If you love coffee and and are adventurous about it, Grindosetamp Cafe is a must-try. It is located along the outside of Albergo Hotel, just near Wright Park.
Upon entering the cafe, a small shelf greeted us, displaying different kinds of tools for coffee-making, looking like a small chemistry set. “Brew It Yourself”, the sign says. Already we know that this place takes coffee very seriously. But before we dove into these divine drops of happiness in a cup, we tried out some of the dishes in their menu, which are definitely dedicated to Baguio.
We started off with the salad, but the GDT Salad (P150) isn’t your average salad. While it does have the staple salad green such as lettuce, cucumbers, olives, and cashews, the hero of this fresh appetizer is strawberries, locally sourced of course. To top it off, the homemade vinaigrette is also made with strawberries, giving the salad hints of sweet, sour, and fruity.
The CPA Sliders (P120) are packed with Filipino Flavor. Why? Well, CPA stands for Chicken Pork Adobo. These finger sandwiches are filled with shredded adobo meat and greens. The crunchy toasted buns are a contrast to the juicy and soft adobo bits. On the side are freshly fried potato chips.
The Arrabbiata Con Cordillera is for sure one pasta dish that we won’t forget. A fusion of Italian and Cordilleran cuisine, this dish is soulful in all the right places, with the slices of kiniing being the highlight. For those that aren’t familiar with kiniing, it is a traditional Cordilleran delicacy made of pork belly that has been smoked. This entree is three S’s – spicy, smokey, and salty, and we’re here for it.
We also liked the Beefy Burger Twinnies (P230), which are two small burgers with really thick patties. What makes these burgers unique is what’s on the inside – caramelized onions and mushrooms using mango concentrate. It was a very pleasant surprise. The sandwich is slightly sweet, balanced with savory.
To soothe our thirst, we had two tall glasses of cold, icy lemonade. They looked really pretty, kind of like lava lamps we could drink. There are several flavors available, but we tried two of their best sellers, the Mixed Berries and the Spiced Chai. The Spiced Chai has gained the reputation of tasting like “puffing on a cigarette”, and the Mixed Berries Lemonade tasted like Nerds candy.
One of the stars of the course was the dessert! Another ode to our city, the Baguio Halo-Halo (P135) is filled with the snacks that we usually offer as pasalubong. There are rice crispies, choco flakes, strawberry jam, peanut brittle, lengua de gato, and caramelized banana, topped of with Strawberry Ice Cream. Mixed together, we had a creamy, pastel pink version of the Filipino dessert that we absolutely loved.
Coffee is always a good way to end a meal. In Grindosetamp Cafe, they offer different kinds of beans and brewing methods. You could either do it yourself or have it brewed right in front of you.
Another of the highlights of our dining experience was when the Smoking Rosemary Iced Coffee was prepared in front of us. A bundle of rosemary was literally set on fire, making the whole cafe smell of rosemary.
It was super aromatic. The coffee was brewed and poured over the rosemary to meld both elements. The result is an herb-infused cold coffee with a kick.
The brewing of another type of coffee bean was also demonstrated to us. This time, it’s a local type of coffee bean coming from Tuba, Benguet. It was like taking a mini-class on the art of being a barista. We learned that coffee can turn out sour, sweet or smoky depending on the temperatures and brewing time.
Move aside, electronic coffee-maker! We also took the opportunity to try brewing our own coffee (or at least one of us did) using beans from Hinelaban, Bukidnon, which has placed third in a world-wide coffee competition. Of course, we were guided throughout the process regarding the time and temperature. We could definitely taste the difference between the Tuba and Hinelaban coffee.
We stepped out of our coffee comfort zones with these caffeine masterpieces from Grindosetamp Cafe. Admittedly, we aren’t coffee connoissuers, but it turns out, we like our coffee just like our souls…
black filled with personality!
Expand your coffee-based palette at Grindosetamp Cafe! They are open from 7 am to 10 pm at Albergo Hotel, #1 Villamor Street.