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A SORT OF REVIEW | PATIS TITO GARDEN CAFE

Posted on: January 5, 2014

(This is not a sponsored review)

The twins and I spent our Christmas week in Los Banos and the weekend before the New Year, Mel and I decided to try Patis Tito Garden Cafe in San Pablo City. Driving there is a cinch, about 30 minutes away from our place in UPLB via the Maahas-dating-sabungan road (in my 34-year existence, I still could not get the name of that road near IRRI).

This is the much-hyped restaurant of Patis Tesoro, formerly known as Kusina Salud, the fusion Filipino cuisine resto. Hyped in the sense I’ve been reading so much about it in the past that it piqued my curiosity.

If you’re coming straight from Manila, the resto is faaaaaaaaaaaaaar. It’s along the road going to Villa Escudero and everybody knows that is already spitting-distance away from Tiaong, Quezon. From the highway in Brgy. Sta. Cruz, you turn left at a corner near a gas station and a narrow road would lead you there. Just follow the signs.

Open-air dining area of Patis Tito Garden Cafe (Photo by Likha Cuevas-Miel)

Lovers of old Filipiniana would like the place. There’s an exhibit of some antiques, handicrafts and Patis’ creations–and I made sure the twins would not venture there unless I like hurting myself and am willing to pay several thousands of pesos for the damage caused by the Demolition Twins. The weather was cool and breezy, making our late lunch pleasant and laid back.

Simple table setting

Table setting is unpretentious and uncomplicated. Menu is simple enough, no tongue-twisters there. Don’t forget to order the Enseladang Pako (Fern Salad)! It’s made of fresh edible ferns, itlog na maalat, cheddar cheese, kesong puti, newly ripened tomatoes, lots of onions, nuts, vinaigrette and probably other ingredients that escaped my tongue. Too bad it’s for sharing. I would have loved to keep the entire serving to myself.

Enseladang Pako (Fern Salad)

We ordered Chicken Inasal for the kids, Bistek Tagalog (Isabella, one of the Demolition Twins, liked the sauce drizzled over her rice),  Garlic Rice, and lots of Ripe Mango Juice that the twins swiped from under their father and Nanay Gie’s noses. Bill is around P2,000 for 3 grown-ups and two pre-schoolers. The food is OK, pleasing to the palate but not as stupendous as I thought it would be. The way some people or newspaper(s) had been praising the place caused me to place my expectations that high. But the fern salad was exceptional.

There was some kind of aviary in the cafe’s garden and Isabella and Adriana were entertained by the squawking birds and I wonder if the birds weren’t traumatized by the kids’ louder squawking. The garden was wide enough for the twins to run around, slip and fall.

Overall, it was a nice lunch but if you’re coming straight from Manila, it would probably be not worth it. If you’re city-bred, you would be enthralled by the ambiance (the house adjacent to the dining area is cool) but for a promdi (who grew up at the foot of Mt. Makiling), it’s nothing special. Visit Patis Tito if you’re already in Laguna or in nearby Quezon towns of Tiaong, Candelaria or Dolores. Try to call for reservations; I got the feeling that you have to given the limited seating they have there.

Patis Tito Café is at 285 Barangay Sta. Cruz Putol, San Pablo, Laguna. Call 7244231 and 0906-4439092

 

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life in business journalism

crazy. exciting. boring to some but hey, you get to understand the world better when you're a business journalist. you learn to be patient with tons of documents, make sense of numbers and charts. all geeky stuff. this is my story, behind the scenes.
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