When passing exams and getting good grades were still my biggest concerns, I used to wonder why a lot of people wanted to visit Baguio. Aside obviously from the cool weather, I didn’t really see what else. I mean, the city was so small that after two full days, there’d be nothing else to see. But for that same reason, I was challenged to explore more of the city when I hosted and toured a barangay of friends for three days last year. Though prior to that, when I started to rely heavily on my salary, I had better appreciated this tiny little city of ours. At that point, whenever I went back home, I became keen to notice changes big or small that found it’s way to my amusement.
Whenever I go back home, I always make it a point to meet as many close friends no matter how short the trip. It’s those stories and the company that make the 6-7 hour ride something to always look forward to.
Zio’s11 Military Cut-off, Baguio City website: http://zios.kubongsawali.com/index.html
On the Holy week break, I dedicated the latter of Friday to spend with my friends. One of my best friends, Mirz, whose taste in food I trust, has been raving about the pizza in this place called Zio’s. She suggested we have dinner there. Passing through the area the day prior, my mom also mentioned about the good food served in this place. Naturally, my expectations went up a notch and so did my excitement.
What I initially liked about Zio’s is that they allow you to order 2 pizza halves! Cool huh? I think it’s plain smart allowing the customers to get to taste choices of your best selling food in one seating. On Mirz’ suggestion, we tried half a Zio’s All-In-One pizza which had everything on it and to complement, we tried the more simple Quatro Formaggi pizza.
Thick crust pizzas are really not my thing. But this was an exemption. Their crust is really soft and moist that you really can’t feel the thickness once you bite into it. It’s lightness beckons you to have yet another slice. The toppings of the All-in-One Pizza (1/2 Medium Sized Pizza at PhP230.00) was a medley of wonderful flavors of meat, pepper, onion, mushroom and cheese. Our unanimous favorite though was the Quatro Formaggi (1/2 Medium Sized Pizza at PhP200.00). Four tasteful cheeses on the delightfully soft crust was simple and clean with the right amount of saltiness. It was so good that days after, Mirz could not stop craving another slice of it. As for me, everytime I remember it my mouth just begins to water, just like now. It’s definitely a new favorite!
Taco Salad (PhP130.00). Let me just say, that if the restaurant has no plans of using tacos they should at least rename the dish to Taquitos Salad. And yes, it was the Jack ‘n Jill chips. In that case, it should rather be renamed to Jack ‘n Jill Taquitos Salad. I mean, it would be a gazillion times better if they made their own. Otherwise, there are a lot of taco’s in the market. They could at least use something the customers won’t be able to recognize just by looking at it. But to cut them some slack, the rest of the ingredients were pretty okay. The saving grace was the salsa! It didn’t really look like much but we had wipe it off clean! And everyone was pretty vocal about how good it was.
Pasta Marinara (PhP215.00) in general is one of my favorite pasta dishes. Their version of it was really good, too. The recipe was great and the seafood were fresh. Our only complaint was that the tahong (Asian green mussels) were undercooked. MJ speculates that it was just tossed in the pasta rather than separately boiled first.
Drinks. I think they should really think about coming up with their own drinks. As of the moment, the one’s they have are the canned variety. We each ordered four season’s and were disappointingly served the canned Del Monte. After all, food shouldn’t be the only sale point in a restaurant. Drinks give as much impact, too.
Service. It. was. bad. The place was consistently packed and there were only three servers and one had to be at the bakeshop counter whenever a customer rang for pastries. We were all parched when we got there. We had to keep asking to be served water for more times than I could count. Even a request for a knife took a few reminders. Worse was when this thing-I-won’t-divulge happened, there was no manager around. The servers allegedly “didn’t” have their manager’s number. Neither was there any upper management in the sister restaurant (Kubong Sawali) right next door. According to the crew we were speaking with, in such cases, the chef stands as the decision-maker. However, we couldn’t speak with the busy chef either. Fortunately for them, we were quite discreet about it. In the end, we had our pizza free. (If we weren’t in such good spirit, we would have demanded something more).
Anyway, I understand that the place was newly renovated. But management should never overlook quality service no matter how big or small the restaurant is. But yes, the food really is awesome.
Flying GeckoG/F Manahan Bldg Session Road
After our long ordeal with Zio’s we decided to go to Gecko for dessert But ended up just buying drinks. We each ordered fruit shakes with yogurt and spiced coffee for Joiy. The fruit shakes were nothing special. I could barely taste the yogurt in mine, but at least they were generous enough with the fruit. According to my friend, the same goes with the coffee.
This sandwich was enough to warrant another visit to the place. Must try more food here next time.
We were still hungry for dessert so we hopped off the the restaurant right across.
We each ordered a slice of cake. My personal favorites were the strawberry shortcake and the sugar-free mango cheesecake!
Strawberry Shortcake (PhP75.00/slice). Although they’re pretty generous with the cream filling of the shortcake, it wasn’t too heavy. The strawberry flavor isn’t overpowering and tastes rather fresh. The fruit mixed in were chosen meticulously.
The Sugar-free Mango Cheesecake (PhP85.00/slice) was very light. It kind of dissolves in the mouth. Although sugar less, it didn’t skimp on the mango flavor. Perfect to cap off the night as my stomach was already up to it’s capacity.
The Pistacio Chocolate Cake (PhP98.00/slice) was very decadent. Quite a heavy dessert but good nonetheless with it’s hint of pistacio.
The Sugar-free Tiramisu (PhP78.00/slice) was good, too! It wasn’t drenched in alcohol but gave off just enough flavor.
The Krema de Fruta (PhP58.00), a Filipino staple in most parties, was good. It was packed with fruits and the cream had the right amount of sweetness.
I haven’t been in this restaurant for quite some time. It’s a little sad they weren’t able to maintain the place. Needs a little cleaning. My friend even said the toilet was disgusting. Yikes!
I just love new discoveries! Here, in this little city I call home, it becomes quite a challenge. But if you just go out and take the turns you don’t normally take, you’re bound to find something. Sometimes even, they’re just right there waiting for you to finally step in.