Who is Roberto? This was my question to the store representative upon arriving at their food hub at SM City Pampanga Annex. The name of a restaurant puzzles me every time I enter into one. I know that in every food hub around, there is a hidden story that is worth sharing to. Not long then, the store representative narrated to us that the name “Roberto” is an iconic figure of a vagabond boy who travels around the world seeking for the best and delicious coffee. Then I asked the narrator to expound on what he just said because I cannot reconcile the fact that a person only travels just to seek best coffees and the like; is he not working or doesn’t have family? I then remembered the Colonial time, the Spaniards seeking for the best spices in Asia and the pacific’s. The food representative, thus, continues to narrate that Roberto’s experience of travelling the globe paid off by establishing his own coffee and tea shop. Hence, the first Roberto’s food store is once specialized in providing Filipinos the most flavorful and delicious coffee in the archipelago. Noticing that Filipinos are innately lovers of food, the management, thus, offers Lunch, Snacks and Dinners for the whole family. Alas! The iconic Roberto’s steak thus was born. Roberto’s Steak makes a big wave in the food industry right now. With its yummy and tender meat, aromatic smell and mouth watering texture definitely put Roberto’s steak on the top of the competition.
Each Roberto’s food restaurant has its own originality in architectural design, its interior ambiance. In Roberto’s SM Pampanga, the standing and peculiar motif is “owl” not to mention the exquisite sala set they have and their chandelier of a gymnast person carrying the lights. Upon entering the store, one can immediately see hundreds of owls scattered around the food hub. Yes, I’m not kidding, they are hundreds and more to come. There I asked the food representative to explain to me if what is the connection of those owls in the store. The representative immediately narrated that those different types of figurines, glasses, and icons of owl were bought while Roberto’s is in search of the finest coffee in the world. Well then, it makes sense that a traveler brings home “pasalubong” every time he travels and Roberto’s guilty pleasure is collecting figurines of owl. Owls are symbols of wisdom and knowledge. This bird is actually the icon use in Philosophy as a representation of a person who is wide awake waiting for the unveiling of truth in the vastness of reality. So, while one is eating at Roberto’s restaurant, one is also invited to meditate on the good food served, the company of others, the spices of friendship and the like. Is Roberto a geeky type of person? I do not know. One thing is for real; he is a genius in coffee and steak.
Roberto continues his journey. Now, he is on the roads of the world, seeking for the finest steak in town. If one time you meet him on the road, you may say ‘hi’ to him or hug him and thank him for his efforts in providing good and delicious coffee and steak.
No one knows whose Roberto is or where he is; he is a mystery ready to be uncovered in every sip of hot coffee or in every chew of their delicious steak. However, one thing remains, he is known by his coffee and steak.
-Fiel Pareja, MPM