We actually heard about Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe last year when it was about to open. Busy-ness plus the travails of commuting kept us from visiting until last Sunday when your Happyfoodies found themselves in the Katipunan area within barking distance (pun intended) of the cafe so we dropped by for an afternoon of coffee and canine company.
It actually came as a pleasant surprise that the cafe has already celebrated its first year anniversary as we felt that while as a dog lover we dig the idea, we don’t know if the novelty would wear off after a few months. Sure, it was a swell idea when it first came out, a concept that you’d probably read about in Japan or Singapore where the high costs of keeping pets or strict housing rules has created opportunities for creative pet lovers to build a business around a petting zoo type of establishment. We haven’t reached that state yet, we think, though keeping a dog is no joke – costly in terms of vet care, food, grooming and we never believe that dogs are just some form of status symbol for showing around; rather, they’re friends to care for.
Lagal[og] says: I honestly was looking forward to meeting the dogs more than tasting the food though by the time we got to the place, it was already late afternoon and since there was a 30-minute waiting time as only about 30 people are allowed inside the dog area, it was a good time as any to eat. We had Finn-E Pasta (P120) (our coffees were served later in the dog area and I felt it was nothing to bark about. While I appreciate that we can have coffee inside the dog area, I almost totally neglected my Americano as I got busy ogling and giving tummy rubs to the dogs. Some of the dogs, the taller Finn, a Lab whom the Finn-E Pasta was named after, would also use his full length to grab some of the stuff (a wayward tissue paper here and there) on the coffee ledges around the pen.
By chance, we got seated on a bench directly over Wookiee, a grey shih tzu all curled up and taking advantage of the cold draft on the periphery of the pen. I can forget about and forgive the cafe about the pasta awhile ago for the opportunity to befriend the little furry canine curled under our seats (he likes being rubbed on his belly and cheeks like some Shih Tzus I know) . Or being licked on the cheeks and the nose by the recalcitrant Julia, a Jack Russell, who apparently likes the texture of my paracord bracelets. Or cuddling a shy Yuki, a fluffy white Maltese while taking a break from giving Skye, the lone Siberian Husky, a vigorous belly rub. Alpha dog, Finn, one of the four Labs, would sniff out my cap every time he passes me by, probably smelling the remnant of dog odor accumulated on several trips. It is fascinating to find their individual tickle points though in general, dogs wouldn’t mind a tummy rub and that includes Skye who has his tongue out while lying splayed on the floor with all four paws up in the air (well, the hind legs seem to be in spasms from getting tickled).
The dogkeepers are a nice bunch, gamely answering our questions, attending to the dogs and the humans’ repeated requests of having a selfie with a dog (I call it a barkie), cleaning up quickly after a dog pisses on the floor, or breaking up squabbles between the canines. I’ve never been around so many dogs (the cafe has 31 though some weren’t on the floor when we visited) so it’s interesting to observe the dynamics of the dogs as well as talk to other people who were also thoroughly enjoying the canine company.
Ironwulf Says: I had impression that Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe is more about the dogs than the food. And I was right though unfortunately. The food was just okay and there were a lot of items on the menu that were not available like the burger. The Pesto pasta we had could use more pesto and garlic. Luckily, the coffee was good enough like my Caramel Macchiato.
The Dog Zone was the exciting part and we were allotted two hours to interact with the dogs. People get caught up playing with the dogs that it is easy to just leave their milk tea or coffee on the ledges around the pen.
Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe
91 Rosa Alvero Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Open daily except Tuesdays from 12nn to 9PM