Getting Some Culture … and Sustenance at Arca’s Yard
Long before this blog was started, the Baguio food quest was on for me and my foodie posse, P3. Even with Beth, Karla and I parting ways work wise, we still went out on food trips to cap our days off. Then Race came along. He brought with him, our eatsploring mobile, Thunder. =)
One joy ride to Ambuklao and we came across Arca’s Yard.
Easing into one of the curves in the road at Tiptop, it’s hard to miss the yard’s sign. [Well, it was a “Slow down, frog crossing” sign we saw first and it was so cute, I just had to demand that we stop to take a photo. =b (Later on, I’m told, someone found it too cute, they took the sign itself. Ennng, spoiled the fun for the rest of us. =S ) Curious about what’s happening at Arca’s, we decided to walk in 888’s gate.
I guess, they were just starting out with the little snackhouse then since the only thing for munching available were sandwiches. If I recall correctly, it was tuna sandwiches that we had. Race drank some coffee with this afternoon meal while I had a banana shake topped with a scoop of ice cream. (Maybe. Does that look like a banana shake to you, my foodie friend?)
While there was nothing extraordinary about our snack then, there were lots of curious things to see at the yard – masks, artsy photos of the owner, antiques, wood carvings and the 99 bottles of beer (and wine, and champagne, etc.) on the wall which I totally zoned in on. =)) Race and I had a good enough time to think about coming back … but then we never came upon Arca’s open again.
It wasn’t until mariejermaine left a comment on one of the posts here that I made it a point to plan (another) return. (Thanks for lighting a fire under me. *hihi)
Having done some recon on the new Arca’s Yard, I’ve learned that it’s still mostly light refreshments being served here and that if you want an actual meal (lunch/early dinner), you have to make an at-least-two-days in advance booking. That’s what me and my foodie lovies went for.
UPDATE 04/13/2016: With more dishes to offer and more dining space, walk-ins are allowed at Arca’s now.
Our lunch at Arca’s consisted of a salad starter, main course of pork chop and prawns and dessert of their famous docto/camote pie, but before we sat at the table, we explored the mini museum and library. (Still lots of interesting knickknacks all around. The whole house – the windows and the view, I love it!)
Since I didn’t place an order for our beverages when I made the reservation, our attendant asked us about what we’d like then. We picked all the smoothies they had (pineapple, watermelon, and cantaloupe). Interesting, the pineapple and watermelon had milk in it and it worked. \m/
Our salad was a great prelude to our lunch experience at Maam Ninja’s cafe. Organic lettuce, turnip sticks, mango cubes, raisins and walnuts tossed in some kind of balsamic vinaigrette. I’m saying some kind since it looked like balsamic but it was thicker like honey with balsamic vinaigrette. Yum!
The whole time we were enjoying ourselves around the little establishment, the smell of the porkchops cooking tickled our noses. I didn’t expect how good it was going to be. As thin as the slice was, it was perfectly cooked, flavorful and juicy. Cut into small pieces, it went a long way with a spoon heaped with rice. We all thought we needed another cup or two. (We didn’t ask for any more though. Papak, man!)
My brother and my niece got the prawn plates. (Dang, we should’ve played rock, scissor, paper for that! *snickers.) Oh, yeah, it was simply delectable. From the one prawn that I got from my magnanimous brother (I made him give me some *teehee), which I shared with Race, we got one mean tasty bite. The sauce on this crustacean (my niece wanted so much to lick her plate after but ran her finger on its surface like food critic, Ego in Ratatouille instead), the fibrous consistency of the shrimp meat was reminiscent of crab but less odorous. My gosh, I have to come back for this, I DEMAND that we come back for this! ^^,
Aside from the kamote pie, home made ice cream was one of the sweet course options for our Arca’s Yard meal. The pie was served a la mode anyway so I thought we were killing two birds with one stone. \m/ Made with either yellow or orange sweet potatoes or white or purple ones, we had a beautiful serving for a meal ender with its vibrant shade of plum.
As for the taste, this ube jam-looking treat shaped into a pie covered with graham crackers and sprinkled with candy-like pieces of muscovado was one mildly sweet dessert. My niece added a dash of brown sugar topping on the pie. The ice cream helped up the sweetness level as it melted, too. =D
Just when we thought it was over, our attendant came up the stairs to us again bringing a tray of bowls of homemade rhubarb ice cream. On the house, she said; oh, joy! (Thank you so much for the extra treat, Arca’s! (“,) ) If we thought the pie wasn’t saccharine enough, this hit the right spot. And then the wee acidic quality of rhubarb comes through. Wee!
I then asked about the lady of the house and it was a good thing I did because she set me straight about 888 and 777 Arca’s Yard. I told her about how impressed I was with the renovation of the cafe. A confused look came over Maam Ninj’s face and I explained we were here in 2011. I mentioned the frogs crossing sign and she exclaimed, that was 888 Tip Top (a block away from here, after the curve). That also cleared Race’s bothered mind because all the while he was pretty agitated about that road – when did that road at the back of the cafe materialize?! *sheepish grins on my face – mai-aw-awan manen ni Xine
X marks Arca’s Yard for good food in Baguio. Who knew a great and memorable time could come so simply … it’s just with a little culture and sustenance. *contented sighs.
Officially, a favorite!
Arca’s Yard (Museum, Library and Cafe … It’s also a B&B)
#777 Tip-top City Limit (beside APTS, the road behind is APTS’. Directions to the APTS from Baguio Cathedral through Google Maps here. See attached screen shot below.)
Baguio City, Philippines
0929 325 1868
***Posting for Sunday, the end of November. I’ll just move it then. You know it! Excited! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Big thank yous to you, guys!
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Search for Good Baguio Food
X Marks the Spot for Good Baguio Foods is a personal blog. Everything posted in this blog is PERSONAL OPINION DERIVED FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and since TASTE can be pretty SUBJECTIVE, should NOT be taken as THE NORM or the LAW OF DINING around in the City of Pines.
Its (prosaic =b) contents are meant to help with the question “san tayo?”/where do we go? in relation to eating out in Baguio, to ENCOURAGE EXPLORING (eatsploring) and TRYING NEW THINGS offered in the City of Pines.
By all means, eat where you want to eat and eat what you want to eat. May you have a great experience with all the places you visit and may all the restaurants you go to deserve a ton of treasure chests! (“,)
(Also, if you have any second thoughts about a certain place you arrive at, please DON'T LET THIS BLOG BE THE REASON YOU ARE FORCED into ending up anywhere. If the restaurant doesn’t have what you want, please FEEL FREE TO WALK AWAY.)
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