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Monday, October 14, 2013

Breakfast Made in Marikina - Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

What better way to start a holiday morning than have a hefty breakfast?  Thus, I gathered my husband and daughter and trooped down from our mountain to the valley that is Marikina to try out Rustic Mornings by Isabelo, the same place that is also otherwise known as Isabelo Garden Restaurant that operates in the evenings for dinner by reservations only.  The things that intrigued me about this place are, first, the fact that its just near where we live.  Second, upon visiting its website, I thought the pictures of the dishes on their menu looked sumptuous, and third, the place itself had the right ambience for a leisurely meal. 
Finding Rustic Mornings was a bit easy since it is near the Church of Our Lady of the Abandoned, and actually a close neighbor of the Marikina Shoe Museum, both of which are famous landmarks of the city.  (For a detailed map on how to get there, you can visit the link here.)  It is named after the road where it is found, Isabelo Mendoza Street in barangay San Roque.
While dinners at Isabelo Garden require reservation, breakfast and lunch are open to walk-in customers.  Nevertheless, I took the precaution to reserve us a table a day before, which was a good thing because when we arrived at the appointed time (9:30am), the attendants could not give us our table in the garden.  This was due to the previous diners who were actually walk-in clients, but refused to leave despite the fact that they already asked for the bill and paid for it.  Well, I can't really blame them for not leaving right away and being insensitive to the people who actually took time to reserve a table, dining in the garden is such a treat - surrounded by lush greenery additionally made charming by embellishments such as country-style bric-a-brac and capiz shell curtains strategically located so that even if there were several diners out in the garden, you still get substantial privacy with which to enjoy your meal and the company you keep.
So for the people who came in without reservations, the wait for a table was a bit longer at this time.  For us with reservations, it took us 30 minutes to be finally seated in a location we didn't like, however equally engaging the indoor dining area was.  My idea of a relaxing breakfast has in fact gone haywire because the place was really busy and getting the food served was a challenge to one's good disposition (the three of us were quite hungry already at this time).  The attendants were very patient, however, so that was one thing going for them, and the other was that when our food finally arrived, I found out why this is becoming a favorite place for visitors and Marikenos alike.
The Corned Beefsilog was very savory served with 2 eggs (my husband had the 2 eggs cooked different ways), although, I detect that the corned beef used was the garlic and chili variety of Delimondo, a favorite.  The fried rice was mixed with herbs and garlic and was cooked to make you want more.
My daughter's waffles were huge.  Toasted well on the outside and creamy on the inside.  Pairing it with bacon is a classic choice.  I, on the other hand, had the waffles served with buffalo chicken with chipotle sauce and salad greens - a good choice for brunch.  Their coffee (or Americano) comes with unlimited refill and satisfies a Filipino palate (a.k.a. mild brew).  In addition to our plates, we had extra side orders of the tawilis, a variety of small fish usually found in Taal Lake (savory and crunchy, it went well with my salad), and a frankfurter. 
Our entire meal costs us PhP1,271 (and change, or around US$30).  Not bad.  However, I don't think I'll be able to get my husband and daughter to come back with me here.  They didn't like the crowd that were there with us - loud selfies with nervous energies who constantly have an eye out at the entrance to find out if anybody who came in was anybody worth knowing.  One of the older diners was even homicidal, he almost ran over my husband in the parking lot (a small area),  as if the world was going to be on the brink if he didn't get to his table.  He was never even sorry.
For my twenty-five-centavos-worth, I suggest that you try out this place on its off-days like when you are on vacation while everyone else is at work.  Maybe you'll get better treatment and you can better enjoy its charms.  Added to this, make sure you make reservations just the same.

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo
11 Isabelo Mendoza Street
San Roque, Marikina City
+63 2 5106914
+63 2 6812461
+63 917 70055810

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