I’ve been wanting some time off lately because life has secretly been driving me crazy, so when my family told me they were planning to go up to Tagaytay over the weekend, I decided to come along. No Internet, nothing to remind me about work… Something about being away from the city relaxes the soul somehow. And yet I’m afraid that Tagayatay is quickly becoming commercialized. The traffic is terrible now, but when you get to the place you wish to arrive at, you can’t deny the glorious presence of natural beauty. I hope it stays this way despite all the developments being done here. The weather is usually so cool it’s actually a pleasure to bask in the sun and to spend time outdoors.
I’m trying to think where else in the city has a view like this. Up here in Tagaytay, a grassy field is right around the corner from our house, which is awesome! (I’ve always wanted to frolic in tall grass haha!)
I don’t usually come up here as often as my family does, but Tagaytay is undeniably a cesspool of interesting restaurants, most of them even growing their own fruits and vegetables. There is always a restaurant I’m wanting to visit. This time I jumped at the chance to visit Breakfast At Antonio’s while I’m here.
Just like with my Wildflour experience, I tried to avoid reviews and features about Antonio’s though that’s actually difficult to do since this joint is getting more and more popular by the minute.
On the front porch, there is a rack full of homegrown herbs: Rosemary, thyme, parsley, cilantro, two kinds of basil, even marjoram– all ready for the home gardener to purchase.
Entering the restaurant, you are greeted with the day’s specials. If I remember correctly, these dishes aren’t in the menu so keep your eyes peeled for these yummies.
The interior of the restaurant is simple, wonderfully bright, and clean. The windows are humongous, letting in ample natural light. They are mostly open and merely covered by a wire screen, allowing the wind to blow into the restaurant for a cool feeling. The restaurant was jam-packed so we had to wait to be seated. This was a wonderful chance to look around.
To the right of the entrance is the bakery, patterned to look like a quaint and cozy little area lined with shelves of bread. You can take your pick of “pasalubong” or take-home treats back to the city. They have some of their homegrown, very delicious, very fresh-looking vegetables and greens on display, as well as local sugar products.
There are also some cookies, bars, and of course, Antonio’s famous natural jams and curds. They are very prettily packaged so they would make great pasalubong or gifts to friends in the city. There is quite a selection of them so if you ever have doubts as to which one you want to try, you can taste-test them first to find a favourite.
We bought a jar of Mixed Berry Jam (it has whole pieces of blueberries inside so I don’t doubt the authenticity) and the Banana Macadamia Jam (haven’t opened this yet but it looks like a fantastic flavour combination).
What I like about Antonio’s is the fact that it uses mostly natural energy, like the giant fans that allow the cool air from the outside to drift in.
At the back is a door that opens to the stunning backyard.
Beyond here is probably where the fruits and veggies are grown though I was too hungry to go down and explore. I saw a bit of the vegetables, mostly tomatoes and bell peppers, hanging down the foundations of the restaurant. Would be amazing to have a backyard like this one.
Finally, we were called to be seated. We were seated very close to the windows and were in the perfect position to enjoy the natural breeze and cool weather. There was so much to choose from on the menu. I honestly could not pick one single dish I wanted to eat. I wanted to eat maybe one from each category on the menu– that was how appetizing all the dishes read like. I wanted to order pancakes, crepes, everything! The breakfast dishes offered here can also be eaten during lunch and dinner. Some of the Filipino breakfast favourites are composed of rice or potatoes, fish/meat, and eggs.
And by the way, all the dishes we ordered were as good as they look in the photos. Not kidding.
Speaking of breakfast faves, most FIlipinos love eating canned corned beef with rice for breakfast, and here at Antonio’s, you can enjoy Homemade Corned Beef with Rice and Beans.
My Dad went with the special, the Beef Stroganoff Pasta with Gherkin Mushroom Cream Sauce. The flavours were amazing, the cream sauce smooth and mild enough to allow the beef and the peppers to shine.
For smoked salmon lovers (like myself, though I didn’t order this), this Smoked N.Z. King Chinook on Whole Wheat Bread might interest you.
Meat-lovers on the other hand can have a go at this Smoked Pork Baby Back Ribs w/ Mexican Rice & Baked Beans dish.
If you like truffle, this Portabello Tagliatelle w/ Truffle Cream Sauce will surely satisfy you.
My Mom and I shared this Roast Chicken stuffed w/ Rosemary & Garlic Potato dish. It had this amazing honey sauce that really makes the chicken scrumptious. It’s roasted so tenderly the meat falls off the bone. You would literally just clean the whole plate off with the chicken.
The food here is cheaper than that of Wildflour, though I feel this still caters to the upper bracket of society. However, I would think that if you wanted to splurge on a special meal while you’re here in Tagytay, this is a good pick.
Now wipe your drool off the screen and make your way to Antonio’s! I’ll make sure to try out their breakfast fare next time. Excited for the special pancakes! 😀