingredients thrown in - like beans, fruits, ice cream, or as in the example below, a caramel custard known as leche flan; its name comes from the Filipino word "halo" meaning "mix"). The halo-halo was decent, and in truth, I enjoyed it more than the other two items. However, (and I hate to sound repetitive here) it really came across the same way as the previous two dishes - somewhat lacking in zest and flavor. Uninspiring. Unexciting.
On the plus side, the lady running the restaurant is really friendly and calls everyone by their first name (did she take a Dale Carnegie course?) Regular patrons pile in and engage in spirited conversations with her, the way old friends gossip and catch up with each other. I overheard stories of nieces getting married, grandchildren being born, and sons & daughters who grew up eating the food at Gold Ribbon. Obviously, this place has its following.
Would I come back here? Maybe. After all, I still haven't tried their longsilog (same as bansilog, but with longganisa - Filipino sausage - instead of fish) yet. Above all, it's the convenience factor that would lure me back...or maybe I would come back simply because of the friendly, positive vibe I get from this place.
380 S Main St
Milpitas CA 95035
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
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