Food

One Lovely Afternoon at Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

My to-do list last Sunday consisted of the following things:
1. Unwind after a long and dragging work week
2. Reward myself with a scrumptious meal
3. Go on a romantic date with my boyfriend (and if possible, try something new with him)
4. Learn how to take photos with a DSLR camera
With all of these missions in mind, I knew that Rustic Mornings was the best place to go to.
The name alone is already a giveaway: it’s a restaurant with a rustic ambiance specializing in breakfast food. True enough, everything about the restaurant was bucolic, from the color scheme of the interiors down to the embellished fabric they used to cover the water jug. After going through a stressful week, this pleasant setting was just what I needed.

When we entered, I saw a lot of trees and shrubs, and I thought “Am I in the right place?” When you see the greens, you know you’ve found your destination. Besides, there are two huge tarpaulins with the restaurant’s name outside the area so you’ll find it, for sure.

Pay attention to the small details like these.
Used empty bottles made into trees. Now that’s what I call “recycling”!
A breezy area with a reminder above that “Jesus never fails.”
Perfect for “ladies who lunch” or girlfriends who want to catch up over brunch.
I wanted to take this bike for a ride. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to ride a bike. Yes, I’m pathetic.
It’s also been a while since my boyfriend and I visited a new place together, so a romantic date in a place we have never been to before was on my agenda. For us, “romantic” did not have to be a candle-lit 5-course meal in a ritzy restaurant. Hence, I picked Rustic Mornings because it was romantic without being too extravagant. Dining al fresco, surrounded by greenery and idyllic gazebos while listening to soothing jazz standards and the singing of the birds, I think those were enough to give us those warm lovey dovey feelings.

 

 

This venue is sometimes booked by couples as a set for their pre-nup pictorials. Some even hold their weddings here, just like this couple. For those like me who want a simple and unconventional wedding, Rustic Mornings is a good choice.

Our orders took a while to arrive but it was understandable since there were a lot of people when we came in.

Waffles, buffalo chicken strips, and salad served with marinara chipotle (PHP 250)

I absolutely love the waffles! In fact, I wish I ordered a bigger plate of waffles instead. The chicken strips and salad were good, too, but the waffles… oh, I could eat ten of these! (*smacks lips*)

Country omelette (with bacon, potatoes, cheese, and leeks) served with 2 slices of crunchy ciabatta bread, herbed butter and fruit jam (PHP 240)

The omelette was actually pretty big and quite filling. But Mike said it would have been better if it came with more pieces of bread. Or maybe he just has a really big appetite?

Unfortunately for Mike, while he was feasting on his omelette, the mosquitoes were also feasting on his legs. Best to bring a mosquito repellent when coming here. I wasn’t bothered by the mosquitoes… much. I think I only got bitten once. I guess I’m not as tasty as Mike…

After eating, we took the opportunity to continue our “Digital Photography for Dummies” session. I wanted to learn the basics of taking photos with a DSLR camera, and Rustic Mornings was ideal both as a setting and as a subject. There was just so much to take photos of — little details like the shells on the ground and walls ornamented with a mishmash of disparate decors like shellfish and plates. In fact, while we were there, a group of people came in and started taking photos. I’m not sure if they actually ordered or if they just came in to take photos. Anyway, most of the photos in this post are my “test shots.” Not bad for my first time, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

A table big enough for a group of 10 or more

 

The ornaments on this wall are totally, well, off the wall! (In a cool way.)

 

This was the table next to ours. It was a really hot day when we went, but the waiters supply each table with their own electric fans.
This area, including the one in the photo below, can seat about 20 people.ย 
If you’re not too keen on dining amidst nature, you can stay in this enclosed studio which is still part of the garden. Sorry for the blurry shot. I’m still learning!
Inside the studio, you can check out the trinkets, figurines, and other heirlooms, just like what this guy did! I heard that some of these items came from the customers who dined there. We didn’t really have anything we could leave behind that was worthy of being displayed here, though… just our hearts. Haha! Cheesy!

 

 

 

 

If you love art and paintings, you will like it here.

 

 

 

 

 

Posing by Sharbat Gula, the famous “Afghan Girl.” Sorry, I know this is a renowned and beautiful work of art but we couldn’t help it.
The ducks have been beheaded!ย 

Cozy little lovers’ nook. Or at least, it looks to me as if it’s meant for lovers because the capiz curtains and the sheer white linen drapes make it look so dreamy. This is right smack at the center of the restaurant, but at least the drapes give it a little privacy.

I’m such a spice freak that I just had to take a photo of this.

According to Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet, “some of the items were destroyed during [the typhoon] Ondoy — the flood actually reached the ceiling. What you see are the remaining items, cleaned and refurbished. True to its name, Isabelo, which means ‘My God is Bountiful,’ this garden restaurant was able to rebound and rebuild after Ondoy. A beautiful recovery story.”

If you prefer to stay indoors rather than dine al fresco, you have the option to stay in this room.

It’s not as offbeat as it is outside but it still has that delicate, homey country feel to it. It kind of reminded me of Mom and Tina’s.

A cabinet full of white and blue miniature items. I loved this because I love all “baby” things!

 

 

 

I wish this place was closer to where I live. It would be nice to hang out here, have breakfast under the trees, and read a good book.

Just before we left the restaurant, a giant rock taught me a little life lesson, making sure that I didn’t leave the place empty-handed:
So I got everything in my checklist accomplished, but even without those tasks, I would love to come back to this place. As much as the place itself is charming, I heard that the food here are really delicious. Since I only got to sample two dishes, I need to return to try the rest of their yummy breakfast food! Next time, that will be on top of my to-do list!
Rustic Mornings by Isabelo
Address: #11 Isabelo Mendoza St. San Roque, Marikina City
Phone Numbers: (02) 510-6914, (02) 6812461, (0917) 700-5810
How to get there by public transport:
1. Ride the MRT Line 3 and get off at Cubao station
2. Ride the LRT Line 2 and get off at Katipunan station
3. Ride a jeep to Calumpang
4. Get off at Isabelo St. (by the Marikina Shoe Museum and near Otto)
5. You will see a narrow street on the right. Go straight and you will find Rustic Mornings
P.S.: The day did not end here. After Rustic Mornings, we walked to and explored the Marikina Shoe Museum. Read the post here.
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