soul food.

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”  J.R.R. Tolkien
Finally, Sagada, Mountain Province!
I have a confession to make. I love food. I always have. And my dress sizes over the years showed it. Down to a few dress sizes later and after almost 2 years of counting calories, I still love food! These days however,  I love the home cooked, healthy, less meat kind. Prepared as I order them. Made with the freshest ingredients. Cooked with joy, love and passion for food. Presented with much thought if not art. And hot. 

Still, good food, according to Anthony Bourdain, is very most often of the simplest kind. 

Recently, I took my first ever trip to Sagada in the cold Mountain Province to get away from the normal and get some sense of much needed nourishment for my restless, starving soul. I also wanted to engage in meaningful conversations with friends I don't see very often over food. 

Very good food.
I am not much of a tea drinker but I couldn't get enough of this blend!
 “I am not a glutton - I am an explorer of food” Erma Bombeck

And in Sagada, I only had one place in mind: Sagada Brew. 

This is my very bias one-time only exclusive post on food. 

(Disclaimer: I'm friends with the chef and owners; this is NOT  a food blog and I was not paid to write this post. :) )

I was merely fed simple, very good meals. 

Found along the main road  going down toward Sumaging Cave,  this cafe felt like coming home.
Brighty lit interior calls for long conversations over food and coffee (or local wines)

This super basic Pumpkin soup warmed my body and charmed my heart: MUST TRY
"Three or four ingredients, as long as they are of the highest and freshest quality, can be combined in a straightforward way to make a truly excellent and occasionally wondrous product.” Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential
            Sagada Brew, their  version of a tomato based pasta with Sagada's very own Stag (smoked meat) , and yes, this is ONE serving.Sagada Brew Pasta, their  version of Arrabbiata with Sagada's very own Etag (smoked meat) , and yes, this is ONE serving.

A crepe with the freshest fruits in season? YES please. On this plate: passion fruit, blueberry jam, mangoes, oranges and everything good for you!

   Starbucks' chicken pesto sandwich has nothing on this Pesto Chicken sandwich,  it was so good I had more than 1 serving in my 4 day stay 

When was the last time you  had sweet potato pancakes and fresh salad for breakfast?!!!
I went nuts over these Nutella Butterscotch bonbons
In his novel My Name is Red, one of my favorite authors Orhan Pamuk said that drinking coffee is an absolute sin, the Devil's ruse. I beg to differ and instead agree with Kant, "Coffee! Coffee!" 
A trip in the mountains is always made bearable with good coffee and great conversations :)
There's never been a sadness that can't be cured by breakfast food--Ron Swanson
  Sagada Brew Beef Tapa set: This breakfast plate is as comforting as they get. 
Espresso pot
“You can't just eat good food. You've got to talk about it too. And you've got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.” Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird
One of their main dishes to try after a long trek or cave exploration
Not a fan of cold coffee based drinks but this had me on the first sip
Two words: fresh. basil.
“The time it took to prepare didn't matter, because there is no such thing as wasted time in the kitchen--rather that is where we go to recover lost time.”  Laura Esquivel, Between Two Fires: Intimate Writings on Life, Love, Food and Flavor (Read Like Water for Chocolate too :) )
I love this salad and their secret french dressing is delightful to a calorie conscious tongue
I could have eaten this whole bowl if I was not so busy with other plates...

Green eggs and sausage
I am a sucker for caramel. Sorry but Baguio's Hill Station's Death by Chocolate doesn't even come close to this  and there is a chocolate version :)

“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.”  Chocolat, Joanne Harris

As for  the place itself,

Sagada is surprisingly enchanting.

Slow paced.



I was

 Much needed time to breathe and read and remember that the world is not mine to save...

Irrespective of how YOU might choose to answer my prayers, you promise a transcendent peace to those who bring their petitions, thanksgiving and requests to you...
To be fully seen by somebody then and be loved anyhow, this is a human offering that borders on momentous...Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
On a much needed hike, this FIND almost on top of Mount Ampucao!
Room with THIS view.
It was pleasantly surprising to see a piece of poetry inside Ohayami Bus 
The sovereign grace of God to turn the unplanned place and the unplanned pace into the happiest ending imaginable-John Piper, on faith in Future Grace

To fighting the fights that matter, with RJ (the long haired guy) of Sagada Brew :)


 And of course,
 a trip is always memorable because of who you take it with...

….and then going back to normal doesn't seem so bad after all.
eat. laugh. linger. 


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