Maginhawa Street has been the most talk about place in the Metro when it comes to eating good food. The popularity of the place has spread tremendously in social media sites, and even my colleagues are talking about how happy they are with the food and its unique offerings. The positive feedbacks are so strong that it made me want to explore each restaurant in this promising spot in Quezon City.

Yesterday, I was invited by a friend who hails from Marikina to visit their place and try the food offerings in the Calumpang area. Being a food lover, I was excited to know if there are other places which can level up to the restaurants in Maginhawa Street. I mean, I haven’t heard any hot spots in Marikina and I don’t even know how to get there since I’m from Caloocan North. My friend still insists that I will not regret taking a 2-hour commute to Marikina and it’ll all be worth it. I said okay because I haven’t been to this city and like most of the time, my curious personality prevailed.

I visited Café Lidia at 64 Calderon St. Calumpang, Marikina around 1pm and I can say that it’s really a popular place since its jam packed with people! Good thing they have a waiting area outside where people can sit while waiting for available seats. You can see the interior of the restaurant from the outside and one can tell that the place is carefully designed.

When a table is already available, my friend and I entered the place – and it has that unique, kind-of-Spanish ambiance. The paintings in the wall have Filipino suburban concept, you can see the beautiful paintings depict the Filipino way of living in the provinces. The walls are covered in mixture of orange, black and gray bricks which gives that Spanish vibe. Café Lidia makes you feel like you are dining in one of the restaurants abroad; they elevated the place to look like a European restaurant located in the Philippines.

The menu consists of appetizers with price ranging from P95-P365, salads offered at P130 to P225, affordable pizza from P220 to P260, sumptuous pasta dishes from P135 to P220, entrees consisting of chicken, beef, pork and seafood ranging from P190 to P495, sandwiches priced from P130 to P185, Ice Cream and Cakes ranging from P80 to P150 and even specialty drinks for late night or weekend bonding with friends.

The restaurant is generous when it comes to the serving size for each dish, and believe me when I say that 2 people can share one Salisbury Steak order! And for the taste, wow.. my friend was right. Spot on. Together with the steak, we also ordered Buffalo Wings, and Spaghetti Gamberi. They could have expanded the variants for the buffalo wings for people who are buffalo fanatics like me, but it’s okay since the regular buffalo wings available is really good (and plenty!) The pasta is light and it matches with the heaviness of the Salisbury Steak accompanied with yummy mashed potatoes. Also, the spaghetti dish has a lot of shrimps as compared to other pasta restaurants (more is always better than less haha).

The restaurant staffs are also presentable and I noticed that they know most of the customers in the place since majority of the diners are from the neighborhood. Truly, the restaurant has become almost a second home for everyone in the Calumpang area. Overall, I can say that money spent for this restaurant is really worth it- even my long travel! I still have my plans to explore Maginhawa Street, but if I have cravings for posh, tasty and affordable food, Marikina would be the first on my list. I am very much obliged to recommend this place for everyone and I will repeat what my friend told me earlier, you will not regret it!

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