by - 23 March

At the start of 2020, people tried their hands at viral recipes and trying popular as seen on 'social media' products, delving into untapped interests or re-discovering them as well as acquiring new hobbies. Hobbies that some have turned into viable businesses as the months (and years) dragged on.

I don't know about everyone else, but I think coffee started slowly becoming a thing after that first viral wave of 'dalgona' coffee. Then came 'viral posts' and reviews of international chain coffee shops, then pop-ups and kiosks then finally the local 'mom-and-pop' start-ups which seem to always have picturesque furniture, walls, art, drinks and  foodstuffs. 

NOTE : I know coffee has always been here, and it's always a thing (I see you fellow coffee addicts) but I believe, the coffee craze really picked up at the start of 2020 and it never really died down.

These local coffee places/cafés don't always looks the same or have the same 'aesthetic' but most if not all, look great in pictures.

Kaulayaw Coffee 

This initial visit didn't impress. The monte cristo while good was laughably minuscule. The coffee was watered down (stayed at the pass too long probably). The small bowl of tuna pasta was expensive for what it was. The service from the staff was poor (we waited too long to get a menu, for each dish as well as the bill). We eventually came back but to a different branch, and had a much better experience.

First of all, I'm ecstatic and proud that we have local businesses thriving under normally difficult circumstances. It's also quite refreshing to know that most of these are run by people around my age- younger even. It speaks to the mindset of people that having one's own business is the same as or even better than going the corporate route.

Now, I've tried a number of these local shops to date, and more and more keep popping up on my feed to try (don't worry I'll visit you all!) I noticed something interesting.

Kaulayaw Coffee - The food and coffees were good. The view was stunning. A bit pricey though. Definitely worth a visit.

The more photo-op friendly the place is or the more 'ig-worthy', the more 'meh' the menu will be. These cafés all have good to great coffee. The coffees are also priced appropriately, some could knock off the price to like 10 to 15 pesos less, but I digress. But the food accompanying these coffees is, let's just say, not worth the price I pay.

So I'm no expert in the food and beverage industry nor am I a restaurateur or coffee/café connoisseur but I think I know when some prices just don't jive well with the end-product I receive.

My family has always had businesses involving food so yeah I have a deeper understanding of it than maybe a regular-shmegular consumer.

Coffee Rush 

Not sure if this will be visited again in the future. The coffee was ok. The food was a big no and overpriced. The service could be better, but I can't fault that since they seem to be new, or at least they act like they're new. The place though is big, gorgeous, and can pack quite a number of people. Perfect place for events.

Cafés with 'overlooking areas/view' tend to have not the greatest food. There are outliers that I actually do recommend (some are mentioned in this post), but some are just made to be photographed and posted on your feed. Most times, the coffees are really the only thing keeping me as a patron.

Now I'm aware that maybe the cost of gas, the ingredients to make certain things compound etc, but I don't just say it just to be a cheap-ass. These café/restaurants with 'a view', in my opinion, really overprice their food, and paired with sub-par service (cold food, basic menu, inattentive staff) it really is the final nail on the coffin. You're left with the realization that it was the view that you actually paid for, not much else.

Okay, the view is great, to keep things positive here. And the pictures that you take there are bound to turn out quite pretty. But I don't know about you, the thing I came for was a good experience, and that tends to include the food and drinks, not just the pictures I can post on my feed.

Kape Natividad 

The coffee was good. The food was delicious. The price was great. The view was lovely.
I recommend the pizza :) I only go for either black or lattes so regardless of the cafe, my coffee will be pretty standard. Highly recommend this place. Try not to go during peak times as this will be packed and service will be slow.

I think I've ranted long enough. Which cafés and restaurants don't you like because of the price or service? As for other cafes I love to go to, Little Flour/Wildflour has my heart and SOUL as well as Kape Natividad. Oild would be here but they closed their one and only store :( . For more well-known stores, Coffeebean & Tea Leaf is *chef's kisses* and I'm a slave for Mickey D's and Dunkin's coffees. I would put Starbucks here too but lately, I'm liking it less and less.

Read my experience with another local cafe here: KAULAYAW COFFEE RIZAL


PS. The photos I used are mixed with the good cafes that I like. So not everything here was 'bad'. Also, I made a post YAY! You have no idea how great this feels to post something again here.

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