Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Maginhawa Foodperience

It was a hungry Friday and all road leads to neverwhere.

Due to power failure and shits that pervade in the country, and no thanks to the bureaucrat capitalist scumbags, we were allowed to go home real early. So, I went to my parent’ house to check on Ponso and Paco (Andres is in school, as always). Ponso was ecstatic learning that he’d go sports climbing with my sister Hana in the afternoon that made me change plans of bringing the boys to the park when Andres comes home.

So Paco and I waited for Thelma to check out food places while whiling the time away before picking up the two boys at the climbing gym. We were hungry and can just eat anything anywhere.

On the way to the Power-Up! climbing gym, we passed by Maginhawa St., a relatively broad street compared to the normal Manila narrow alleys, near the University of the Philippines. It used to be a quiet residential street in the 1970s until the influx of business converted some parts of it into small shops and restaurants that sell anything from food, books, catering to the intellectual and middle class requirements of the area.


Thelma craved for some Kebabs and kebabs it will be for supper. With Paco peacefully sleeping in his stroller, we were able to partake of a simple kebab dinner at Alfakhr’s, a kebab joint beside a restaurant cum bookstore. I liked the logo of the store and the name sounded naughty enough but I really did not expect much from the kebab. It was thick and full beef alright without the usual extenders and the P110 + for the two pieces with tomato is, I think, reasonable. It was a bit on the bland side though but Thelma liked it because it is, bland. Like you can escape the MSG menace by eating bland food. The yoghourt and hot sauce mixed is a welcome treat over buttered rice but it came out short of that full flavor that top notch kebab restaurants prepare. But a kebab is a kebab is a kebab to hungry stomachs, so, the dinner was consummated, peacefully, amidst the roaring tricycles hitting on the humps and the bumps of Maginhawa Street.

(photo courtesy of

Van Gogh is Bipolar

And I thought Van Gogh is a painter but turned out that he is a bipolar instead. Is it a job description or a state of mind? But there is a quaint restaurant that is so hard to find along Maginhawa St. called Van Gogh is Bipolar. We searched for it for like fucking 30 minutes coming from the Kebab joint and if not only for Thelma’s persistency, I would have settled in any sari-sari store to get my cold beer. However, if it was any consolation, people inside the store are in their cell phones patiently instructing their lost friends how to get to the hole. Many are lost, and few are chosen. It is hidden and requires the purity of intention to really find the place for that artsy gustatory experience.

It is homey in spite of the art particles floating inside the restaurant. Everything is almost a conversation piece reminding me of an artist’s apartment in the film “Sid and Nancy” with the Union Jack draped over some art object. Home art ideas explode inside the place giving me that sincere urge to redecorate our house to maximize its full aesthetic potential.

(picture downloaded from

Ordering at first is quite complicated. There is no waiter and you just have to really chill and ask the procedure from the kitchen counter. We just ordered a concoction called Courtney Love or something that is really refreshing. It’s got strawberry, some cute leaves, plenty of ice, some unknown liquid, and a taste that I cannot describe but, refreshing. Positive vibe traveling inside my esophagus going to my stomach and metacarpal hematological pancreatic system that actually made me smile, even if Paco is starting to do his wrecking ways inside the joint with a cute girl acting as a big sister.

I never thought Courtney Love is bipolar. I thought she is just plain sex and hotness (with her ‘Malibu’ days). But with so much craziness in this world, we all have our bipolar experiences, in one way of another.

Van Gogh is Bipolar food was formulated by the owner who is bipolar to pacify, at first, the monsters inside his head. But he eventually shared his secrets to others who are also struggling with it (believe me it is not easy, I was diagnosed 20 years ago with the same shit and it sure is freaky.) Rather than take prescription drugs, natural foods can balance soothe the restless minds, and hearts, or whichever comes first.

We were able to chat with the owner and his friend and enjoyed laughs and thoughts of being in a bipolar’s world when my parents urgently texted me because Ponso is puking at the climbing gym due to unknown reasons and that we have to pick him up right away.

So much for the intellectual chats and fancy art food. But Van Gogh is Bipolar is a treat. And I will try the lamb fare next time.

Van Gogh is Bipolar
154 Maginhawa St.
Sikatuna Village, Quezon City

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