Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sagada Brew (Sagada, Mountain Province)




Sagada Brew is one of the newest restaurants in Sagada. I have made my "Where to Eat?" research before going on that trip and this place is on top of my list.

We decided to have our late lunch in Sagada Brew and hoped that the place won't disappoint. Friends and I decided to have our entire last full day in Sagada just chilling and enjoying the scenery. It was a chilly afternoon when we walked from the guesthouse downhill to the cafe. We arrived with only a few customers dining and had the patio seats to ourselves.





As expected, the service is relaxed and the staff is limited. We anticipated to be served slowly but was surprised to be served very quickly. Here's the menu before the food pics. :)







Here's what we ordered.

Fruit in Season Shake (Php 100)

Sagada Orange Shake (Php 100)

Mocha Frapuccino (Php 120)

Sagada Brew Pasta (Php 150)

Sagada Orange Chicken (Php 200)
*Came with salad, bottomless citrus water and a dessert


Creamy Pesto Pasta (Php 150)

The drinks were good. I particularly enjoyed the Sagada Orange Shake. For the food, the Sagada Chicken and the Pesto Pasta are ok. The Sagada Brew Pasta, at first I thought was noteworthy since it has "Etag", a Sagadan local ham. I was trying to figure out what was wrong with the dish but I cannot pin point right away. I thought the pasta was a little over cooked, maybe the red sauce was too sweet, almost copying the usual Filipino birthday spaghetti. I was thinking maybe they could have tried something else with the pasta that would compliment the Etag. Perhaps it would work well if it the pasta dish is oil based, with sun dried tomato and garlic, making the Etag stand out. After all, it is the star of the dish. Yes, we did enjoy the food. Out of 5, I will give it only 2 stars though. 

Oh they also serve beers in can if you wanna just chill and chat with friends.

Sagada Brew
Sagada, Mountain Province
Contact Number:  0998 988 6257
Website:  http://sagadabrew.wordpress.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sagadabrew/



Orange Picking at Rock Inn (Sagada, Mountain Province)



Our Kiltepan experience, not as pleasant as I expected it to be turned around as soon as we move forward to our other plans in Sagada. I am not a morning person, and waking up at 4:00 o'clock in the morning is something that I don't look forward to. Adding the fact that Kiltepan that day was packed with rowdy and noisy tourists. The sunrise was spectacular, it will forever be impressive, but the total experience I had was not something that I would tell my kids in the future. 

Anyway, the gang decided to take a quick stop at Rock Farm Inn for breakfast before heading back to the guesthouse. I knew that they have  Orange Picking as an attraction which is suited best for a lazy tourist like me. 

Rock Inn is a 4 hectare estate with a restaurant, an Inn and their very own orange orchard. It is about 10-15 minutes away from the town proper. I saw the signage before hitting the Sagada bus stop and made an estimate of how far it was from the town proper. 

We arrived at around 7:00 in the morning and the place is starting to get packed with customers. Our tour guide immediately advised us to schedule our orange picking before the influx of tourist comes in. We were lucky enough to be first on the list and we were briefed right away on what to do and what to expect during the Orange Picking activity. We paid Php 50 per head for that and was told that we can eat as much oranges as we want! Yay!


Ready. Set. Pick!

We walked for about 5 minutes and arrived at the orange orchard. I was expecting to see a lush orchard of bright orange fruits but was surprised to see Dalandans instead. I am unsure but I think we came in the time where the oranges are still green. The orange season by the way is not all year round so try to ask if the orange picking is at season during your visit. I have included a contact number at the end of this post.


Our tour guide, giving us the DOs and DONTs.


I know, I know, naghahanap ka ng orange. Waley! Dalandan lang meron!

Orange picking! I finished around 4 oranges in a span of 15 minutes! Yum!

Although disappointed with the fact that I will not be picking bright oranges, I was equally happy to sample the fruits in the orchard and enjoyed the sweetness and freshness of it. We were also told that we can harvest and take home the oranges we will pick at Php 100 per kilo. Not bad at all! 

After 30 minutes, we decided to end the tour and go back to the restaurant where we ordered a delicious breakfast and enjoyed Sagada's cool morning breeze. 



Path to the cafe 
Small cottage for private dining

Common dining area. Smokers are welcome. :) 

We ordered a hearty Filipino breakfast consisting of delicious Longanisa, Tocino and Pancakes. Each of the rice meals were served with a refreshing local tea. 


LongSiLog (Longanisa, Sinangag, Itlog)

ToSiLog (Tocino, Sinangag, Itlog)

Pancakes with Banana

Kainan na!

The staff who took care of our orders is an angel. He was the jolliest person in Sagada I have met during the visit. Forgot his name but he certainly made everyone's morning. :) The food is good too. Servings are just right for the price. The veggies are fresh, as expected, and the tea is refreshing and delicious. 

The visit to Rock Farm Inn I would say is one of my favorite moments during my Sagada trip. Oh and I have also met different people from different parts of the Philippines! 


Manila, Cebu, Borongan, and Cagayan de Oro, represent! Nice meeting all of you! 

Go try the Orange Picking activity and dine in their cafe. Rock farm Inn is a perfect place to relax and enjoy Sagada's cool weather.

Rock Inn
Stauton Road, Sagada
Mountain Province
Contact Number:  0905 554 5950
Website:  http://rockinnsagada.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RockInnSagada/?fref=ts

Salt and Pepper (Sagada)



There are a few food options in Sagada. The service for most of the restaurants are relaxed, in fact very relaxed to the point that you have to allot about an hour before your food is served. That is already expected in any Sagada restaurants and one should brace themselves for hours of waiting if dining in Sagada.

After a long and tiring bus ride from Baguio, we arrived in Sagada with empty stomachs, ready to devour a good meal. I told Bon that we can eat at the very first restaurant that we can see from the guesthouse and saw Salt & Pepper along the way.

We arrived past lunch time at around 2pm and some of the tables were occupied by customers. Bon and I decided to sit at their dining tables along their terrace area so we can people watch down the street. We were handed the menu and ordered right away. I told Bon about Sagada's infamous serving time so as to manage his expectations.

True enough, it caused some customers to be irked. A huge group of customers sitting beside our table endlessly complained of how the service is as slow as a turtle. It was honestly irritating to listen to. They should have at least researched about the serving time but on the other hand, I do understand how monstrous one can be when hungry. :P

We decided to order their Classic Pepper Steak with rice and their Pepper Steak with gravy and rice. We also tried their Mocha Java Frappe and their Fruit Frappe.



Mocha Java Frappe (Php 160)


Fruit Frappe ( Php 160)


Classic Pepper Steak with Rice (Php 190)



Pepper Steak with Gravy (Php 190)

The Frappes came in after around 15 minutes of waiting. The quality is uncompromised though the price is a bit steep for me. The food came after we finished our drinks but did not took that long compared to the whining group over at the other table. 

The servings are hefty, pork steaks are packed with flavor. Assuming that it is native the meat is rather tough and a bit hard to chew. Nevertheless, the flavors were great enough to make our tummies happy. 

We haven't had the opportunity to sample their other offerings but upon paying at the counter, we saw some local pastries and cakes. 

Overall, my companion and I thinks that Salt and Pepper is an ok restaurant. Perhaps we've had our best meal in Sagada here. 

Salt and Pepper
South Road, Sagada
Mountain Province
Contact Number:  0998 979 8695
Website:  http://www.sagadasaltandpepper.com/
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/sagadasaltandpepper/


Sunday, January 10, 2016

George Guest House (Sagada)

My friend Bon asked me to join him in an impromptu trip to Sagada about a few months back. One thing I love about impromptu trips is the unpredictability of all aspects related to it. Knowing how much of a planner I am, I asked Bon if he had reserved or arranged anything for the trip. His answer (which is a big NO) prompted me into researching for all things Sagada related with only a few days left before we left. 

I have messaged a lot of hostels in Sagada a few days before our arrival, and George Guest House was among the first few who responded a few minutes after I have sent my query. We decided to stay in their hostel since we have no time to haggle and choose among other hostels around. I asked if they require a reservation fee but the person who attended to my queries told me that we can just pay as soon as we get there. 

We arrived in a cool, and sunny Sagada at around 12 noon and asked around for directions. From the bus stop where all passengers bound for Sagada would alight, you would see a long downhill road which you should take to get to the guest house. It's around 5 minutes walk from the bus stop and almost all the locals know where it is. You will pass by some of the famous Sagada restaurants like Yogurt House and Salt and Pepper. 

The bus stop on the right. You will see a downhill road on the left leading to the guest house. 

We arrived at the hostel and the caretaker welcomed us and showed us the room. For PHP 600, the room can accommodate 2 pax. The room has 2 double beds, a private bathroom with hot and cold shower, and a terrace with a fantastic view. :)  


We got the Pink Room! Bagay samin ni Bon :) 


View from the room.

You can see Sagada's main street from the rooms. This is where most of the restaurants and hostels are located.

You don't want to expect a lot from the hostel. Everything is pretty basic but comfortable. The staff o is very helpful and accommodating. We have no plans whatsoever, but the gladly helped us find an awesome tour guide with no extra cost. I would recommend this place to anyone who wants to visit Sagada. 

George Guest House 
2619 Sagada
Mountain Province
Website:  http://georgesagada.blogspot.com/
Twitter:  @survivingsagada
Contact Numbers:  Main Building: (63) 918-548-0406 / (63) 920-948-3133 (Look for Dora)
Annex Building: (63) 920-607-0994 / (63) 939-902-0996 (Look for Irenuis)