That's the perfect word to describe how I usually feel whenever I dine at Shakey's.
When I was a little girl, daddy frequently brought me to this place and treated me to my absolute faves-Hot Hero Sandwich and Skiletti--spaghetti served on a hot skillet; thus the interesting product name.
I still recall how excited he was whenever he ordered them for me plus of course his one and only garlic pizza-- a favorite of his for some reason I can't entirely comprehend at the time.
Although I wanted to try out some of their other pizza flavors, I gradually learned to love it since daddy favored this particular variant so much.
I later found out that for some reason he thought that the garlic toppings slashed the fat edge off the pizza; thus helping him control his high blood pressure at the same time.
It was on this same day 29 years ago when hopes of dining at Shakey's Pizza Parlor with daddy were put to a halt.
I was practically a child at mere 10 years old when daddy passed away.
I guess when I'm at Shakey's, I'm able to relive precious memories when daddy was at the peak of life which in turn rekindles the beauty of this quote in my heart of hearts:
"Memory is a way onto the things I love,
the things I am, the things I never want to loose."
I never realized that a simple pizza parlor plays a very important part in my life by bridging not only the past but also the "what could-have beens."
Although my tastes have gradually improved over the years, I still find myself reflecting on what daddy would have thought of these new offerings if he were still alive.
Cherry Soda (around Php70).
Refreshingly sweet with that all too familiar carbonated kick but made extra special with the single plump cherry lurking at the bottom of the tall glass.
Creamy Mushroom Soup (Php 68).
With the infusion of a generous amount of shitaake mushroom bits, I thought that the thickness is perfectly balanced and the taste, quite mesmerizing.
Seafood Marinara (Solo: Php 179).
Instead of my usual Spaghetti with Meatballs, I diverted a bit by ordering this pasta dish which I first thought as soggy judging from what it looked like; but, surprisingly al dente when I finally sank my teeth into it.
Still with a big chunk of pasta stain on my chin, I can't help but be amused that the marinara shares a similar visual appeal and taste with my pasta favorite except for the seafood toppings which I seriously hoped won't cast an allergic spell on me.
Well, thankfully, they didn't.
Pepperoni Crrrunch (Thin Crust Regular: Php 199; Large: Php 313; Party: Php 468).
Although I love their Garlic Pizza for it emits several wonderful memories of my childhood, now as an adult, I really loooove this variant.
I think that the thinness of the crust complements the spicy zing brought about by the pepperoni.
With the addition of the crunchy crackling US Potato strings on top, I find this particular flavor both flavorful and super fun to eat.
Shakey's Fried Chicken with Rice (around Php 80).
I can't even begin to describe this food choice simply because I find it quite amusing that Bala can't last a single meal without rice.
Although Shakey's fried chicken is best eaten with Mojos, Bala still insisted on his cuppa rice-ah.
One thing will never change though.
Whichever dish I choose, I'm always reminded of the importance of family whenever I dine at Shakey's.