La Paz Public Market
La Paz, Iloilo City
While planning the holiday, I got to read an article on YUMMY Magazine about Negros. It featured a small coffee shop in Iloilo, something I hoped K and I would visit because I know he loves coffee and taking him there would be a unique Filipino experience. When we decided where to stay while in Iloilo, I was so pleased that all things just jived - the inn and the coffee shop are located in the same area. What made me happier was that the inn is just a few steps away from the market, so that meant K and I could have our morning coffee at the said coffee shop.
We didn't bother with the free breakfast included in our inn booking anymore, and quickly, we went to La Paz Market to look for Madge Cafe. We asked people around but they couldn't give us a straight question, until one person who sort of heard me asking someone else gave us the directions.
Madge Cafe was established in 1951 and is now one of the oldest family-run businesses in Iloilo. The coffee they serve is Iloilo grown.
The place wasn't full yet when we arrived, and upon entering, we were greeted with friendly Ilonggo smiles. Minutes after we placed our orders, people started entering... students, people having their morning coffee before going to work, as well as locals who would like to drink coffee and share stories with their friends.
The place doesn't have air conditioning system, but of course not everybody appreciates the smell of cigarette smoke, so they do have this area for smokers, but it could also be a good place for big groups of people to gather round and talk about a common topic - be it sports, politics, or current events.
The way they prepare coffee is something so interesting, too bad I wasn't able to video it to give you a step by step demo. :) They have four kinds of brew: strong, regular, mild, and milky. A cup of coffee is p20.
Regular customers already have their own cups... though I wasn't able to ask how often should one visit the place to get him/herself a personalized cup.
K's Breakfast. Strong coffee and a piece of Pandeciosa. This place also serves breakfast - breads and rice meals... and K chose the bread. I was hoping they'd give it to me right there and then, but the staff said they'd serve it on our table. Well, they did cut the bread in half (lengthwise), spread some margarine, and toasted it. I loved the taste of this bread, tasted a lot like pizza crust.
My Breakfast. Well, I planned to eat La Paz Batchoy that morning, too, so I just went for the milky cup of coffee and puto. The puto I didn't eat.
We welcomed our mornings in Iloilo by visiting Madge Cafe. On our last morning, I was able to personally talk to the cafe's owner and I also ate a rice meal - Paksiw na Bangus and Fried Rice... and it was so delicious!