Marikina's Pride; Cafe Lidia

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Lydia, entrepreneur, never had imagined that she would be getting herself into food business. She used to manage an old shoe factory business, leading over 180 workers. Hard to admit, shoe-making's a dying industry in Marikina City.  Most of the small-time shoemakers in the city had stopped making them. Not to add the skyrocketing prices of shoe materials they imported from China.

Being this very positive and determined person, Lydia decided to venture on food business. she believed that when a door shuts, a window opens. Having zero-knowledge on how she would manage it, she sought advice from her friend, Nelson Tolentino. So on September 8, 2009, Cafe Lidia opened its doors to the public. She only had 10 staffs.  But it wasn't the ending yet. It was just the start of this great story. 

Only two week right after their opening, Typhoon Ketsana (also known as Ondoy) made landfall to Metro Manila on September 26, 2009. A month's worth of rainfall in a single day washed away homes and flooded large areas of Manila, Pasig, and Marikina. Hundreds of people were killed and missing, thousands were left with no homes. It was the worst rainfall ever recorded in the history of Metro Manila.  However, this didn't deteriorate Lydia's spirits. Instead, she faced all her problems with great courage and determination, she decided not to draw back. Cafe Lidia underwent an immediate face lift and soon attracted many hungry people of Marikina. It became a perfect place for meeting people. It's where friends and families meet to talk and vent their sad stories on the recent event. Lydia quickly noticed that more and more people were leaving her restaurant feeling better and relieved.  Only a year after their grand launching, Cafe Lidia has established its reputation as one of the best and top-rated restaurants in the city of Marikina. Here are the foods we've tried during our visit: 

Buffalo Wings (p150) Tender chicken wings flavored with their very special barbecue sauce, cooked until bright red. Also comes with its special tartar sauce. It is so affordable yet tastes so good.

Pasta ala Lidia (p135) Their house special. It has anchovies, olives, capers, tuna, and fresh tomatoes in olive oil. very delicious and sumptuous. Quite a large serving of 200 grams. If you love shrimps, don't miss their
Spaghetti Gamberini (p160), an unpretentious pasta dish, served with mushrooms, garlic oil, and shrimps. It also comes with garlic bread. Simplicity at its finest. Highly recommended.

Pizza Madam (p230) A 12" thin crust pizza topped only with the freshest and best ingredients like cheese, pepperoni, ham, olives, bell pepper and onion. Baked until crust is deliciously crisp. Good for 2 to 3 persons. Pizza Mama (p205) is an all-vegetable pizza, with bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, onion, eggplant, pineapple and zucchini. Don't forget to also try their House Pizza Special (p220) 12" thin crust pizza topped with pepperoni, ham, bacon, mushroom, onion, bell pepper and pineapple.

Grilled Pork Belly (p195) A new entrée recently introduced from Cafe Lidia's kitchen, flavored with their own special barbecue sauce, java rice, carrots and green beans. The pork was terribly tender and tasty; quite satisfying.

Lydia's Fish and Chips (p160) Buttered deep-fried creamy dory fish, served with thick potato wedges and tartar sauce. Whoever sees and tastes it will swirl in excitement and delight. Share this light snack with a friend or family.


Cafe Lidia is one of my most favorite restaurants and cafés in Marikina City. Their coffees and cakes are served with the biggest smiles. Aside from their excellent menu, they also give speedy services by their very friendly staffs.  The interior is quite cozy and comfortable, with lighting so easy to the eyes. Free wi-fi service is also given to all you Facebook fanatics. Bon appétit everyone.



We would like thank the following people for making this feature possible: Doña Lydia, Mr. Nelson Tolentino (publicist and adviser), Ms. Grace Malabonga (manager) and to the entire staff (waiters, waitresses, chefs, cooks, assistants, security, maintainance, etc.) of Cafe Lidia. More power to you. Visit them at #64 Calderon Street, Calumpang Marikina city; 647-7606; cafe_lidia@yahoo.com.ph.

6 comments:

Rachelle Mencias said...

Paki improve po ang Food service nyo. We were there last Oct 16 , 2013 to celebrate my parents wedding anniversary. We were disappointed. Parang iniinit na lang ung pasta, ung ilalim lang ng plate mainit pero ung pasta hindi. Ung buffalo wings matigas. Ung ube cake dry na sya. Pati ung pizza malamig na... Ang duda nga namin ni reheat na ang foods kasi ang bilis ng waiting time. Unlike dati na matagal ka mag antay ng food pero mainit at masarap pa... Na disappoint tuloy kami. Hindi na namin maulit kain jan

Anonymous said...

Did you called the store manager's attention when you experienced these?

Anonymous said...

Food section is good pero when u get it serving sizes dosent goes well. A price of 400 for a thin slice of rib eye not too good i will pay 900++ if i get at least 10oz of meat but 400 pesos and i get like a paper thin steak in an sm sizzleing place oh god never the less good experience nice ambiance jst the portioning please

stephencious said...

i agree to that, you should called the attention of the waiter then the manager, for me kasi even we are eating in a fast food and wala tissue na binigay i always talk to the manager to let his/her crew be trained well tissue lang e titipirin pa, and u have the right to ask cafe lidia about that food you ordered, infairness of cafe lidia i dont have any bad experience about the services,food peace to all

paskito said...

Well, we can always encounter a bad experience in any restaurants, even fast food chains. I am not saying that we shouldn't complain about it. in fact, that is what I would suggest, if you think you're not getting the quality that you are expecting, you must talk to the manager or who ever is in charge. I'm sure they will accommodate your concerns. I've been to Cafe Lidia numerous times, and has always been satisfied with the food and service that they provide. So, for me, that must be an isolated case. There must be some lapses on the service or on the food's prep time that one moment.But I believe that it is not intentional. I, myself has been in the food industry for for more than a decade now, and I know there are a lot of ups and downs in this kind of business. I am sure Cafe Lidia won't become this successful and established if that incident is a constant issue. So, for me, Cafe Lidia is still one place in Marikina that "WE MARIKENOS" can all be proud of. If you are looking for a cozy, warm and nice yet still affordable place to eat or meet up and chill with your BARKADAs, Cafe Lidia is one that I strongly recommend.

Cheers!

paskito said...

Well, we can always encounter a bad experience in any restaurants, even fast food chains. I am not saying that we shouldn't complain about it. in fact, that is what I would suggest, if you think you're not getting the quality that you are expecting, you must talk to the manager or who ever is in charge. I'm sure they will accommodate your concerns. I've been to Cafe Lidia numerous times, and has always been satisfied with the food and service that they provide. So, for me, that must be an isolated case. There must be some lapses on the service or on the food's prep time that one moment.But I believe that it is not intentional. I, myself has been in the food industry for more than a decade now, and I know there are a lot of ups and downs in this kind of business. I am sure Cafe Lidia won't become this successful and established if that incident is a constant issue. So, for me, Cafe Lidia is still one place in Marikina that "WE MARIKENOS" can all be proud of. If you are looking for a cozy, warm and nice yet still affordable place to eat or meet up and chill with your BARKADAs, Cafe Lidia is one that I strongly recommend.

Cheers!