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Alvi's Albay Cafe

     Since I'm in my hometown almost half the time, I've decided to feature more of the places and destinations in the Bicol region so my readers can get to know the place where I grew up.  I don't really go out a lot when I'm in Bicol but I will do my best to feature places of interest whenever there's an opportunity for such. My first post for 2013 is about a new restaurant in Daraga, Albay which opened last July, 2012: Alvi's Albay Cafe.


Alvi's Albay Cafe at night.
Alvi's is located at Brgy. Sagpon, 4200 Daraga, Albay.
Geographical location courtesy of Google Maps.  (Click the image to enlarge).

     According to the personnel attending to us, Alvi's Albay Cafe is owned by Legazpi City Vice Mayor Bitoy Roces and Legazpi City Councilor Alan Rañola.  Sounds like the name was a derivative of the owners' names. Anyway, Alvi's is situated in the ancestral house owned by the Imperial family with the main restaurant on the second floor of the building.  There are also a few tables at the lawn for those who wishes to hang out in an open space. And since it's an ancestral house, photographs and memorabilias of the Imperial family are evident throughout the restaurant.

The Food

A quick glance at Alvi's comfort food selections.
     I usually ask for the best seller specially if it's my first time to dine in the restaurant. As I've mentioned in the past, it's my subtle way of giving them a chance to impress me so I would want to come back and dine again. The young lady attending to us was not really helpful so after looking at their menu, here's what we ordered:


Tintin's Caldereta (P225.00), beef stewed in tomato sauce, served with potato salad and rice.
     For myself, I picked Tintin's Caldereta. (Tintin is Congressman Imperials' granddaughter. Some of what's on the menu have names, apparently, as tribute to the members of the family).  Tintin's Caldereta is beef stewed in tomato sauce with potatoes and carrots. Well, I like anything with tomato so the dish definitely appealed to me. The beef was tender and tasty and all that's in it complemented the taste. Tintin's Caldereta definitely did not disappoint. The potato salad was also delicious though I found it redundant to have potatoes both on my main course and on my side dish. Their potato salad strongly reminded me of Russian Potato Salad from Conti's.

Pollo Cordon Bleu (P195.00), breaded chicken fillets with ham and cheese,
served with (something that looked like) coleslaw and rice.
     My friend Ronald Lita requested for Pollo Cordon Bleu. He actually ordered the dish just before I did, pfft! I'm a huge fan of Cordon Bleus and it's a favorite comfort food. Anyway, I was still able to try the cordon bleu from Ronald's plate and it tasted just fine though it felt as if it swam in too much oil. Also, the presentation can do a lot better. You can see on the photo above how the side dish looked all watery and lumpy. I didn't ask Ronald how the coleslaw tasted, but presentation-wise, it would've looked more appetizing if the dish was paired with sauteed vegetables as indicated on the menu. Coleslaw is good, but they need to make sure they look and taste fresh.

Alvi's Desserts:  Buttery Pound Cake (P60.00).
     For my dessert, I asked the lady taking our orders what she can recommend I have. She suggested I  try either Crispy Apple Triangles or Buttery Pound Cake. Since I'm not a fan of apples, I opted for the latter. Turned out, Buttery Pound Cake was too heavy for me.  It was, after-all,  a pound cake, haha!  Don't get me wrong, the cake was delicious but if you've just had a big meal like I did, you wouldn't want to eat buttery pound cake. Yeah, it would've been perfect with coffee like what's suggested on the menu but that night, it just didn't work for me. It was an unintelligent order on my part. Too bad they don't have the usual Filipino guilt pleasures like leche flan. I always go for that one, LOL!

Fudgy Brownies ala Mode (P80.00).
     My companion was more lucky with his dessert, his Fudgy Brownies Ala Mode tasted awesome and of course, ice cream seldom goes wrong. The chocolate-rich brownies were firm outside and really moist inside. Yumm! Also, I noticed that the servings are quite huge so I suggest ordering just one dessert for every 2 diners.  

Buko Mango Shake (P90.00).
     For our thirst quenchers, we both went for Buko Mango Shake. I had high hopes since the fusion of buko and mango sounded appealing but it did not quite deliver. Perhaps the mangoes they used were not that ripe yet because I can taste a bit of sourness. And it did not help that the buko at the bottom of the glass can't go through the straw because they were sliced a bit huge. Maybe I'll get lucky on my next visit when the mangoes are already ripe?  ☺


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The Place

     I totally enjoyed the old-house set-up inside the restaurant which certainly made me feel at home, ready to take on a huge meal. The furniture and the interior gives off a really classic atmosphere, perfect for making a good first impression if you're on a date or bringing friends from out of town.  Here are some of the photos I took:

Classic furniture pieces inside Alvi's.
This is one side of the restaurant: well lit, air-conditioned, and just looks classic.
Memorabilias and photographs of the Imperial family found all throughout the premises,
on walls, doors, and furniture tops.  These I saw on my way to the restroom.
One side of the first floor of Alvi's Albay Cafe.
The receiving area.  The stairs on the right leads to the main restaurant on the second floor.
The well-manicured lawn.  Alvi's has ample parking space as well.
The Services

     The people at Alvi's were friendly and quite accommodating though I think they can use some more training on hospitality services. Mastery of their menu, for example, is a must. For new diners specially those who are unsure of what they want, they should be able to recommend items on their food list that will make the visitors totally enjoy their experience -- something called like "pro-active customer service." ☺

     Overall, our dining experience at Alvi's was just acceptable. Will I come back? Perhaps yes, there are many other interesting selections I've seen on the menu that I wanna try. And besides, I want to give them a chance because I feel that they can do so much more. They're just on their 6th month and there's plenty of room for improvement.  In my opinion, Alvi's has a lot of potential.  For more info about Alvi's Albay Cafe, you can visit their facebook page.

     That's all for now folks! Talk to me on the comments' section below. By the way, if you're from Bicol and you have a restaurant or place that you want me to feature/review here on The Pinoy Wanderer, feel free to send me an email at yourlook2day@yahoo.com. I will do my best to visit you if I'm in the area.

      Until my next wandering!
tags: destinations in Bicol Region, destinations in Albay, destinations in Legazpi City, places of interest in Bicol Region, restaurants in Legazpi City, restaurants in Bicol Region, restaurants in Daraga, Albay, top restaurants in Legazpi City, top restaurants in Bicol Region, good food in Legazpi City, Albay, Bicol

10 comments:

  1. parekoy, nag stay for good ka na ba jan sa Bicol?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey fiel, not really. Half the time I'm in Manila, half the time I'm in here. I want to have the best of both worlds, haha!

      Delete
  2. Wow. The place looks actually good pero di pala masyadong naimpress si Mike. Korek, baka mahiyain pa yung mga crew sa mga customers hehe. In fairness naglaway ako sa dessert! Penge naman. Anway, I miss Albay! Sana makauwi kami sa lugar kung saa lumaki ang tatay ko.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ma'am Rona! I hope so too, that you get to visit Albay again. There's a lot going on here. See you!

      Delete
    2. yep hopefully talaga makauwi. anyway, vacay mode ka yata ngayon. mayong work or nakaleave?

      thanks sa visit!

      Delete
  3. OLA MEU FIEL AMIGO, VOCE ANDA SUMIDO DE MEU BLOG.
    TENHA UM OTIMO DOMINGO E ABRAÇOS DO BRASIL

    ATT.

    DIOGO

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for visiting, a good start to the week, with joy and friendship. greetings ♥ ♫ ☼ ♪ ☺ ♥ http://fotisbazakas.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. nice blog friens ship..
    keep post always...
    http://kumpulantipshebat.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. naku!! lalo tuloy akong na sabik na makapunta sa Bicol :)
    Next on my list na sya!! sana mapuntahan ko din at ma meet si "Alvi" hehehe

    >> napadaan lang po :)

    ReplyDelete

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