One recent article states that Ilonggos are hard to please – gastronomically. And it takes effort to satisfy the Ilonggo eater. So we made the call and decided to scour the restaurants that do just that – meeting the expectation of an Ilonggo searching for good food. E. Lopez Street is a good start. So we hailed a Jaro Liko NFA jeep and made a merry-go-round trip around town. We got off at Seminario Street, which – so they say – houses a unique restaurant featuring the best of European, specifically German, cuisine.
Bavaria German Restaurant. Located in 113 Seminario Street, Jaro, Iloilo City across St. Vincent Seminary, Bavaria serves the best of authentic German cuisine, Spanish cuisine, Italian cuisine as well as Filipino cuisine. Bavaria features an array of sausages (bratwurst, weiner, nurnberger, schublig), ‘mouth-watering Schweinshaxen’, for-groups specialties (Spanish paella mixta, butcher’s platter, meat platter), German specialties (bouletten, berliner, weiner schnitzel, beef goulasch) and a variety of beers (German weizen, Bavarian mass, radler mass – all imported from Germany). From what friends told me, the ambiance and the decors makes you wonder if you’ve actually teleported straight to Germany – because the ambiance is mind blowing.
Wawa Heritage Restaurant by PJ Aranador. From a typical German restaurant, next in line is a typical Ilonggo restaurant by the name of Wawa. It is a unique restaurant that combines ‘heritage and gastronomy’. Located in E.Lopez Street, nearby the Seminario-E.Lopez intersection and fronting the upcoming Robinsons Place Jaro, Wawa is the ultimate haven to experience good food. A commendable dish, by experience, is the black rice risotto (squid ink blackened rice with a variety of shells and sauteed squid in peewee tomatoes and exotic lemon grass) and the Paella Ilongga (seafood/marinara; chicken/pollo; mixed/mixta).
Uncle Tom’s Restaurant. A few steps away is the ever-popular Uncle Tom’s which features American (new and traditional) and Filipino cuisine. Moreover, an Uncle Tom experience won’t be complete without its signature fried chicken. I can’t help but acknowledge the nice interiors, as well as exteriors – and the crazy comfy-ness within the four walls of the resto.
Alberto’s Pizza. And off we go and found Alberto’s Pizza. Moreover, who would’ve thought that Alberto’s started out in Cebu and branched its way to Manila, Iloilo, Bohol and many more. Alberto’s is a Cebu-grown company that offers amazing food treats – as the name implies, pizza. Browsed the menu and just can’t help but commend the many – and we mean many – many kinds of pizza they come up with (i.e. cookies and cheese – crushed oreo cookies and cheese; Spanish sardines, chogburizo, oreo-pineapple on cheese). Mind blown. Anyhow, the comfy resto is located across Jollibee E.Lopez and beside Margec’s Cream Horn.
Margec’s Cream Horn. And since we’ve mentioned it, Margec’s Cream Horn is another interesting place – and eye catching. So we Googled what ‘cream horn’ is, exactly. Cream horn is a pastry made with flaky or puff pastry, and whipped cream. It is a horn-shaped pastry made by winding overlapping pastry strips with a conical mould. After baking, a spoonful jam or fruit is added and the pastry is then filled with whipped cream. The pastry can also be moistened and sprinkled with sugar before baking for a sweeter, crisp finish (excerpts from Wikipedia). Aside from their signature cream horn, Margec’s also have a variety of delectable pastries that are definitely to die for. They also have napoleones, cream puffs, chicken pies, banana cakes, apple turnover pies, moist chocolate cakes and more.
Havfrost Cafe. After reaching WVSUMC, a little slope to the side and we see Havfrost Cafe – and one thing comes to mind: cold beverages because of the word ‘frost’ in Havfrost? Havfrost Cafe is located in No. 39 Del Carmen Street, Brgy. Javellana, Jaro. Experience the best of frosts and enjoy their endless array of cold frappes (cucumber for the health buff; vanilla, cookie monster, and caramel for the sweet-toothed; and strawberry for those who just want to experience the best of the house). The serving is quite generous in this cafe – and we mean generous.
Bottomline: Iloilo City is heavily decorated with diverse and fancy food destinations that will surely satisfy your cravings. Although, sometimes, we can’t help but ponder. With the many restaurants, cafes, and canteens – aren’t restaurant owners worried if the city is way too saturated with the food industry? And then I remembered a thought about Ilonggos: they are – undeniably, irrevocably, uniquely and purely – lovers of good food and.. as per paragraph number two.. good food is a way of life in Iloilo.
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