We’ve been to Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm many times but it wasn’t until yesterday that we noticed a sign right before the farm — a sign that says something about pizza made with hand-picked vegetables. Perhaps, the sign wasn’t there yet the last time we went to see the honeybees. It’s hard to imagine it being there and us not noticing when it says “pizza” and “hand-picked vegetables.” That’s a formula that says, “Yes, we will try it.” So, yesterday, after the visit with the honeybees, we did.
That’s the establishment right there. A mere hut. And there is a second sign that assured us we were in the right place. Casetta del Divino Zelo.
A hut? Oh, yes. The flooring isn’t even concrete. It is gravel. But if, like us, you’re discerning enough to know that it’s really the food that matters rather than the trimmings, you won’t mind entering the hut. No, not at all. Because the food is truly delicious. Rustic, unpretentious, delicious.
That’s the inside of the hut. No fancy tables — just concrete slabs and matching benches.
And that’s it as viewed from the garden behind it. The one in the middle with the brown roof.
Casetta del Divino Zelo is run by nuns. I’m not sure who does the cooking and the baking but, whoever it is, whoever they are, must be congratulated.
The pizzas were on display in a glass casing right on the counter. PhP250.00 (about USD6.41) for a whole. They looked enticing but we had just been to Mushroomburger and Java Jazz after that, and Sam said she was still full. But she would treat us to cakes. And drinks. And we ordered tiramisu and coconut juice.
The tiramisu was priced at PhP50.00 per (about USD1.25) and, at that price, I really wasn’t expecting much. When the cakes came, I immediately sized them up and decided they were small. Speedy was the first to try, Sam asked if it was good, Speedy said it was, and I asked if it was good-good or good enough because it’s cheap anyway. And he said they were really good.
So, I tried mine. And, yes, the tiramisu was good. Strong coffee, moist and not cloyingly sweet. Impressed with the cake, we decided to try the pizza. We knew that we wouldn’t be able to finish one whole but we could get them by the slice.
I asked Speedy to order just one slice on trial. He stood up, went to the counter, ordered and came back to the table. He said he ordered a whole pizza instead of a slice, asked that a slice be heated and the rest be boxed for take-out (Alex was still not feeling too well and had stayed at home).
Two slices of pizza (a quarter of the whole) arrived. With mushrooms, bell peppers, herbs… Oh my goodness. I’m not really a fan of pan pizza but this was no pan pizza like we’ve ever had before. It was like foccaccia with pizza toppings. The freshness of the bread… you know, that’s one thing about baking bread at home. You can easily tell between freshly baked and mass-produced commercial crap. And what we had at Casetta del Divino Zelo was so fresh. Fresh tasting. Fresh smelling. So, so good.
That’s the rest of the pizza in the box.
And those are the details for Casetta del Divino Zelo including the complete address and telephone numbers. It’s open only on weekends. We’ll drop by again when we’re in the area. Next time, we’ll have pasta along with pizza and cake.