Monday, August 19, 2013

Cafe Lidia - Marikina City

The wife and I are feeling lazy today; enjoying our couch and scanning the cable TV for hours. We have nothing to do while our two kids' classes are suspended due to torrential rain caused by storm "Madring;" eldest son came home early due to cancellation of work as well.

Earlier while watching Kris TV, my wife noticed that Kris and Kim Chiu were food tripping in Marikina. They visited Mama Chit's Coffee House, Cafe Lidia and Frederick Barbeque. We're astonished at the huge Family Burger they ordered at Mama Chit's. It's so mouthwatering and surely it would be worth remembering indulging on such a huge burger. The giant burger egged us to decide to have a quick bite at the said place since all the kids were at home.

Come 3 pm, we left our house at San Mateo and drove to Marikina City. Unfortunately, the place was full and it seemed some patrons outside were waiting for seats to be vacated. Mama Chit's place is pretty small and parking is along the main road only. Because of this, we opted to drive to Cafe Lidia in Calumpang area.

Cafe Lidia offers more dining space and has its own parking area in front of it. The place can accommodate up to 300 diners. They even have dedicated staff assisting their clients while parking. The place looked like a typical 2 storey house with decorative stones outside. However, inside was a homey atmosphere while the staffs were all very attentive to our needs. Outside was a small and lighted hanging yellow billboard.

We waited for around 5 minutes for a table for 5. The staff showed us to our table at one of the corners inside.

The interior was tastefully decorated using local materials such as woods, stones and greenery. We even noticed miniature water falls inside. The temperature was comfortable due to several air-conditioning units and wall fans.

The 200 pesos worth Chicken Pesto Pasta is definitely superb; the creamy and tasty sauce would definitely tickle your taste buds though the garlic bread was a let down. This won me over thus I told my wife that we would definitely come back here.

The 150 pesos Baked Lasagna tastes better than the Lasagna being offered by some famous fast-food joints according to my wife and 2 kids.

My youngest son loves this 150 pesos grilled Cheeseburger with fries. It reminds him of Bob's Cheeseburger at Mezza Norte. The burger is quite big compared with Big Mac and Champ.

Their 230 pesos Pizza Papa was just an average pizza albeit the thicker cheese compared with pizzas offered by other pizza parlors. However, the thin crust wasn't crispy at all unlike the Greenwich thin crust pizza. As you can see, the meat toppings were sparingly distributed as well. Nevertheless, for its price, you can't ask for more. I believe it's worth to try the other pizza flavor.

My youngest son's pupils enlarged upon seeing his 90 pesos dessert. He loved ice cream so much hence he never shared his dessert to anyone else.

This Blueberry Cheesecake is an all-time favorite dessert of my daughter. It is worth more than 100 pesos. Cafe Lidia arguably doesn't produce some of the best cakes out there though the price is quite affordable compared with other coffee shops' specialty cakes.

Our bill reached 1,740 pesos for five of us. I believed the price was reasonable considering that my family ordered fancy choco drinks while I settled for San Mig Light. By the way, I didn't remember seeing any service charge on the receipt.

For a single order and drink, be prepared to shell out at least 300 pesos per person.

It is easy to reach this place by private vehicle. Along Marcos Hiway and if you are coming from Antipolo/Cainta area just turn right at Ligaya area (Marikina side) then turn right at Calderon Street. From here, Cafe Lidia is around 300 meters away. If you are coming from Santolan/Cubao area, make a U-turn after Ligaya (Pasig side) to reach Calumpang.

If you plan to come here by public transport, take Marikina (Bayan) from Rosario Pasig and ask the driver to drop you at Cafe Lidia at Calumpang.

A few days from now, my wife and I will be celebrating our anniversary and we plan to celebrate it with our kids at Cafe Lidia. This time we plan to order a full dinner.

29 August 2013

Today, my wife and I have been together for 21 blissful years. To celebrate the occasion, we waited for our youngest son to arrive from school then drove to UP Diliman to fetch our collegiate daughter. From here we raced to Concepcion, Marikina City and waited for our eldest son coming from his job in Ortigas.

We have decided to have a family dinner at Cafe Lidia to celebrate our anniversary. Each of us ordered food that we thought we would enjoy.

Beef Tenderloin for me - 365 pesos

Chicken Parmesan for the wife - 225 pesos

Baked Rigatoni for our eldest - 205 pesos

Carbonara for our daughter - 160 pesos

Roast Chicken for our youngest - 210 pesos (famished, he quickly grabbed a bite before I was able to get a shot, lol)

Again, being an ice cream addict, my youngest asked for KitKat Parfaits as dessert

KitKat Parfaits - 110 pesos

My wife and other kids ordered Blueberry Cheesecake for dessert. Unfortunately, Cafe Lidia ran out of cakes thus they settled and shared a Banana Split.

Banana Split - 125 pesos

For appetizer we ordered Nacho Grande.

Nacho Grande - 285 pesos

Surprisingly enough, our appetizer, Nacho Grande, was brought to our table after we have started eating our meals. It ended as our pre-dessert food. The Nacho Grande looked appealing but it wasn't crispy though quite tasty.

Forget the tenderloin steak since there was nothing superb about it except the sauce, LOL. I suggest that you visit specialized steak shop or restaurant in case you want to indulge and enjoy a meaty meal.

Nevertheless, my wife attested that her Chicken Parmesan was great but it came with mashed potato which unfortunately my wife wasn't fond of eating. It seemed that you didn't have any choice but to order rice separately since the waiter never asked whether we prefer rice or mashed potato. The same case with the Roast Chicken of my youngest; I ended up consuming their mashed potatoes.

For the Carbonara and Baked Rigatoni, I got positive feedback from my other two kids; tasty and delicious. Since I loved their Chicken Pesto Pasta and the wife was all praised with their Lasagna during our first visit a few days back, it seems that Cafe Lidia's specialties are their pastas. Forget the steak.

Throughout our meal, kids enjoyed their choco drinks while the wife, watching her weight, sipped refreshing Iced Tea. As for me, I always enjoy a filling meal with San Mig Light.

Our bill reached 2,080 pesos. There was no service charge; another plus factor for Cafe Lidia.

I vividly remember when we celebrated our previous anniversary in one of the famous eat-all-you-can buffets where the 5 of us were billed more than 3,500 pesos. The choices were limited to Korean, Cantonese and Japanese dishes. My youngest son was restricted to grilled foods since his perennial favorite, the chicken, wasn't available. My eldest son suffered stomach pain due to over-indulging of Maki and Sushi while the rest of us felt bloated since our mind was set on packing our stomach to the brim. In short, we didn't fully enjoy the occasion.

Looking back to that buffet experience, I firmly believe that it is more worthwhile to celebrate an occasion in a typical Filipino restaurant where everyone can order the food they fancy not to mention the relax atmosphere while dining. Unlike the eat-all-you-can set-up where everyone is waiting or anticipating for the new dish to be brought out from the kitchen and the tendency to over-indulge in cholesterol and calories in limited time. Not to mention the limited time allocated for each table in an eat-all-you-can buffet.

Going back to Cafe Lidia, the place is definitely homey and spacious while the staffs are constantly attentive to all our needs.

More so, I can say that the price is quite reasonable considering the quality of food, service, ambiance and free parking outside.

The waiter even gladly took our picture on request.

Cafe Lidia is undeniably one of the must visit places in this part of the city with the family. The main drawback however is the limited public transport within the area.

14 September 2014

Since my youngest son is reviewing for his school's exams the family decided to have a quick lunch at Cafe Lidia instead of spending a family day in the mall.

We drove from San Mateo to Marikina City and reached the place in less than 30 minutes due to trafficless roads. Though it was raining cats and dogs due to typhoon Luis we were fortunate to have the last parking slot available in front of Cafe Lidia.

For our main courses, the wife and I ordered Pasta Ala-Lidia, my daughter settled for her favorite Carbonara while our eldest asked for Baked Mac. Our youngest and the most picky eater requested Pizza Henric. Aside from these, we asked for cakes and fancy drinks to complement our meals.

As expected, the pasta was great and tasty while the pizza was nothing but ordinary. The classic Sansrival and Red Velvet cakes were superb.

The service was fast and friendly as usual while the cozy atmosphere lingers even during strong monsoon rains caused by a signal number 3 typhoon Luis barreling across northern and central Luzon.

house specialty: the tasty and a bit sour Pasta Ala Lidia

Baked Mac / Carbonara / Pasta Ala Lidia

classic Sansrival cakes

Red Velvet cake

Our total bill was less than two thousand pesos. For a family of five that love to order fancy drinks and complete dessert the price can be considered affordable. In addition, the dreaded "service charge" won't appear on your bill unlike in other restaurants and buffets.

Aside from having homey atmosphere, car owners can also dine in peace since the parking area is safely guarded by a security guard and parking assistant.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am a graduate student from the University of Santo Tomas, Masters of Arts in Cultural Heritage Studies, and conducting a research entitled: “Unfolding the effects of adaptively reused structures and culinary techniques in the local Tourism of Marikina.” With this, I would like to ask for your participation in answering my online questionnaire that will answer the main objectives of the study to determine the economic, environmental and socio-cultural effects of the restaurants to the local Tourism of the city.
    I will appreciate your response and i hope you could share to your friends and family to answer the survey as well.
    Here's the link:
    Thank you very much!