Dining Out

Rowena’s: Lunch in Tagaytay

We go to Rowena’s for the pasalubong. Not pasalubong for other people but more in the nature of loot that we bring home after a visit to Tagaytay. The first time we went there, we were so happy — delicious cheesecakes the size of muffins that were reasonably priced. We bought three boxes, in different flavors, and the girls brought some with them to the condo. But the last time we bought Rowena’s cheesecakes, we weren’t so happy. The cheese filling had become sparse. Price control? Perhaps. But I’m getting ahead of my story. Let me start where I should — at the beginning.

It was last June, the Independence Day weekend. If you’re wondering how I can recall all the details, well, I have an amazing memory for details — at least, when it comes to things that interest me. I remember that it was late Monday morning and we were supposed to have lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant that people had been raving about — a house which had been converted to a restaurant from what I heard but the food was reputedly delicious and very inexpensive. It turned out, however, that the Vietnamese restaurant was only open on weekends. We turned back and decided to pass by Rowena’s for the cheesecakes.

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Parking was a headache. It was while waiting for a car to vacate a slot that we spotted a garden beside the store.

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In the garden were gazebos and a small pond. An outdoor restaurant and part of the Rowena’s establishment. We stayed for lunch. I had forgotten that I had some wonderful photos to share had it not been for the tofu chips entry. That was what reminded me that I never got to write about the lunch at Rowena’s and post the photos.

So, lunch at Rowena’s. We ordered sandwiches, salad, soup and side dishes. While waiting for our food, the girls and I went to the store and bought two boxes of cheesecakes, leche flan and ube jam.

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We had French fries, Alex’s staple.

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Sam wanted onion rings, we ordered a plate, and it turned out to be very good. Beer-battered onion rings. Served with spicy vinegar. Ooh la la.

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The Oriental chicken salad came with very fresh and crisp vegetables. And nuts. Scrumptious.

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The clam soup… well, I couldn’t find the clams.

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All the sandwiches were great. Full sized and bursting with filling. And they all came with tofu chips. Alex had tuna…

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Sam had chicken…

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Speedy and I shared the clubhouse.

We didn’t order dessert. Instead, we took the leche flan and ube jam that we bought at the store, asked the waiter for teaspoons and ordered coffee. Both the leche flan and ube jam were delicious. Creamy and decadent. Totally wickedly delicious.

We paid the bill (okay, how much the lunch cost, I have forgotten — I’m bad with Math) then drove back to the house where we were staying. It was the last day of our three-day stay and we wanted to head back to the city early, ahead of the crowd, and we still planned on going to the Canossa bazaar that I mentioned in the tofu chips entry, so we packed our things and we were on our way.

It wasn’t until we got home that we opened the boxes of mini cheesecakes. And that was when we discovered the scanty filling. So unlike the mini cheesecakes we bought from Rowena’s a mere five months earlier. Things sure change fast. But, at least, except for the clam soup with the invisible clams, we were happy with our al fresco lunch at Rowena’s.

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