Friday, January 21, 2011

Cafe Veniz

1 Abanao Street
(Harrisson Road)
Baguio City

Cafe Veniz is in the middle of everything in Baguio. It's on the second floor of Veniz Hotel building and right next to Sunshine Supermarket. It's walking distance from the market, from Session Road, from Burnham Park, and from the ukay-ukay places at Bayanihan and those along Abanao. The building has access to the overpass at the feet of Session Road, Harrisson Road and Magsaysay.

Veniz is a dimly lit cafe with a variety of offerings from sub sandwiches, salads, cakes and pastries, different kinds of Cordillera coffee, pasta and a whole lot more.

Before evening comes, they turn off most of the lights and put candles on each table. It's supposed to be romantic but i don't really like the idea because i go there mostly to have some work done if not to wait for someone. It's a good 'tambay' place because they have free wifi and they allow me to plug in my laptop at no extra charge. The rest room at the Hotel lobby downstairs is also clean and spacious.

I go back there often just to have some coffee and apple pie. Their potato salad tastes a bit like that of my other favorite, Pancake House. They have good quesadillas.

Their pastries, cakes, as well as other items in their menu are very affordable. My hubby particularly likes their choco mousse cake. They have bottomless coffee too. If I remember correctly, brewed coffee costs as low as P35. They also have daily a lunch special, which is a budget meal complete with drinks and dessert. Normally, I opt for the lunch special and never had I encountered something in the meal that i didn't like.

So, to sum up, Cafe Veniz is a very convenient place to dine in or have coffee after a tiring morning buying stuff from the market, or after ukay-ukay shopping, or simply just for waiting.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Red Orange

Assumption Road
(a few steps from Session Road)
Baguio City

I just had lunch at Red Orange with the handsome hubby. The verdict: he was happy; I was not.

Red Orange is located across Mandarin Restaurant and behind a shoestore in Session Road (which, if I am not mistaken is Zenco Footstep). Their specialties in the menu are pizza and pasta. Although their interior is a bit dark for my taste, the chairs and tables are comfy enough. Service is good and waiting time is normal (except that we went there before 12). Serving size is okay but their prices are relatively higher than other Baguio restaurants.

Their Chef's Baby Back Ribs is the only item in their menu with the note "Must try". Hubby had it for PHP240.00. It went with a serving of vegetable island with thousand island dressing. It was indeed a winner.

He was glad he chose it. I'm not a big fan of barbeque flavor though (except barbeque from Caba and barbeque flavored chips).

I had Shell Pesto Pasta at PHP195.00. The mussels and clams were fresh. However, the pasta dish could have tasted far better had the shellfish been drained first. My pasta was literally swimming in shellfish broth. It kind of drowned the basil flavor. Well, it was fine because i finished most of it in the end. (That or i'm just too thrifty to put the food to waste.)

Ad'laine Bakeshop

1st Floor, GP Building
Mabini Street
Baguio City

Make a quick left or right turn from Session Road (depending on where you're headed) to have a taste of good but cheap coffee. My mug of latte was priced at P55.00 only and the coffee flavor was not bad at all. I also got myself a slice of cheesecake at P20.00. I was more than satisfied. What a steal, right?

I have tried their cinnamon cheese bread priced at P15.00, which is a must try for those who love bread like I do. A piece of cheese roll is at P5.00 but i will go for the cinnamon cheese bread anytime.

A while ago, a man who bought two (2) loaves of wheat bread told the person manning the cashier that he loved the taste of their bread. He said he did not like rice as he is from Greece and so it was nice that there's a bakeshop he can get bread from. But, too much of my eavesdropping.

I have seen other branches in La Trinidad along KM4 and Naguillian Road.

The Mabini branch offers "budget meals" for lunch. You'll get a cup of rice plus two (2) viand servings (vegetable and meat) for P40.00. I've been eating there for several days in a row now and I've always left the resto/bakeshop satisfied. I've had their giniling pork, pork steak, some kind of dinakdakan, dinengdeng na mushroom (a winner!), ginisang sayote and bopis.

There's a lot of space on the groundfloor and more on the 2nd floor where there is service water for those who want to get some. Clean restrooms are upstairs as well.

To conclude, thumbs up for a day-to-day eating place for myself.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

S.O.U.L. Cafe

Spice of Urban Life (SOUL) Cafe
Camp One, Rosario
(beside Shell, near entry to Kennon Road)
La Union

So this place is not in Baguio at all. However, I just want to honor this place in this post because of their delightful pesto pasta. And of course, it's at the foot of Kennon Road.

I'm a fan of pesto and i absolutely loved their version. The presentation (and my phone camera) does (do) not give justice to the flavor of fresh basil in olive oil mixed with pasta cooked just right. I cannot stress loving it enough. It is very reasonably priced at P120 (or so I remember).

I cannot remember the taste of their brewed coffee. It was not so remarkable i guess (or maybe relative to my pasta).

Thanks to the brownout, which stopped the operations of nearby Chowking, one sunny day. I've discovered another place of joy.

There's a quaint feel to the place itself with native decor mixed with the feel of hominess. Go have a look at the ladies' restroom and there's even a view right there with half of the wall in glass; but nothing to worry about because the place overlooks a cliff.

And for the personal touch, there's a nice little note on my plate, which my childlike heart adored for sure.

Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart,
you won't find it under the tree either.

So if you have time, do drop by this cafe for a meal or a quick bite before you go up the city of pines.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kamayan sa Baguio

Home of Native Lechon Cebu
Belmonte Compound
#27 A Sophia De Veyra St.
Quezon Hill, Baguio City

Last Sunday, my husband and I saw an announcement in Midland Courier (a weekly local newspaper) we knew we couldn't miss. It was a 50% opening discount at the newly opened Kamayan. Promo runs for only five days.

The restaurant is not that accessible but is near Naguillian Road/Cooyeesan (walking distance). It is in the same compound as the Jaime V. Ongpin foundation office. From Naguillian Road, just make a turn towards De Veyra Street. The compound will be on the first corner, if i remember correctly. You won't miss the Belmonte compound and the building that houses the restaurant. It's a cute brown house with a long driveway. I'm guessing that Kamayan's building used to be a house and was just renovated.

My first impression? The tables took too much space so it looked crowded. I do not know if it's just the opening season and they need to provide more chairs for more people. At around 12:15 pm, you had to go through a maze already just to get to the buffet table. They should take out at least 5 tables from the main dining area to give way for the people lining up at the buffet.

We arrived at 11:30 and only 4 tables were occupied. Some servers for main dishes were still empty. They have kare-kare, pork humba, pancit canton, pininyahang manok among others. At 200 pesos, I didn't complain. However, paying the regular price of 400 pesos for at most 30 choices of viands and desserts is not that convincing. For desert, they had halayang ube, a rice cake, ice cream and fruit slices.

Two singers entertained the lunch crowd, hopping from table to table to perform a song or two.

The ambiance is Filipinong Filipino. They also placed tables at the terrace, good for at most two per table. It overlooks Quezon Hill and Coyeesan.

Most are pork dishes. I think there's only one beef viand plus a couple of seafood dishes. The grilled Bangus and Catfish came late. After dessert, they served shrimps, which we feasted on like chips.

If you wanna try it, go early. At 12 noon, the buffet line gets too long and i'm not that patient when it comes to waiting to get food. Their Lechon Cebu is not part of the buffet and you can order it separately.

I'd say: they should continually improve their service to get people to travel far to pay almost 500 pesos for food that they can prepare at home.