The perpetual nip in the air is simply made for good eating.
One of the finer pleasures of Sagada is gustatory in nature. Everything — the weather, the elevation, the views — seem to inspire indulgence. Dunno but there’s something about hieing off to the boondocks that make even the mundane special, like ordinary coffee or instant noodles become a treat especially after a hike.
Perhaps, by stroke of serendipity, Happyfoodies found accommodation in the town outskirts some 1.5 kilometers from the sentro. Meaning yes, we’re away from where most of the eating places are but by luck, very, very close to Misty Lodge and Cafe. Our host, Derick, of Yabami Lodge recommended it as we were looking for somewhere closer to eat apart from Rock Inn’s Bodega Cafe some 350 meters away. Smoked out from the Panag-apoy rites, we decided to drop by at dinner time as the cafe was on our way home anyway. So, did we like the food? Well, we came back a second and third time during our three days in Sagada. It was that good.
Lagal[og] says: The garden outside is profuse with flowers and greens which is hard not to notice as you walk on the stone path from the main road. The place looks every bit new, the interior light and airy, with the wood paneling lending warmth. There’s soothing, un-intrusive music wafting from the sound system, even Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” one evening, Suzanne Ciani’s “Velocity of Love” during lunchtime. The blue monobloc chairs are the only things that didn’t quite match up but happily, when the food arrived, the chairs were quickly forgotten, consigned to trivial status.
Ironwulf says: I like that the staff would ask if they want the fireplace burning even at mid-day. For a cool clime like Sagada’s, it definitely is a warm welcome for the guest. Their choice of music especially the classical piano pieces lends an elegant atmosphere that’s not intrusive and ideal for friends to chit chat while having a bite. Or otherwise, enjoy the green scenery by the window while enjoying the music.
Lagal[og] says: We had the pleasure of visiting thrice in three days, sampling breakfast, lunch and dinner items. On the morning before we left, I had the Sagada Omelete Toast — a compendium of scrambled eggs, roasted tomatoes, herb and spices. It bears resemblance to pizza mix in a good way and I liked that the tomato was roasted, not merely fried. For dessert, I ordered the yummy Mango Crepe to go with my mountain coffee. The time we went, there was a shortage of yogurt so it was a neat trick to substitute it with caramel syrup laced with muscovado sugar which gave the crepe a delightful twist.
Ironwulf says: For breakfast, the Eggs a la Benedict appealed to me — two pieces of pan de sal layered with homemade ham and sunny-side up eggs then smothered with Hollandaise Sauce. The serving size was bigger than I expected. I liked that the ham wasn’t too salty, the eggs done perfectly and the Hollandaise Sauce served generously, adding a pleasantly=mild tangy flavor. The Sagada Omelete Toast was surprisingly good with its pizza-like flavor and sweet tomatoes. I was a bit disappointed though when I ordered hot choco as I was expecting cocoa or batirol tsokolate, not a commercial brand.
Lagal[og] says: The large volume of tourists that came before us meant not everything on the menu was available. However, that didn’t mean we had to make do with what’s left since as it turned out there was plenty of flavorful items to go around. I ordered Dam’s Chicken which was a pleasure to smell as it was cooking, and a greater pleasure to feast on when it came to the table. Tender, with deep-down “herbed” goodness, I enjoyed every morsel.
Ironwulf says: The Dam’s Chicken was exceptionally flavorful with ‘herbed’ goodness but Miguel’s Pork Steak with its tender meat bathed in olive oil and sprinkled with rosemary and other seasonings was also very good. The steak was grilled perfectly, its natural meaty flavor readily apparent without being overwhelmed by spices.
Lagal[og[ says: We were able to sample two of Michael’s Pizzas and while the three-cheese pizza was good, the Margherita is far and away the most flavorful of the two. The crust has the requisite crispiness without being overly baked, the fresh tomato blending with the sauce, herbs and spices for a full-bodied flavor. The use of herbs picked fresh from the backyard is key to the taste and presentation of the dishes including the pizzas.
Ironwulf says: I was happy to learn there is now a very good pizza place in Sagada. And their pizzas are definitely worth hiking for. Their Margherita is probably one of the best pizzas I had. It’s probably because of the fresh ingredients used and the distinct crunchiness of the thin crust sans any burnt residue.
Lagal[og] says: Miko, half of the husband-wife tandem (Bogan is the other) that runs Misty Lodge and Cafe told us of plans to expand the lodge and cafe. It seems business is doing well and good word travels far especially if you have food this great. Our friends who stayed in the lodges at the town center were more than willing to hike the three kilometer distance going here and back not just once but twice. We were lucky to stay a few minutes away but I don’t think it’s a good idea to stay in the lodge — I just might forgo hiking and eat, drink coffee and eat the whole day.
Misty Lodge and Cafe
Mabbay Sagada, Mountain Province