My last Baguio trip was such a #tbt, I was young, naturally black haired and still a carnivore.
In my recent trip, I had to summon Dora the Hexplorer and take on the defensive, as it was my first time to ride a bus alone, to the north (#whattaloser). Still, with the promise of vegetables and that December chill, 6+ hours of Victory Liner was worth the pain in the butt, so to speak.
If you are expecting photos of mountains, camps and a lion’s head, sorry to burst your bubble, but I can be the pain in a butt of a tourist—too lazy to take out my phone and too indifferent to Mother Nature and her call for a #selfie.
Besides, with all the Baguio tourists doing the cliché and falling for the tourist traps, Google is sure to be flooded with #myawesomebaguiotripphotos and #baguiowiththebarkada or #ilovebaguioiwannalivehere. I wanna live in Baguio too but I can’t live with only one mall, which happens to be SM.
Prior to this journey, I managed to read a blog or two on where to eat and unconsciously remembered 3 names in my mental meal list: Bliss, Oh My Gulay and Azotea (OM, or is is Azalea? Apathy?) You can probably guess that the last item was not the one we visited. For the love of all things green, this may have even been named Amber! Not.
Oh my Gulay! (Seriously!)
Positioned on a rooftop along Session Road is Oh My Gulay! A green-ish habitation-cum-art-gallery, it is a resting place for vegans, hipsters, artist wannabes—and lost bloggers. For a monstrously named restaurant, it looks like Alice in Wonderland meets Goth meets Misty Day, which makes it oh-so-cool in my Baguio eats list.
The price range is also so-sooooo-cool, perhaps being in Baguio, with P100-200 per “pwede na” serving size of pasta or entrée. Since we had the habit of walking to and from places—feeling Hong Kong—we skipped the cab, burned calories and had every excuse to load on carbs!
The Onion Rings came with this savory Asian (tempura) dipping sauce that I wanted to finish with a teaspoon. Lightly crisp but a bit on the oily side, I’d say onion lovers would cry in delight with the size of the onions inside!
The Mushroom-onion Crepe was a strange choice, but was filled with stringy mushrooms and topped with this fabulous yogurt-garlic sauce. The crepe is a bit on the sweet side so treat it with dessert-ly reverence and it will pay you back with healthy digestion.
The simple sounding Tomato-pesto pasta is the plain Jane in the pasta list. Still, it was a hefty serving for two, came with a bit bloated noodles and had that sweet tinge of—strawberry or sugar? The slight chunks of tomato and basil strips made this one chunky vegetarian fest.
All in all, being part vegetarian, it is a comfort to find places such as this. Not having to ask if there is meat in the dish or if it’s vegetarian—ah yes—now that’s living the life, vegetarian style!
Forest House (More of cabin in the woods, sans the horror, gore and bad acting.)
The Forest House is located near Camp John Hay (or within it?) and true to its name is a house-cabin that will welcome you with wooden interiors, thick carpets, a real life burning fireplace, families singing, warmth, joy and hope—you know what I mean! They have a veranda that exposes you to the natural cold, so if you don’t have a sweater at hand, you really should not have visited Baguio—or better yet, just stay inside. I don’t think they allow guests to roast s’mores but you can try.
I was tempted to order soup but realized that I was better off having dessert (that’s called compromise), so the appetizer ended up being something as normal as Calamares. The drawback of sitting in the veranda is that food gets cold before they even reach you, so I suppose ordering calamares was not that bad of an idea.
Main course was Baked Fish with Spicy Ginger Paste and mashed potatoes on the side. For a part vegetarian, I am bound to lose in the guess-that-vegetable game, since I learned that I am actually a vegg-ignoramus. Well, carrot is a given but that white one is so not turnip. What the heck is labanos?!?
The dory was a bit on the salty side so good thing the mashed potato was unsalted. It suddenly felt like Forest House – Asian edition. Good enough.
For dessert was the Black and White Torte, which I chose over cheesecake and chocolate mousse. This came in 3 layers of monochrome madness, the middle layer being the best. The top portion is not cheesecake but was like a creamy vanilla yema, if that makes sense. Very filling, I dare not think of the calories. Still it was an awesome way to cap my chill meal!
Other Baguio treats were present but did not warrant photos (#tootamad) such as the staple Good Shepherd sweets (I bought chocolate chip oatmeal cookies—how mainstream, I know!), Solibao (Filipino restaurant but I had Fish and Tofu in Tausi Sauce), Baguio Country Club raisin bread (ate it for 3 days straight) and the freshest strawberries in the Philippines.
Ever heard of Sno Cone? Well you’ll never taste it, but it makes a great vintage photo.
Lastly, a trip would not be complete without my personal souvenir. Ah yes, weapon of choice: the wooden Kershaw! Thanks Gambit! 🙂
Till next time, Baguio! May I still have the same hairstyle during my next journey.