image JENN KOSAR on Unsplash
(Image isn’t mine. Couldn’t find a mushroom burger photo so this bowl of sliced wild mushrooms will do–choosing sliced mushrooms was intentional as other mushroom photos looked funny. Haha!)
I know I do. I remember it as if it were only yesterday and it has been almost a decade since it happened.
Back then, it was a challenge to find a place where a pesco-vegetarian could have something decent to eat—where fish and chips were not the staple. So, I was surprised to learn about a neighborhood burger joint that served mushroom burgers. The only mushroom burgers I knew and enjoyed eating at that time required a long drive to Tagaytay. I thought: “who on earth (or in the South area, at least) would put up a mushroom burger joint in Las Piñas? Not many appreciate the taste of mushrooms!”
The name of the place was also intriguing—Shrooms Burger (How did it pass government screening? 😊), which made me agree to accompany a friend to the joint (ha!). We went there on a weekend evening, probably around 6:00, and it wasn’t open yet. And I was already hungry. Waiting and fighting hunger were two of the things I wasn’t very good at. What kind of a food stall was still closed during dinner on a weekend? If my friend weren’t friends with the owner’s friend (Did you follow?), I would have left already.
The owner was JS (aka the #architecthusband) and with him were his brother and my friend’s friend (Get it?). Before I was even formally introduced to them, I quipped “pwede ba akong pumasok sa kitchen? (May I go to the kitchen?)” Clearly, I wouldn’t be described as shy. Haha! [This was the specific scenario in my Tip #1] Though I didn’t know how to cook at that time (I’ve been trying to cook since I became a home manager a few months ago and will be sharing a few “successful” recipes sometime), I love kitchens. I especially love those that are spotless. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw how clean their kitchen was. More so, I couldn’t believe it’s a burger joint manned by men!
The only time my friend remembered to introduce me was when I was already inside the kitchen. We were like kids in a toy shop, tinkering with every little thing we got our hands on. When I saw an apron, I quickly put it on before JS could finish saying “Ay, ‘wag mabaho yan. Hindi pa yan nalalabhan (Oh, please don’t wear that, I haven’t washed that yet).” Too late, I was already wearing it. Besides, it wasn’t every day that I got to wear an apron (If only I could see the future! Today, I’m OBSESSED with aprons—have just bought a denim one recently.).
When my friend and I noticed that we were only making the kitchen crowded, we stepped outside to take our seats. The moment they served the food, we removed our aprons unabashedly. [When JS and I were already dating, he mentioned how cute he found my “non-shyness” that night. I told him I wasn’t being cute—I was just being me aka not being shy. Hahaha!] And we gorged on everything down to the last bite—theirs were the usual burgers, mine was a Portobello burger with apple slices. I even ordered for takeout. Haha! Yep, not shy! I must also add (as a result of my husband’s “prodding,” haha!) that we didn’t pay a single cent—when we asked for the bill, JS said everything was on the house (I’m pretty sure it was because he was smitten with me. HAHAHAHA!).
In between those bites, we exchanged many stories, from JS’ failed relationship [to which I asked “buti hindi ka nag drugs? (good thing you didn’t do drugs?)” Talk about tact. Haha!] to their sister, Ebeng, who had Down syndrome (it was touching how obvious their love for their sister was), we didn’t notice that it was almost midnight. When it was finally time to go, JS, being the gentleman that he was, offered us a ride home. And we gladly accepted.
I’m obviously happy to this day that we did! How about you? Do you remember the first time you met your partner? What was it like? Do share! Leave a reply below or you may send me a direct message on Instagram or email me at email@example.com. Please, indulge me in our “Love Month!”