I know I've posted quite a lot of restaurant and food photos but really, it's hard not to when food and social eating are such significant aspects of life in Manila. But not all eating places here are fancy or fastfood restaurants. Early in the life of this blog, I posted a photo of a pares-pares, that ubiquitous Manila streetside eatery with no airconditioning that's open to all the fumes of the city's old and refurbished vehicles. The presumptuously-named Friuli Trattoria is slightly better in that it has airconditioning, but its chairs are little more than steel stools with tiny seats on the first floor. (Don't ask about the Batman lamp yet.)
The seats on the second floor, which you get to by a narrow and steep spiral staircase, are these equally uncomfortable plastic monobloc chairs. The coffee machine on the left makes a horrendous racket when it's in use and the low ceiling definitely does not help. (Paper bats tacked to the ceiling and a Batman lamp downstairs—I think you can guess why now.)
Friuli is located in a tiny converted townhouse and is only a ten-minute walk away from our house. The service is uninspired at best, but it serves great pizzas, breaded and deep-fried mozzarella sticks, and fancily-shaped gelato. Here is one of our favorite pizzas, the simple but yummy Margherita: mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and extra-virgin olive oil. Friuli's version also has green bell pepper, which Neapolitan pizza experts will probably protest against, but we're not complaining.