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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Good Food, Good Location, Good People: The Fat Belly Project

MAX and his Act of Kindness Meal. This will go down in history as THE.BEST.MEAL.EVER

Know that acts of kindness still exist. Believe that the world is still a good place to live in and that angels can be people too. 

It was our usual Sunday family lunch at the in laws. Despite the sumptuous lunch, our Max, being under the spectrum and prone to picky eating, did not eat enough to make himself full. He had a slice of cake and that was it.

Fast forward to us leaving the family house and heading off to The Marketplace by Rustan's, along Leonard Wood Rd. to pick up some essentials for the week. 

We've frequented this grocery and the bldg. plenty of times and are quite friendly with a couple of the tenants in the area. And it's because of this familiarity that we don't break into a sweat whenever Max leaves us to go up and down the escalators as we shop (which is often a hurried affair unless Max is seated in a huge shopping cart).

even the little one got to eat!
While the hubby was settling our grocery bill, I told him that I was off to call Max over. As the baby and I got closer to the escalator, I saw someone on their way down, smiled and asked if they had seen a boy going up and down the escalator. She immediately smiled back, replied "yes" and told me that he was at their restaurant and proceeded to accompany me 2 floors up.

When I arrived at The Fat Belly Project, our son was seated in one of the tables, a chicken basket and a cup of iced tea was set in front of him with one of the folks from the resto, watching over him. 

Apologetically, I offered to pay and explained that my son had Autism and was mostly non verbal. I added that he had skipped lunch at his grandparents and may have been quite hungry at this point. Prior to entering the grocery, I had already ordered and paid for a fries platter to go, so that Max can eat on the ride back home.

The owner of the establishment waved my apology aside and remarked that everything was ok. No judgement. No scolding. Just smiles and understanding. In fact, she was more concerned over the fact that Max may have allergies with the food served!

I left Max one more time with the kind folks at the resto, somehow knowing that all will be well, not to mention that Max wasn't going to budge without us ordering more food for him. I went downstairs and informed his father of our whereabouts and that Max wanted to eat at The Fat Belly Project. 

I went back up and ordered for him a "sexy platter" of ribs, steak, mashed potatoes and buttered veggies. The owner ushered us to a booth seat because she felt it would be more comfortable for Max. And it was! They also threw in a buko pandan cup for him too. 

Now this is what I call sexy!

Max enjoyed his huge meal and had leftovers to eat later. 

Maam Chona Quinto, the owner, was concerned if Max enjoyed his meal, to which we assured her that our son would not touch his food if it wasn't to his liking. 

Thanks to Max, we met an amazing group of people today. We also discovered a good place to eat a hearty meal. And yes, faith in humanity was clearly restored. Thank you Fat Belly Project. You're our kind of place with our kind of people. Thoughtful and a 100 levels of amazing. Thank you!

Know that acts of kindness still exist. Believe that the world is still a good place to live in and that angels can be people too.

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!

For the curious, here's a look at The Fat Belly Project's Menu:

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