Lakbay Norte Food Trail from La Union to Baguio

Hot Choco at Soul Cafe
Hot Choco at Soul Cafe

Food discoveries during travel have always been the heart of Happyfoodies. And during this Lakbay Norte 2, a familiarization tour of select places in Northern Luzon, we get to try out some interesting food stops on the way to Baguio from Manila on our first day. We had breakfast at SOUL Cafe in La Union, snacks at Cafe Isabelle and dinner at Hotel Elizabeth’s Flora Cafe.

Boneless Bangus with Tortang Talong
Boneless Bangus with Tortang Talong (P140)

SOUL (Spice of Urban Life) Cafe
I had the pleasure of covering SOUL Cafe previously for an inflight publication and was able to sample many of its entrees. I can certainly say that it is one of the best restaurants I’ve been to outside Manila.  Their food offering is memorable, especially the Osso Buco, Seafood Pasta and Seared Herbal Tuna. This time around I got to try one of their breakfast combos.

Alamid Coffee
Alamid Coffee (P350 per cup)

My breakfast of Boneless Bangus with Tortang Talong with Hot Choco was also good. The highlight for me was the Tortang Talong with a mix of creamy pesto. Their hot choco reminded me of Swiss Miss, creamy and sweet.

Civet Cat Coffee Poop
Civet Cat Coffee Poop

In more than six years SOUL Cafe has been in operation, they have been known to serve the best Civet Cat Coffee. Also called Alamid Coffee, this is one of the most expensive coffees in the world and has limited production since these come from Civet Cat (Alamid) poop. The Civet Cat would eat the coffee beans and their digestive enzymes would enrich the flavor. Once defecated, the beans are thoroughly-cleaned, lightly roasted, then brewed. Even if I’m not really discerning about coffee since I rarely drink it, I did try a cup.  It has a really strong flavor with none of the bitter aftertaste of other kinds of coffee.

Camp One, Rosario La Union 2506
Telephone No: (72)712-0852

Spicy Tuyo Pasta with Clubhouse Sandwich
Spicy Tuyo Pasta with Clubhouse Sandwich (P135)

Cafe Sabel
Located at one of the best Art Museums in the country, I finally get to try out some of their dishes on this second visit (it was closed the first time I went there). Aside from enjoying going through the museum again, I got to try their Spicy Tuyo Pasta which I really liked, especially the degree of spiciness and saltiness of the dried fish  despite being a little dry. The Clubhouse sandwich was okay.

BenCab Museum

Rosemary Chicken and Fish Fillet with Marinara Sauce
Rosemary Chicken and Fish Fillet with Marinara Sauce

Hotel Elizabeth’s Flora Cafe
This three-star hotel in Baguio has charm and style written all over it and their food was surprisingly good as well. For dinner, we had a three meal course. The vegetable soup warmed us up with its buttery taste. The main course was the Rosemary Chicken with Fish Fillet and Marinara Sauce. I thought the Fish Fillet stole the show with its tender meat and really flavourful sauce. The vegetable sidings were crunchy.

Pastry and Fruit Plate
Pastry and Fruit Plate

To cap off the meal, we were served a plate of pastries and fruit. The pastry was nice and sweet and the fruits really fresh as expected from a resto in the City of Pines.

Hotel Elizabeth

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