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Cyrano’s Favorite Spice Girl May 28, 2008

Posted by Alex Sawit in Stuff in General.

By Patty Eustaquio

23 May 2008


Pepper, showing off her two sides: left, the good; right, the bad?
Hey, she put the horns herself!


Paneer Kofta, medium spicy, is my favorite dish at New Bombay. In fact it is probably one of my favorite dishes, full stop. So when Cyrano’s thinnest friend, M, had to pay up the dinner he owed me for teaching him how to throw clay all over my kitchen walls, I suggested Indian, and looked forward to eating a cottage cheese-filled kofta. M decided to invite one of his dear friends with whom he was sure I would get along. And so there we sat, rather awkwardly, at New Bombay and exchanged pleasantries.

Meet Pepper Roxas, illustrator/graphic designer, also known as Isabel to her NY buds. Talented, smart, cheery and grumpy at the same time, sweet and spicy (sorry, I couldn’t resist), Pepper is an artist who navigates through her cast of illustrated characters with sure-footed ease and confidence and yet is probably also one of the most self-effacing women I know. Evidently, as M predicted, I liked Pepper from day one, especially since she also ordered the paneer kofta.

Soon we were meeting up at Cyrano, with Cyrano friends, for a cup of café crème or a glass of wine. Cyrano would be the first stop before dinner, so we could grab a bottle of Monkey Bay or Colombelle, and would also be the last stop to grab the obligatory one-for-the-road. Even sooner, Pepper and another Cyrano friend T invaded my Sunday brunches and the three of us would laze away hours obsessing about notebooks and Muji pens. Of course, the coffee was never as good as Alex’s in the places we brunched, but the company was always great.

Pepper, true to form, snuck away and left for New York earlier this week. She will be marrying Mr. Houhoulis, of Greek-Connecticut roots, sometime next month and will be living in the Bronx till further notice. Alex, who up until last week was looking for an apartment for Pepper to move into in Legaspi, did get to say good luck and goodbye. Well, sort of. I went to Quiapo with her in the rain a week before; we bought glasses, and as she brought me home, I patted her shoulder and said “take care”. I think if I had cried and said something soppier, she would have laughed and kicked me out of the pick-up truck. But writing this piece about her, I think I’m in for a sock in the head, too, but since I’m too far away, I have enough time to dodge it. Of course, it wouldn’t be a true punch anyway; probably just a faint growl, done with a smile just to fool you.

I’ll probably see her again, but now that our coven is down to two, me and T, it seems smaller than ever. We did promise to keep her hat and broom for her though, until the next cup of coffee.


The Ladies during brunch.





1. Ianne - June 4, 2008


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