Just like any experienced traveler, I always research about the places Iggy and I would want to check out before we actually go there.... less trouble and easier to find... Personally I would go for the smaller places because experience has taught me that smaller restaurants as opposed to the bigger and more popular restaurants, seem to try harder in giving guests good service and most of the time, they are always full .....you end up waiting in line for a table.
Iggy, Cris and I decided that we spend the day in Tagaytay even if we knew there will be lots of people and the traffic situation will be bad since today was not just any ordinary day--- it was a long weekend and it was Black Saturday too... our target was to try and discover new places to eat since all the other well-known restaurants will be filled with weekend travelers. The traffic at the South Super Highway (SSH ) was not that bad.... most probably people were already out and some might be traveling going back to Manila. We reached Tagaytay in an hour which was pretty good.
Our first stop was a place called RED LEMON GRILL... it was located in front of the Picnic Grove. It is below the VIEW PARK HOTEL... We decided to have our lunch here..
The waiter offered us the set menu of the day which was 895 PHP for 5 people... It came with iced tea, rice, soup and 3 viands. I call that " value for money ". Their food was what we would call " LUTONG BAHAY "... it was very tasty and filling... This was what we had......
BULALO SOUP - a beef bone marrow soup.
CRISPY TAWILIS - a fish caught only in Tagaytay Lake.
CHICKEN PORK ADOBO --- the waiter called it CPA... ha ha ha!!
Although they did not have any good dessert to offer --- we did not mind since we were planning to have our coffee somewhere else....
So if you want to eat good food without spending a whole lot, come to RED LEMON GRILL !!! Remember .... GOOD FOOD need not be EXPENSIVE !!
ON TO OUR NEXT STOP.....
I spotted a nice little quaint coffee shop nearby which I wanted to try out. It was called JAVA JAZZ CAFE owned by Red and Lisa Raymundo. It is a unique cafe just beside T HOUSE. I found out that the owner, Red Raymundo, is an artist, graphic designer and a photographer too like me and Iggy..... Java Jazz has a mini gallery inside their coffee shop called SINING SA SAHIG ( Art on the Floor )... look at my photos of the interiors below and you will know why it is called that way....
I liked the interiors of the place----- it was simply decorated but what draws the eye is the showcase of paintings ( mostly done in oil ) from local artists while lines its walls ... The roof slants so that the tables on the low end of the rood short squat feet and are set on mats where guests can enjoy their coffee and desserts Japanese style. There are regular cafe tables and chairs at the other end of the room and even out front for those who want to have their coffee al fresco.
according to Red --- Java Jazz is a popular hangout of Cavite artists where they exhibit their artworks ( you can also buy these artworks ). They opened their coffee shop in 2004. The name of the shop comes from the fondness of the couple for Java or brewed coffee while enjoying jazz music. They usually hold art exhibits every month--- and the proceeds of these exhibits are donated to various charitable institutions.
Cris and I tried out their TSOKOLATE- EH ( really thick and creamy ) --- with toasted mamon on the side ,
Iggy had his KAPENG-PINOY -- which is their house blend coffee.
I think Java Jazz has its own charm.... it is not your typical Starbucks or Seattles Best which is packed with people. It is a very nice place to pass the time and enjoy a warm cup of coffee while soaking up the cool Tagaytay air. Truly, Tagaytay and coffee blend perfectly. One of my resolutions this year is to find more coffee shops in the area to add to add to my list. YOU can be sure you will be hearing from me on this.....
Our next stop was...... ILOG MARIA
Iggy decided that since we were already in Tagaytay we should drive to .... ILOG MARIA owned by Joel Magsaysay. It is a bee farm and is one of the popular destination when you are in Tagaytay. Although it is not in the town proper, people still manage to find their way to Ilog Maria to get their organic products. I love their massage oil.... I highly recommend it to those who love having massages at home...
Aside from the fresh honey, they also have honey wine, honey cider vinegar, soaps, shampoos, royal jelly, bee pollen, scented beeswax candle and a lot more.
HOW TO GET TO ILOG MARIA:
If you are coming from Manila, you will take the SLEX ( South Luzon Expressway ) and will arrive in Tagaytay via the TAGAYTAY - STA. ROSA or TAGAYTAY- ETON exit. Once exiting the STA. ROSA road in Tagaytay you will turn right and head for the rotonda in Tagaytay and turn right going down to SILANG, CAVITE. Your best landmark for ILOG MARIA will be the IGLESIA NI CRISTO church on your right. After a few kilometers passing the Iglesia ni Cristo Church you will see the sign " ILOG MARIA " to your right.... going to ILOG MARIA is a small dirt road.... ( don't worry ---- you are not getting lost!! )---- Ilog Maria is at the end of the dirt road.
Before going back to Manila.... we made our last stop..... WINDY RIDGE HOTEL..
before going back to Manila.... we made our last pitstop..... we discovered another hotel.... WINDY RIDGE HOTEL... Although it is a 3-star hotel.... I found this little hotel very cozy... It has a nice view ( overlooking the Taal Lake )....
Although I was not able to see any of the rooms---- ( they were all occupied at that time we went )-- I will make it a point to come back to the WINDY RIDGE HOTEL another time to check it out...
HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?????
WHERE TO GO IN TAGAYTAY:
ILOG MARIA HONEYBEE FARM
Km. 47 Aguinaldo Highway
tel. nos. ( 046 ) 865 0018
open from Tuesday to Sunday 10am - 5pm
JAVA JAZZ CAFE & GALLERY
442 Tagaytay- Calamba Road
Sungay West, Tagaytay City
tel. nos. ( 046 ) 860 2699
contact persons : Lisa and Red Raymundo ( owners )
RED LEMON GRILL
View Park Hotel
3500 Calamba Road
Sungay East, Tagaytay City ( infront of Picnic Grove )
tel. nos. ( 046 ) 483 5456
( 0922 ) 885 1516
WINDY RIDGE HOTEL
near the Tagaytay Rotonda
Brgy. San Jose
tel. nos. ( 046 ) 413 4353 and ( 046 ) 860 2689
Contact person : Amy Villanueva