July 25, 2024

If you want some variety, a food hub is best to check out the good things from different kitchens. I am like Carole Tysmans who enjoys a little of each thing or when eating out. I like discovering how different a chef prepares a common meal. This adventure has seafoods, onion rings, strawberry crumble, and aero press coffee from Calle Uno food hub which is al fresco dining.

The Shrimp Pa-lace was really the main object of our curiosity in this adventure. As the name suggests, we wanted to know how delectable seafoods would be here. The seafoods paella was the first choice for my friend’s approval.

Cajun was the choice for spice with its dominant spicy paprika flavor with a semi sweet tinge in tune with the Pinoy palate and it seems to be the most popular these days. There’s something about rice varieties being used in food these days that is surprising, for meals like this, the best kind, according to chef John Glenn Gaerlan is loose grains for paella.

Exactly the des-cription, the loose round grains that were coated with the flavors of the shrimp, mussels and squid that made each mouthful a nice greasy and gooey delight. I chose to eat with the gloves because it is a challenge to enjoy shrimps without peeling them with your fingers. Besides, the shrimp goodness is in the head. Mussels are also best handled with fingers too. The squid bits were also cooked perfectly in the paella. Squid tends to become gummy when it is overcooked. The green peas and the bell peppers were delightful added textures to the whole experience.

An extra order of shrimp and mussels in garlic butter and Hungarian sausage were additions to the meal. The extra shrimps was to discover the taste of butter compared to cajun and to get our fill of the seafoods but actually it was because the third person in the party could not have spicy foods. Talk about the Hungarian sausage meal, a cup of rice with this spicy meat is no secret. But the attraction to the tenderness of meat in the sausage is what makes this kind of food from any country delicious.

The Happy Bun is a concessioner at Calle Uno, too. This sandwich master has all sorts of sandwiches available for those who delight in them. They are famous for the large onion rings, I suppose. We encountered a group of young ladies who knew exactly what to order as appetizer. My next adventure will be sandwiches and a visit to sample how they do it is in the offing.

A certified coffee addict, brewed coffee is one of my favorite adventures, too. The perfect place to lounge and talk after a filling meal, Calle Uno is actually a driveway with a roof for the perfect ambience.

One of the other units is occupied by Nest, a coffee roasters café that sells freshly roasted beans or ground coffee from the different Benguet growers by the kilo. The perfect meal ender, we chose the Nest Blend, of course because this is supposed to be the house special and the best of the best.

Then there are several ways that the coffee is prepared: siphon, French press, drip, and the latest is aero press. The baristadoes each cup of coffee with special attention, this takes a few minutes to be served. Aero press was the object of curiosity because this is the newest.

I have found a preference for siphon coffee which I think delivers the best and smoothest cup in body and flavor.

Aero press I discovered is similar to the French press but this is in reverse where the water is pressed out of a spout like a syringe. The bold taste of the coffee, which is blended from the municipalities of Benguet and Kalinga, is non-compared.

Served without sugar, this went well with our strawberry crumble, white choco granola, and waffle ice cream. These are “must try” in Nest because these are homemade pastries. Strawberry crumble is a chewy bar with strawberry preserves between two layers of flaky cookie dough which crumbles when you bite into it.

Not too sweet, the natural flavor of strawberries can still be savored. White chocolate covered granola with marshmallows is delightful. I have never tried anything like this before. If you know how to make rice crispies bars with melted marshmallows, this involves the same principle but chunky marshmallow glues the bits of toasted oats and cashews (I think) which are dipped in white chocolate are a happy bunch in the mouth. Gummy, crispy, chewy and sweet I one, this has no rival, if you as me. These are nice and warm when served. 

The waffle ice cream is another original pastry that will delight the ice cream lovers. The fresh baked waffle under the ice cream has hot and cold in this desert. A little chocolate fudge andhoney dribbled for presentation is a yummy  vision.

There is something for everyone at Calle Uno. It is worth a lunch or early dinner treat, or a heavy snack for sandwich cravings, especially for Father’s Day. Happy eating to the dads in all forms.