Our itinerary says it all: Sagada Nature and Food Trippin’. We hoped to hit Sagada’s greatest hits of restaurants but unfortunately, some of them are under renovation. First, there was the Lucky’s Shanghai Hauz or House. If you’re going now and wished to save a few bucks on your lunch or breakfast, I’m sorry to say that the budget-friendly hole-in-the-wall is under renovation and won’t be opening until the peak season.
Next, the Log Cabin buffet on weekends. Due to the lack of visitors during this rainy season, the Log Cabin cancelled their Saturday dinner buffet which we were all looking forward to. We were psyching ourselves up to spend a week’s worth of lunch for this special evening but it would not be. The Masferre Restaurant was also a disappointment. It was open but the kitchen was closed so we didn’t get the chance to taste the panna cotta dessert advertised outside that stopped us in our tracks.
Lastly, the most shocking news of all was that Lemon Pie House was closed for renovation! This news from a sweet Japanese exchange student really floored us. That pie had been an important part of this trip. I brought a bag solely to bring that pie safely from the mountains! But one thing I’ve learned, when you have stubborn friends who won’t take no for an answer, miracles can happen. Ten convinced Manong Joseph, the owner and pie maker, to bake us 5 pies we could take home the next day (Php 180/pie). For the official opening of the brand new and improved Lemon Pie House, you can call them at (63) 907-7820360.
If you’re wondering if the pie can survive the long trip back to the city, the answer is yes. Their pie box is made of heavy cardboard and the crust is sturdy enough to handle the bumps on the road. There would be some cracking and the fluffy top might go down but it would still be as yummy.
For this trip, our go-to restaurant was the Yoghurt House, which was perennially filled with the same group of Spanish tourists lounging upstairs in the balcony. The food was relatively expensive considering we were in the province but it was good food nonetheless. Their homemade yogurt, I could eat all day. Although, I caution you, it would mean trips to the bathroom after a few hours!
For our first day, we had our late lunch at the Yoghurt House. I ordered their Java Chicken as I was having a craving for charred meat. I may have ordered the wrong thing as I was expecting something a little more over-done than what they served. Instead of chicken with patches of black and grill marks, I got a suspiciously steamed-looking chicken drenched in orange spicy sauce. Whenever I eat chicken, I usually pick the bones clean including the cartilage. However, I can’t with this chicken as there was blood still oozing from the bone. Learn from my mistake and don’t order the Java Chicken! The salad was fab though. I love the light ranch dressing with a kick of spice.
Rox ordered from the beefy section of the menu. She seemed delighted enough and I have to say that beefy goodness is worth the price! The serving size are more than what you’d expect from restaurants in the Philippines. You can actually share a plate for one.
Ten ordered their Baked Chicken which I would’ve preferred, I think. It certainly looked yummier than my drenched chicken thigh. Besides, it also comes with a serving of homemade hash browns which was a definite must-have.
The pièce de résistance is definitely the dessert which was their famous home-made yogurt with bananas and preserved strawberries. The mild sour taste of the yogurt was tempered by the sweet banana and even sweeter strawberry preserves. We loved it so much we actually went back before going home and got 1 serving of yogurt each.
On our second day, we also had our dinner at the Yoghurt House and yes, the Spaniards are still there. I ordered their frozen margarita (Php 100) and it came before the food. Not very Filipino, but definitely very western. In the Philippines, we like to eat before getting wasted.
We already had our merienda (snack) at the Bana Cafe so we weren’t really hungry enough to finish a whole plate of pasta each. That fact din’t stop us from trying though. Ten suggested we order one of their specials, Roasted Eggplant Pasta. I was a little disappointed the cheese was not Parmesan but just the local Eden cheese. It was fabulous enough though. The roasted veggies are fresh and sweet. Without the cheese, it would a perfect choice for vegetarians and vegans alike. If I wasn’t so full with the pancake I ate at Bana, I would’ve eaten everything.
I wasn’t familiar with this French-y menu but the ham is what sold me. I like the roasted eggplant pasta better but the white creamy sauce with the smoky ham was good too.
We were too full to finish everything so we doggy-bagged the rest and promptly forgot it at the inn we stayed in. Remembering those meals is making my mouth water. I can’t wait to come back for more, Sagada!