Nostalgia - that's what you get when you visit a place that used to be so familiar, after almost a decade. You see familiar land marks that used to be so ordinary, but suddenly became treasured places kept locked in your heart. You cruise by worn out streets that you used to memorize, but have turned into blurry snippets as years passed by. Your heart goes into a roller coaster of emotions as you see your used to be favorite spots - some never changed but most have joined the trend and modernized.
That's how I felt when we recently visited Dangwa - along Dimasalang and Laong Laan. Hubby brought me there to get the flowers that I have requested to decorate our home. We went by each corner and street, each possible vendor, surveying the place and the flowers being sold as well as the prices. I wanted to get a lot at the best price possible. I was given the authority and independence to get what I wanted and haggled away as I pleased. After a good 30-40 minutes, I emerged happy and satisfied with my purchase. Husband, then, spotted a cafe that looked liked it came out of nowhere and was just placed right there in the heart of the flower market. It looked so out of place but yet so fitting where it stood. It attracted me, I must say. A good cup of coffee won't hurt after all the walking and talking that I did.
|La Taza - Sampaloc Manila|
We weren't really hungry when we got there. Checking their menu, we got the following ---
Ice blended drink for the hubby. He's such a fan of mint + chocolate so this was a no brainer for him - Mindanao Mint Mocha Coffee. It was chocolate-y, with a strong mint flavor that blended well with the coffee. You'll see specs of mint leaves in this drink. Looked like they blended the mint leaves together with the mocha. It was such a refreshing drink. What's interesting about this drink was it's spicy end note. Reminded me so much of Lindt's Chili Excellence Bar. It's true that chocolate goes so well with chili.
On the other hand, I got myself a good warm cup of their Latte. It came in a big cup with some latte art. I liked the bitterness of the coffee and how it was balanced by just enough sugar and made creamy by the right proportion of milk. Coffee wasn't too strong but got me all hyped up the rest of the day. By the way, they get their coffee from Coffee for Peace in Davao.
I also ordered for a Lemon Square to go with my coffee. The serving was too small I could just pop the whole thing into my mouth and we're done. But if I'm feeling prim, two bites would suffice. As soon as I took a bite, the softness of the lemon square got me. It was that of a melt in your mouth type, crumbly on the outside but moist and soft inside with lemon goodness bursting. But wait, the taste and quality was too familiar! I suspected right away that it was from Purple Oven and so I checked on the other desserts displayed in their counter and it was confirmed! The Oreo Cheesecake and the Rustic Chocolate Torte were the obvious ones since we've just had them a couple of months ago. I wasn't able to contain myself, though it needed no further validation, so I asked one of the servers if they get their sweet goodies from Purple Oven. Good thing I got an honest YES.
|Chicken Pesto for 145Php|
Overall, it was a pleasant visit. The place was clean, servers were friendly and made sure we had our fill of water. We loved that we were able to relax for a few minutes before heading back to our regular grind. They didn't mind that we kept on taking pictures and that my daughter kept on moving from one table to the other while playing. The place dearly welcomes students too, allowing them to study and even use their laptops/gadgets freely. They've got charging ports and free wifi too. If I was still a student, you'll see me in this place regularly.
4 out of 5 Stars for La Taza!
***La Taza : 1282 G/F VinCom Bldg. Laon Laan St., Sampaloc, Manila