Friday, October 14, 2011

Cafe Leona Vigan City

Cafe Leona
Calle Crisologo - Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
+63 (77)722-2212 / +62 (77)722-3089 - Telefax
30 October 2010

Cafe Leona

Cafe Leona

Leona Florentino was considered as the "Mother of Philippine women's literature." However, because of the nature of her writings, she was shunned by her husband and son and was forced to live alone away from her family. She had five children, one of whom was Isabelo de los Reyes, who would later became a writer, activist, and senator. {Source}

The same Florentino house is now a restaurant, serving a mix of different cuisines - Filipino, Japanese, Thai, and Italian. During daytime, diners can just come inside to eat, but during nighttime, they set up the floor space outside for some al fresco dining. I first dined here in 2008 (with K), and since I didn't know much about local restaurants here (for I always eat either Jollibee or McDonald's as my way to save money for Vigan is usually my last stop before going home whenever I travel north), I took my friend Ria here for our final meal before bidding the city adieu. I was hoping we could dine outside, but no tables and chairs were set up, so we decided to come in.

Cafe Leona

We found a spot to stay at, and this captured my interest. I am not sure if the chaffers had food inside, but seeing the fried bangus stacked up and some bagnet near it made me think some of their dishes were prepared before hand, or maybe this was for people who wanted to take home some food pronto.

Cafe Leona

We stayed at a table near the kitchen. We still weren't sure what's the festivity was all about, but there sure were a lot of people outside that night, and us sitting at that spot was a good way of communicating with the wait staff should we need them. However, there was this man sitting near us who carelessly puffed away his cigarette. I do have some friends who smoke, and I personally don't have problems with people smoking, but inside a restaurant - air conditioned at that - I didn't think they should allowed diners to smoke. First, because not everybody can tolerate second hand smoke, and second, people come to the restaurant to eat and not to inhale cigarette smoke. None of the restaurant staff minded inhaling the smell of cigarette smoke, so we guessed smoking inside was allowed. Needless to say, we called a wait staff to find us another table.

Cafe Leona

Cafe Leona

The restaurant had a big dining area, but this new place was quite far from the busy side of the restaurant that calling a wait staff to place our orders was quite difficult. Still, it was a much better place to be at.

Vigan Pasta

Vigan Pasta. I have already tried their Japanese Meal in 2008 and I wasn't in the mood for pizza, so I went for their pasta. This is like carbonara, but instead of using bacon, they used Vigan Longganisa. It was good, but it was something I can prepare in my own kitchen.

Cafe Americano

Cafe Americano. I always crave for coffee whenever I eat pasta (especially if the sauce is cream-based), so instead of going for iced tea or any soda, I went for this. It was creamy and sweet (but not so much, just enough for me), so this I appreciated a lot.

My food was served first. It's a common practice for people with companions to wait for everyone to get served before eating, so I let my food sit while waiting for Ria's food to be served. More and more people coming in, which made most of the staff scramble and rush, to the point that they won't notice us whenever we wanted to call their attention.


LongSiLog. It was dinnertime, alright, but we weren't able to eat at the Empanadaan, so Ria chose this as she wanted to taste authentic Vigan Longganisa (of course we can buy this at the weekend markets in Metro Manila, even the local Supermarket sells this, but it still is different to taste the food at the place of its origin). Her food wasn't difficult to prepare, which was why we were wondering why it was taking so long to be served. At one point, we made a joke that maybe they were still waiting for the chicken to lay an egg, but we found out that they only had one cook that night. One cook?!? Oh dear, some of the tables had 5 to 10 diners... how was the cook going to prepare all the dishes then? Anyway, Ria seemed to like the longganisa, but thought two pieces of small sausage was "bitin" (not enough).

I had no problems with the food - it was okay. The main thing I didn't like about was them allowing other diners to smoke inside. Sure the al fresco side wasn't available because of the festivity, but they should've at least asked the diner to go out if he wanted to smoke. Not everybody can tolerate second hand cigarette smoke, especially when one wanted to eat.


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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}