Monday, July 3, 2017

Cafe Adriatico Express: Goodness that lasts

Last May when I was at SM North Edsa with my two older sisters, we decided to have merienda (snacks) at Cafe Adriatico Express located at The Block.
Cafe Adriatico is an established restaurant in Malate, Manila, where it opened in 1979. It is now called Cafe Adriatico Premiere, maybe to differentiate it from the mall branch, which, I guess, offers a shorter menu. This is just one of a number of similar establishments under the LJC Group of famed restaurateur Larry J. Cruz. The other restaurants owned by the group are Bistro Remedios, Cafe Havana and the more contemporary Fely J's Kitchen, Abe and Lorenzo's Way. Cafe Adriatico 
specializes in Spanish, Filipino, and Italian dishes.
Anyway, when we were at Cafe Adriatico Express, both of my sisters went for palabok while I had the black pasta. We also had pandesal with kesong puti, 
and brewed coffee to wash everything down.

Pancit Palabok, P255.
This, I read somewhere (in the menu, I guess?), was one of the bestsellers at Cafe Adriatico and my sisters really loved it. 

Black Squid Pasta, Regular, P275.
My choice turned out to be wise. This dish, despite not getting a high grade in the looks department, tasted really good! I love squid to start with, and I commend the idea of making it a main ingredient for a pasta dish instead of simply turning it into viand. The flavor of squid is strong without the fishy stench or taste, and adding parmesan cheese 
brought out the best out of this dish.

Kesong Puti with Pandesal, P165
We had two orders of this, which were originally served with hot chocolate. We asked that the drinks be changed into coffee, though. The pandesal was big, fresh and tasty. But I wished the slice of kesong puti was bigger because there wasn't enough to fill up the two pieces of bread. 

Brewed Coffee
I was happy that Cafe Adriatico serves really good coffee. It was aromatic and bold. Also, it's served with milk, which I prefer over non-dairy creamer.

I'd always held an image of Cafe Adriatico as a restaurant for the old rich of Manila. I'm glad the management had decided to open a branch in one of the most patronized malls in the metropolis to reach out to more people of varying social standings. 
Despite the idea of "reaching out", Cafe Adriatico, to my humble opinion, has done well maintaining the high quality of its food. I know because I had dined at the flagship restaurant in Malate many years ago with two of my "bestest" of friends. I don't remember what exactly our orders were but I do recall loving the food and having a great time.

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