La Marea

I was having this urge to eat some brownie ala mode. One place came to mind… La Marea Pastry Shop and Lavazza Café. I’ll give you the low-down on this…
The first time I’ve been to this place was 2 years ago. It was a friend who brought me here. He was raving more on how the flush in their restroom is very efficient rather than the food or the coffee. Little do I know that it didn’t need an introduction. La Marea as a stand-out café speaks for itself.
 

The Food

What is it all about? La Marea started out in Crossroads, Banilad. It didn’t have any marketing strategy nor did it rely on Ads. Just by word of mouth, Cebu came to love this quaint little coffee shop.

What I ordered? Warm Brownie Cup ala mode and Latte Macchiato
Taste: The Brownie is still warm and soft while the really big scoop of vanilla heaven on top is cold. The contrast is heaven. The ice cream just melts in the gooey goodness of the brownie! It’s also topped with choco sprinkles and syrup. This is a must try when you go here. If they have a signature item, this is it! The Latte Macchiato tastes like a coffee milkshake. Yummy. They give you a shot of espresso and a glass of steamed milk! I just mixed the two together and instant shake! Hehe… I’m not sure if it was the correct way to drink it but it did taste good! The coffee is not bitter even without the milk… It’s no CLBT but better than Starbuck’s.
Presentation: The brownie was mouthwatering. The choco embellishments on top made it quite special for me. I guess I don’t have to talk anymore about this. I’ll just let you judge by yourself. I think that’s what the pics are for.
Price: 95PHP for the Brownie ala Mode; 85PHP for the Latte Machiatto. Cheaper than Starbuck’s.
 
The Place
The ambience: it’s a mix of rustic country (their counter) and modern sensibilities (black and white photos on the wall). They could have done better but yes, it still feels like a coffee shop. They should get couches just in case one would like to lounge and stay there for the entire day.
Cleanliness: The place was clean. No insects. No creepy crawlies. Their white walls tell me they’re clean. My only complaint is that they don’t have a restroom of their own unlike their branch in Banilad.
 
The Service
Efficiency:
the brownie was ready in 5 minutes although I still had to wait for my coffee for 15 minutes since they ran out of milk. I didn’t mind at all. The barista informed me ahead of time so it was okay.

Customer Service: For this alone, I could hug and kiss them. Despite the fact that I wasn’t able to get my coffee as fast as I wanted it to be, they made me feel cared for. They smiled and apologized. They made me feel welcomed. It was a good feeling although out.
 
The Verdict 
4 STARS out of 5!
La Marea is the place to be when you want a coffee shop aside from Starbuck’s. Heck! After you get that planner, start going to this place every time you get that jittery feeling for coffee.
La Marea is located at The Walk, Asiatown IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City. They also have branches at Paseo Arcenas in Banawa and Crossroads in Banilad.

Alberto’s Pizza

Hey! Food critique time again! This time let’s talk about PIZZA! Alberto’s Pizza that is…


Alberto’s is not foreign to Cebuanos. Ever since it opened in 2008, bisdaks just can’t get enough of this yummy stuff. They practically started this whole pizza craze. Now almost every corner there is a pizza place. Personally, my week isn’t complete without ordering my fave garden fresh or Hawaiian pizza. It’s so cheap and convenient. A 9’inch pizza is just 75PHP and its free delivery!!! What is it all about?

Alberto’s is founded by a group of friends. They started in a small outlet in front of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center. They offer pizzas with a lot of toppings but with a very friendly price. Now, they have a dozen branches across Cebu.

What I ordered?

Hawaian Pizza and Garden Fresh Pizza

 
The Food
Taste: The crust on both was perfect. It’s thin but not to thin. You can still get crunch out of it. The toppings are generous. The Hawaiian needed more pineapple but still tasty nonetheless. The Garden Fresh is just right. It didn’t even taste like it’s a vegetarian pizza!
Presentation: The packaging need some help since it’s just a white box with the name Alberto’s but the jewel inside is a sight to behold. The colors of the peppers and the tomatoes contrast well against the golden yellow color of the cheese. Very mouth watering!
Price: For 75 bucks, I don’t think anybody can beat this!
The Place
The ambience: I won’t comment since I ordered the pizza and pigged out at home.

Cleanliness: This improved after the whole food poisoning fiasco last year. The business was able to get a permit and all is well.
The Service
Efficiency: My food arrived 20 minutes after I ordered. That’s speedy! And they call you when the pizza boy is on its way. Now, that’s proper customer service! Setting expectations!
 
The Verdict:
5 STARS out of 5!
Alberto’s is one of those rare things in life that you treasure because it doesn’t cost much yet you feel you get more than what you really pay for. If you want gourmet pizza without having to pay 500PHP a box, then Alberto’s is a must try. I definitely recommend it. I would even risk food poisoning and being rushed to CCMC! Hehe!

Spice Fusion

It was a Sunday! It was already 3 pm and I haven’t eaten anything yet since yesterday. I decided I go to the North Wing and check out what I can devour. I had this craving for some Asian. Hmmm… and it had been a long time since I had some curry. So… 

Problem: Hunger

Solution: SPICE FUSION

What is it all about?
Spice Fusion mainly offers Malay and Singaporean cuisine…

What I ordered?

Satay with Peanut Sauce and Roti with Curry sauce!

The Food:

Taste: The satay was ok. It wasn’t something that is out of the ordinary but wait till you dip it in the peanut sauce. Wow! The peanut sauce totally defined the dish. I was like ” Can I just get a bowl of this stuff?” The peanut sauce is worth the whole meal itself! Now, what about the Roti? Well, their Roti has always been a fave of mine since college. Soft and not that oily. A perfect alternative to rice. The curry sauce was just ordinary. Nothing special about it but it was worth the price.

Presentation: The food looks nice against the simplicity of white plates although it doesn’t have the WOW factor!

Price: The Satay is 150 PHP and the Roti with the Curry sauce is 90 PHP! Not bad, ei! And the serving is good for two (although I managed to eat everything by myself).

The Place
 

The ambience: It’s very sleek and modern. White walls and sturdy furniture in brown and off-white. Very modern!

Cleanliness: The place was clean although the floor needed mopping at that time. And the wash area, it needed some bleach or muriatic acid. hehe… and they have shared rest rooms for males and females.
 
The Service
Efficiency: My food was served after around 15 minutes. That was good!
Customer Service: It wouldn’t hurt for the waiters to smile. They were able to do everything i asked but they lack pro-activeness. When i stepped in, I had to ask for the menu! Tsk! Tsk!
 
The Verdict:
3 STARS out of 5!
Spice Fusion is an okay place to be if you want a taste of Singapore and Malay cuisine. The Roti is a must try! Spice Fusion Is located at the 1st level of the SM North Wing, Cebu City.