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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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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Happy Un-Valentine's Day: A Lunch Date At Cafe Adriana by Hill Station

As far as date places go, Baguio is blessed with quite a lot of romantic food places that come in the form of hidden nooks and crannies to great fine dining options. 

Valentine's Day has come and gone, and as late as this post seems, we'd like to feature a relatively new "date" place : Cafe Adriana by Hill Station.

Hill Station has been a great go-to place for our get togethers that TMW has a feature of it from when it first opened  at this link: SU CASA, NUESTRA CASA (VALLEJO).

Cafe Adriana, which opened in the latter part of 2016 has brought new flavors yet keeping it close to the owner, Mitos Benitez-Yniguez's food vision.

Let's breakdown our Cafe Adriana experience:

1. LOCATION: found on the ground floor of the Outlook Ridge Residences at V delos Reyes St., Outlook Drive; the area is still a good 5-10 minute drive from the city center and most of Baguio. From Outlook drive, it's a 2 minute walk down to the said residential condominiums that houses Cafe Adriana. I'd still give, as with most of the restaurants in the area, a SCORE of 5/5.

2. MENU: as it goes with good sense, the menu that Cafe Adriana offers is mostly different from the other sister restaurants. Classic Spanish dishes are prominent on the menu with the old time fave dessert options. They also serve all day breakfast. Check out their menu, as published on BOOKY. SCORE 5/5

3. FOOD: OVERALL SCORE 4/5 Here's what we got and how our senses reacted to the dish -

a. Costillos ( Pork Baby Back Ribs, Dark Chocolate Barbecue Sauce) -  this dish comes with 2 side dish options (mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries, green salad, grilled vegetables, garlic rice or steamed rice). We opted for mashed potatoes, which MAX immediately wolfed down. The first time the dish arrived at our table, we found the rib a bit tough and dry. We had it sent back and was rewarded, 5 minutes later, by a more succulent plate of meat. 

The dark chocolate sauce was, as was expected, velvety in texture with that slightly salty yet perfectly rounded flavor that ends with a hint of dark chocolate. Our MAX had no trouble finishing the 2 good portioned ribs on the plate, plus the two scoops of mashed potatoes.

b. Paella Negra, good for 2 ( all seafood and squid ink) - there is a 30 minute wait for this rice casserole, but it was well worth it. Perfectly seasoned and served with delish aioli, the squid ink coated rice was cooked perfectly! The seafood mixed inside were squid rings(some were a bit chewy) and clams,  topped with a reasonable amount of peas , bell peppers and sliced eggs was a good meal to share. 

I just wished there was shrimp or prawns in the mix and it would have been a dish made in heaven.

c. Spicy Chorizo and Aligue Pasta -  at first, I found the dish a bit bland with a slight bite from the spicy chorizo. That is, until Phil told me to dig deeper into the dish to scoop out more of the aligue, or crab fat. This is my idea of comfort food, if only the chorizo were chunkier and more visible than little "grains" of spicy meat.

orders taken within 5 minutes of arrival
drinks served, son after our orders were taken

4. SERVICEfast and friendly service was clearly evident at Cafe Adriana. Phil was still a bit miffed though as to why the chef sent out the first tough plate of ribs. SCORE: 4/5


5. AMBIANCE - We absolutely love the way this place was put together, not to mention the spectacular view that one would get at the huge veranda at the back of Cafe Adriana. Very good use of space and use of furniture was incrporated to fit more tables without feeling crowded. Cafe Adriana embodied what a cozy bistro ought to be. SCORE: 5/5

Our OVERALL SCORE: 4.6 / 5

So there you have it, our un-Valentine's Day impression of Cafe Adriana. Aside from being a date place, I'd like to think of it as a great cafe to enjoy a warm cuppa with family and friends or that special someone. 

If you're from out of town, it's a spectacular place to feel and see the Baguio vibe, distancing yourself from the hustle and bustle of the city center. 

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

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