Experiencing Wayward Tagaytay Through Its Food
Verde View Restaurant
Going Through A Tourist Town And Looking for a few good places
It was just a year or so ago that my wife and I began driving through Tagaytay looking for memorable foodie experiences. We are new to the people and places here but after suffering for several decades in the ever growing traffic hell of Manila, traveling through the remote and sombre fog draped roads made us feel like we were actors in a dreamy version of "The X files" meets "Bizarre Foods". At first glance, Tagaytay or T-town (as we called it) seems like a typical tourist town, with its brassy souvenir shops and garish tourist restaurants broadcasting local food menus in multicolor neon signs to everyone. After a few minutes of driving through this circus, the distant scenic view of Taal Volcano and of the lake hushes one's spirit, leaving our eyes to search for closure amid the occasional farm orchards and fields.
Our first notable experience was not in T-town but in a nearby town called Alfonso. After driving past the town entrance, past sidewalk shops displaying hanging sides of beef, our attention was caught by a hardware store followed by a restaurant called Verde View perched suicidally by the side of the road, so close that it has probably lost a few patrons whenever a bus or speeding car drives a hair inch too near. Once safely inside a parking nook, we were offered a choice between sitting at a standard village eatery or checking out their resort dining settings. We took the more adventurous choice, following our friendly waiter down concrete steps overgrown with bamboo foliage, past well concealed nipa huts, man made waterfalls, ponds and even more stairways.
The resort route was definitely not senior citizen friendly but marching through the foliage brought back childhood fantasies of joining a Disney jungle safari. Finally, after pausing at a jungle clearing, we entered through some sliding doors into a small dining room built for a few couples. This was not casual dining ala Manila fast food style but something even more revealing. We enjoyed the provincial menus served hot and in private. Unlike at many food stops where the food was served cold and in noisy crowded halls, we could still feel the warmth emanating from our plates. The cooking oil used in the dishes was fresh and there was a surprising absence of msg and other food flavor additives. The trip felt like a success, twisted as it was in our memories like a day at a roller coaster park followed by a seafood buffet. We would come back again, avoiding the the breathless hill side walk through the jungle, and enjoy the food that this resto offered.
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© 2018 Gregory Floro