Catalino’s Cafe : Romancing Coffee
Coffee is coffee anywhere in the world, be it the boldest from Sumatra, the finest roast from the Italian countryside or that 3-in-1 sachet mix in your pocket, it is still coffee. Yes, the beans and the roasting matter however, those do not only define good coffee but the entire experience. Coffee in Catalino’s Cafe is taking it in exquisite style, in a whimsical setting and always a pleasant experience. There are places that we find a seemingly inexplicable affinity…and personally this one’s mine.
A Good Finish
There’s nothing pretentious about their coffee but its finish is always a good one. There are no fancy concoctions because they only serve the freshest and finest Barakong Kape. From its crisp roast aroma to the consistency of its taste, everything all about each cup is a flavorful balance. Another irresistible offer is Catalino’s signature hot chocolate drink made from 100% tablea (cacao beans) and prepared the traditional Filipino way. Its thick texture glides down your throat so smoothly making you savor everything to the last drop.
Fusion of Flavors
The good old Italian pasta has landed all over the world with various twists to cater to each distinct culture. In Catalino’s Cafe, pasta is brought to the next creative level with toppings like Longanisang Lucban, Sardines, Laing or Tulingan Flakes. These days, fusion of flavors is not something new, but this one is something exciting, delicious and yes, filling! They have also made a witchy twist to sandwich using ciabatta buns filled with Pinoy Adobo flakes or fresh garden vegies with apple slices and Kesong Puti (that complements well with your afternoon hot coffee).
Catalino’s Cafe sits on a lovely gorge overlooking the Alitaoo River and with the grand view of Mt. Banahaw. It is within the sprawling property of Villa Javierto that houses an antique shop, bed & breakfast and a restaurant. The place is filled with a collection of Filipino antiques and a refreshing rustic landscape art. Just anywhere you gaze around, there’s always something wonderful to spot, be it early 19th century earthenware, a Victorian chair, a decorated horse caddy or a glass ball tucked underneath a bush. Being here is like being trapped in a late 18th century time warp. The cafe is set up in an eclectic Filipino style reminiscent of the turn-of-the-century Victorian overcrowding. But just about what it is, Catalino’s Cafe is service in style.
Here, the service is a relax process from the order taking to paying your bill. There’s no shouting of orders to the kitchen and the attendants speak to you in a low courteous voice. It’s not a harried world inside the cafe. They let you move around and see the place, settle down & enjoy a few minutes of chitchat. Once you’re ready, they attend to you immediately (and yes, you’re spared from the questions like “would you like to upsize your drink?” or “how about sweets sir?”). They suggest whenever asked, they engage you in a chat whenever needed because at Catalino’s Cafe they value your moment of peace and quiet.
Villa Javierto may be full of old stuff (that are mostly up for sale) but it is now ran by young and vibrant sisters April and May, the daughters of the forerunners of the place, Emil and Redemcion Javierto-Pilar. These young siblings with their vibrant staff welcome each guest with enthusiasm. They make you feel so comfortable just like how the place is built.
As the old saying goes, sit back, relax and enjoy an over the top coffee experience.
Brgy. Gulang-Gulang, Lucena City
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