Happy New Year everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The Monching Walks! I know this is rather delayed as it’s already 2015, but my last TMW post was around June of last year—so it’s fair game. Our company Christmas party happened last December 19, but the boo and I decided to ditch it altogether. Instead, we simply planned to dine out and spend the rest of the day at Maginhawa Street in UP Village. This long stretch of road is slowly gaining popularity because of the various food spots located there.
I was familiar with the place, as it was right behind my high school alma mater – Claret School of Quezon City. I simply rode a tricycle from Matalino Street after walking from the LTO main office along East Avenue, after applying for a student permit that day. She, on the other hand, rode a jeep headed to Projects 2 and 3—going down at Savemore Anonas and walking the long stretch. We agreed to meet at Cool Beans Cafe at 1:00 in the afternoon. I didn’t know where it was at first, but I easily saw their sign so I went down and paid the tricycle fare. It was right in front of Holy Family School, an all-girls educational institution right behind Claret! I entered the place and ordered some snacks while waiting.
Cool Beans Cafe is all about books, magazines, and other reading materials. This is one place to take your time reading a book and sipping a cup of joe. Its popularity even made it to an indie film (M. Mother’s Maiden Name) as some scenes were shot at the restaurant—it even sells tickets for the said movie’s screening. Soon enough, she arrived at Cool Beans and we ordered our lunch. The cafe is known for selling Highlands coffee from Sagada, Kalinga, and Benguet. However, the rice meals were the main reason why we went here – and they didn’t disappoint. I ordered their Baked Fried Chicken (P150), while she chose the Herb-Crusted Cream Dory with Dijon Mustard Sauce (P150). For some reason, I didn’t find anything special with the rice meal I ordered. The special someone had a better time with her cream dory. However, all was not lost. The serving was hefty that I didn’t order another cup of rice, and they had bottles of Knorr seasoning which we used to our advantage. We also read some books during our stay; I browsed a copy of a book about secret societies like the Illuminati, Knights Templar, and the Masons. CJ read Dog Man—a book about Japanese breeder Morie Sawataishi who was responsible for saving the Akita dog breed from extinction.
We paid the bill and left the store after a few hours. Both of us originally planned to go to The Iscreamist a few blocks away for desserts, but the long line of customers discouraged us. The Iscreamist serves various ice cream creations and treats frozen using liquid nitrogen. Instead of waiting, we simply walked the stretch of Maginhawa heading to Anonas. That long walk was beneficial; I saw a lot of other food places that opened up, and it helped the lunch we had go down. Moonleaf Maginhawa was an option with its cakes and milk teas, but we didn’t stay there. Fortunately, we saw a coffee shop perfect for something we call afters: The Sweet Spot.
Located at the far end of Maginhawa Street, The Sweet Spot Cafe is visited by students and people who want to work in an enjoyable setting. Tim Villasor, a fellow cosplayer and friend, happens to be a patron whenever he gets to be in the area. When I saw his posts about it, I was convinced to try the cafe out—much more with the special someone. Stone gray walls and warm wooden tables are the cafe’s main highlights. We chose a spot at the upper level as it wasn’t that frequented by customers; only a few diners were there, mostly on the lower level. The walls had some posters taken from and inspired by Japanese manga—maybe the owner traveled to Japan a lot of times and chose to display some keepsakes from his trips to the Land of the Rising Sun. Despite the fact that there were a lot of other food joints in the building where The Sweet Spot was (a branch of Wicked Kitchen by Cravings was at the upper levels), we still chose to settle here.
We ordered two hot drinks to start off: I chose their Cafe Latte (P90), while she had Butterscotch Latte (P90). The cakes we had were different, though: CJ had the light and fluffy Green Tea Tiramisu (P105) while I had the dark and chunky Turtle Pie (P105). The turtle pie was much like a brownie filled with whole pecans, which I liked very much as it complemented the coffee. No need for sugar too, as the turtle pie’s sweetness was just right. The boo’s green tea tiramisu was likewise promising; instead of coffee, green tea was used as a substitute which made it a lighter dessert. Both of us enjoyed the ladyfingers that adorned the outer edge of the crust (talk about broas biscuits from Quezon, only thinner).
CJ and I continued walking the stretch of Maginhawa after finishing our orders. We eventually reached the Anonas area and rode a jeep towards Ali Mall, going home afterwards. Despite skipping our company’s Christmas party (supposedly the first for both of us), we have no regrets. Just like a status message I posted: Better a Christmas spent in poverty with the ones you love, than an extravagant one with the ones you detest.