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Good Vibes, Great Food at Providore

 

This all-in-one coffee shop, patisserie and bistro serves your favorite comfort food just the way you want it. And at all times of the day, too!

 

Sunday is devoutly sacred to my family. It’s a day for church, eating and bonding. After mass, my husband asks the all too familiar question, “Where do you want to eat?” Sometimes there’s a ready answer from the kids, but lately (after we’ve made regular rounds of all our preferred restaurants), we decided that Sunday should be a gastronomic adventure time as well.

Our latest dining discovery is Providore. Located at the Ground level of SM Aura, (right next to some of my favorite retail shops!) , this fun concept restaurant has been attracting diners since its opening late last year. Not a surprise at all, since its  façade with a bakery on the one side, coffee tables and tiffany blue iron chairs in the middle and mini store which sells local goods on the right, makes for one inviting mishmash. But wait there’s more. Take twenty steps inside and you enter the main dining hall which will give you cozy country club “feels.”  Just recently, the establishment also opened their al fresco dining cum beer garden (the wooden benches amidst green hedges inspired my words). Don’t be overwhelmed though. The main attraction of Providore is , rightfully so, its food.

Enjoy your favorite comfort food at Providore!

Enjoy your favorite comfort food at Providore!

 

A common dilemma when it comes to deciding where to dine is the individual members’ different taste preferences.  One is a vegan, another is a sworn carnivore while the kids will eat anything that’s battered and fried. Make that chicken and the young ones are guaranteed to have smiles on their faces. What I like most about Providore is that it lives up to its name.  It has everything from salads to steaks and everything in between.  Serving up authentic American and homestyle Filipino cuisine, its extensive menu is divided into 9 classifications. Choose from noshes and bites (cheese, dips and fries), freshly baked (soup, breads and pies), eggs and things (breakfast all day long), the greenhouse (salads), the deli (sandwiches), bistro plates (mains), the Filipino table (Pinoy cuisine elevated plus merienda plates), dessert plates and drinks (including wine and beer).

 

Our Favorites

You better have a good appetite as portions are hefty and good for sharing.  We liked the Providore Salad (P350) which has arugula, market greens, fresh avocado, bacon, walnuts, bleu cheese served with buttermilk ranch dressing. The Zuchinni Pecorino Fries (195) and  Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner (P350) which is  crispy fried chicken served with beans, sausage gravy on mashed potatoes and cheddar biscuit were both gone in minutes. I was very happy with my Salmon Grill Plate (595) which was accompanied with greek salad, mountain raice and dill lemon yogurt. The most sinful and delicious fare, however, was the Steel Plate Cooked Garlic Butter Salpicao Steak (P395). Quite a mouthful to say and even more so to eat! Imagine slices of tender US beef cooked in olive oil but swimming in butter. Delicious! It should be served with rice but is not so remember to ask for two cups when you order it.

Start your meal with these zucchini pecorino fries. Kids and adults will surely love this appetizer.

Start your meal with these zucchini pecorino fries. Kids and adults will surely love this appetizer.

 

Rich and creamy. The clam chowder will please any hungry customer!

Rich and creamy. The clam chowder will please any hungry customer!

 

 

Family Favorite! Winner Winner chicken dinner lives up to its name ... delicious and filling!

Family Favorite! Winner Winner chicken dinner lives up to its name … delicious and filling!

 

Looks good, tastes even better! Slices of beef swimming in butter... what more can you ask for?

Looks good, tastes even better! Slices of beef swimming in butter… what more can you ask for?

 

 

 

We were all satisfied customers after our big meal. The staff was helpful and courteous and the meals were served fast and hot.  So if you’re looking to eat healthy, feed your big appetite or just to have coffee with some cookies, cakes or pastries, make Providore your next stop.  Happy eating!

 

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Xocolat- Chocolate Like You’ve Never Tasted Before!

Tucked in a corner along the bustling Katipunan Road in Quezon City, we found a quaint house with a sign in front that read “Xocolat”.  It reminded me of my grandmother’s old house.  Rustic, familiar  and it smelled of homemade cooking!

There were chairs and tables in the front lawn where people were drinking and dining al fresco.  Inside,  the  place had a very relaxed and bohemian atmosphere.   The  main hall was packed with students-   some were chatting, some discussing homework and others busy typing on their laptops.   Pretty impressive turnout for a hot Saturday.

Xocolat - Ambience

Chocolate Heaven- Pay as you order please! Different flavors of chocolate milk in tin cans line the counter. A wide variety of baked goods are also being offered at the cafe.  My daughter R immediately pointed to the chocolate cake  marked with an “X” and said “Yum yum!”. 🙂

 

We were escorted to a smaller room on the second floor.  The kids were already very hungry since we braved a one and a half hour commute from the South.  It was all worth it though.  Owner Val Lopez recommended meals from the menu.  The sound of “chocolate” in every dish and drink she mentioned made our mouths water . 🙂

Xocolat- Family

The whole brood at Xocolat with our amiable host Val Lopez.

 

“I’ve always liked drinking hot chocolate.  Before  I opened Xocolat, there was no place in Manila that offered a good  cup of  hot coco.   Everything was store-bought ,” Val said, as we waited for the food to be served.   A trip to Barcelona where she tasted different kinds of coco beverages convinced her to open a café devoted totally to chocolate drinks.  Together with friends Pinky Yap-Ortiz, Rina Avecilla and Trish Malvar,  Val opened the first Xocolat  café in Greenhills in 2005.  ( The word “chocolate” comes from the Aztecs of Mexico, and is derived from the Nahuati word xocolat. )  “We served  all kinds of chocolate drinks initially.  Then we added the baked items  and  meals to the menu,  ” she further explained.

 

CHOCOHOLIC LUNCH

Chocolate in Every Bite

Soon it was time to eat. We started our lunch with these appetizers.

Xocolat- choc fries

Top : Croquettas (deep fried mashed potatoes with tomato-basil and chori-quezo dips) – This only lasted two minutes minutes on the table because my son M gobbled it all up!
Below: Xocolat Fries (Hand-cut Belgian fries seasoned with spice rub and drizzled with chocolate) The aioli dip gives the fries a whole new dimension. MUST TRY!

 

Main Coco Course

We liked everything that was served!  That’s saying a lot since my boys are picky eaters.  Hubby A and son M both loved the Chicken Salpicacao.  Chocolate in lechon kawali? I never would have thought of it until I tasted the Pork Belly. REALLY GOOD!  The Xocolat Chicken Pasta is also a winner!

Xocolat- Main Meal

Top (L-R): 1. Chicken a la Xocolat -This is the classic chicken a la kiev made with white chocolate combined with ham, cheese and garlic butter. 2.BQP’s favorite Pork belly – The belly is marinated and boiled in Xocolat spices then deep fried. Can you say no to the Cacao- bagoong sauce? 
Bottom: (L-R) 3. Chicken Salpicacao is diced chicken fillet marinated in cacao spice and sauteed in garlic olive oil and 4. Xocolat Chicken Pasta– My boy M ordered this for himself and enjoyed it very much! The dish is made of spiced chicken fillet on a bed of alfredo cream sauce topped with chocolate shavings. YUMMY!
*All rice dishes are served with homemade gratin. Price range (Php200- 350)

 

Drink Up!

Xocolat- choc drinks

All four of us tried different chocolate drinks.
Top (L-R) 1. Xoco Lava – This drink is made with rich dark chocolate blended with vanilla ice cream. Definitely for the ultimate chocoholic! 2. Hot Xocolat – Belgian chocolate chips served with steamed fresh milk
Bottom (L-R): 3. The bebe girl had Babycino . This drink is made with premium milk chocolate and toppped with vanilla ice cream. 4. I tried a “skinny” sugar-free dark chocolate drink called Brazilian Xoco Hazelnut.
*Hot drinks are served with a tea cookie.

 

Delectable Delights

Of course, we had to try the cakes!  The look on my three year old’s face says it all — super delicious!

Xocolat - cakes

R didn’t need any help from any of us as she devoured a slice of “That Xocolat Cake. ”  There was chocolate on her face. on her hands and on her shirt! haha . The Banana Toffee Caramel Cake was just as scrumptious!

 

THE BQP RECOMMENDS XOCOLAT

This unpretentious place is a great family restaurant and a cool hang-out joint.  The prices are very reasonable,too, for the hefty servings. If you have been a frequent  customer in the Katipunan branch of Xocolat, you just might be invited to join the “Wednesday Club. ”  Val says  she plans to serve  dishes that have been tested but are not yet on the menu to loyal Xocolat fans.   Aside from the Xocolat in Promenade, Greenhills and Katipunan, there’s a third branch at the back of Eastwood City.

I highly recommend that you come over and try the sinful-yet-heavenly drinks, dishes and desserts at Xocolat.  We’ll surely come back and visit again!

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