If you’re going to read this blog, you might as well know something about me. I am both a night owl and an early bird. I have always loved the night — specifically, the hours from 1am-3am. I feel like anything you write during those hours can go unedited.
This early thing is vastly a new phenomenon, spurred on by motherhood and having a high stakes job with a lot of pressure. But I love the mornings also. I love catching the sunrise; being able to tell the time by the birds beginning their pitchy chatter (I wonder what they talk about?). At a certain time I often catch leaves rustling outside our side door and I know it’s a possum settling in after a long night of adventures I will never be privy to. There’s something so alluring about being able to experience nature waking and going to bed simultaneously. To see the light gradually get brighter…the beams finally hitting our living room like it does every day; consistently. It’s this natural order and perfectness that lets me know that a heaven does exist…an idea Plato vouched for during his lifetime.
That being said, Siena and I are usually up and ready to jam by 8am, while the rest of my family has just begun their REM cycle. A couple mornings ago I called my mother bright and early to have a “Filipino breakfast.” I seem to crave it every morning: meat, with garlic fried rice, a fried egg and a tomato. It’s so savory and meets every preference I innately have in the morning.
“Let’s go to Max’s”, she said, as she was craving bangus (fried milkfish).
“Okay,” I said as I started the mad dash to grab everything possible a 2-year-old may need in 2 hours (diapers, baby wipes, extra food, milk, etc.).
We got there at 9:30am for breakfast, which you would think would be a perfect, crowd-free time to go. But the parking lot was empty. Not a good sign — imagine our disappointment when we learned Max’s didn’t open until 11am. For breakfast? Filipino time, I thought…shaking my head. The employees hadn’t even shown up to start prepping the restaurant. I had to laugh at how over-prepared I was for the situation.
We decided to go somewhere else, but came back the next morning for lunch. Max’s had a location in SF that we used to frequent, but now they have one in Milpitas, which is much closer for us. Never heard of Max’s? Here’s a short history, via wiki:
In 1945, after World War II, American troops stationed in Quezon City became friends with Maximo Gimenez, a teacher who had graduated from Stanford University. Some soldiers came to his nearby house for a drink or two, until they insisted that they pay for their drinks.
Gimenez decided to open a café which served chicken, steak, and drinks. He was joined by his wife Mercedes, sister-in-law Felipa Serrano Sanvictores, his niece Ruby who managed the kitchen, and her husband Claro. Ruby’s fried chicken proved popular with G.I.s. and locals also began patronising the establishment.
Encouraged by her mother to expand the menu and serve more Filipino food, Ruby set up the Baclaran branch along Roxas Boulevard inParañaque. They decided to name the restaurant “Max’s” after Maximo.
We had typical Filipino dishes: fried calamari, lumpia shanghai, ginataang gulay (vegetables in coconut milk), fried chicken. The dishes were good, familiar. Max’s is fairly decent and “not scary” for introducing first-timers to Filipino food.
The decor is also quite modern, it was heavily air conditioned and the music was Boys II Men. I liked that it had a young atmosphere. The food was good, and we all enjoyed it…including my mother, who grew up in the Philippines and immigrated here when she was in high school.
Max’s is also situated in an Asian strip, with a plethora of Filipino markets and bakeries if you are adventurous. They sell everything from colorful, purple Filipino desserts you’ve never seen, to popular breads, to smoked fish and other specialties.
We enjoy coming to this part of Milpitas. There is a lot of culture; a lot of hidden dishes to try — and it’s not specifically tailored to Filipino. There are other Asian ethnicities represented as well.
I better be going. I am reviewing a restaurant in Cupertino for Metro. Hope everyone has a lovely Sunday.