If you live in Bacolod City in the Negros Island in the Philippines, I'm sure you're familiar with all the restaurants and cafés not just those inside the two popular malls of the city, but also those along the very long Lacson Street.
Although I'd rather go to El Ideal in Silay City if I want to try the yummiest local delicacies in the island, there are many restaurants in Bacolod City that offer you their versions of the local delicacies as well.
But sometimes, we all crave for something else, don't we? Like Italian, perhaps? Luckily, and thanks to Tito James and Tita Helen, I was able to try the top three Italian restaurants on three separate occasions during my vacation days in the island. Although they all were very good, one really impressed me!
That day, I craved for pesto pasta. So, Tita Helen brought me to Italia Restaurant at Paseo Verde Building, and although I didn't see pesto pasta on their menu, the waiter told me they'd gladly prepare one for me!
(Loving the pesto pasta swimming in olive oil!)
And between forkfuls of al dente pasta covered with pesto and dripping in olive oil, I reminisced the days when I worked in Makati City, where I discovered a small café close to our office along Paseo de Roxas serving a very enjoyable plate of pesto pasta. During those years, whenever I got stressed from work, I just walked for ten minutes and immersed myself and my palate with this stress remedy.
(My pesto with half-and-half pizza!)
And that day, over lunch, I especially enjoyed our chat over Italia Restaurant's pesto pasta and pizza. My tummy appreciated that the pesto was swimming in olive oil, which just meant the restaurant doesn't scrimp on its ingredients. A few times at some Italian restaurants, I'd find myself facing a very dry plate of pesto pasta, which would bore any pesto lover. Here, at Italia Restaurant, my faith on pesto pastas has been restored, so to speak!
Aside from the pasta and pizza, we were amused with the sculptures on display inside the restaurant. Those figures with the colored balloons looked playful and charming.
(Michael Cacnio sculptures decorate the restaurant)
And as if the experience couldn't be topped by the yummy pesto, Tita Helen brought me to the neighboring Anne Co Cakes for dessert and coffee, where I discovered a new favorite: almond caramela! Although the sweet, chocolatey richness of the dessert was heavy, it didn't stop me from nibbling all of this delightful treat between sips of my iced café mocha.
(My almond caramela with iced café mocha)
As I always say, writing a food blog is difficult, not because of the narration, but because my palate always has to relive the yummy experience, which always leave me salivating again! Ha-ha-ha!
But thanks to Tita Helen, I got to enjoy a special pesto and pizza, and discovered a new favorite dessert! I guess this is not just island living, but yummy island eating as well! I should visit these places again.