First-time in Merkado Cafe Bacolod
Merkado in local language (Hiligaynon is the language of those living in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines) means market. Most towns in my country, especially those in remote areas, have market day wherein locals and visitors alike flock to the town’s economic hub to see new goods being delivered and buy those that they need or want.
Merkado ni Maria Cafe, which boasts of using local, all-natural and organic products, scours the local markets in search for nutritious, real food that are cooked in a traditional way. The restaurant, located at the Art District in Mandalagan, Bacolod City, Philippines, is a firm believer of concepts that are good to the local economy and to everyone’s health:
- Farm-to-table system – This eliminates the middle man and ensures that ingredients are fresh as they are brought straight from the producers themselves.
- Slow food cooking – They cook everything from scratch. Even the hot sauce, vinaigrette, and condensed milk are made and processed by their own kitchen team. No artificial flavoring are added to the food because they use the freshest spices and ingredients.
- Supporting local farmers – Buying straight from local producers helps the farmers thrive and sustain their livelihood.
- Natural products for our health – The ingredients used are all-natural and organic, which is good for our body.
I have written already of the various eateries in Bacolod City as well as the one on the Organic Farmers Market done annually. You will find that our province, Negros Occidental, is advocating for organic products and many eateries in cities within the province have been serving food made of organic raw ingredients.
Owned by Maria Rizza G. Uychiat, Merkado Cafe has a wide menu to choose from. Restaurant Manager Argie Muyco took us through the menu and here are some that we tried which left our palate satisfied:
Pica-Picks – Lumpia Prito (Php 105.00), Chicken Tenders (Php 135.00), and Camote Chips (Php 45.00);
All-day Breakfast – Pan Kick (Php 95.00), Chicken Galantina (Php 175.00), Beef Tapa (Php 160.00), Prito Nga Bangrus (Php 115.00);
Lunch & Dinner (these are good for sharing, by the way) – Kare Kare (Php 190.00), Beef Curry (Php 180.00), Pochero (Php 190.00), Baked Bangus Belly (Php 205.00), Seafood Soup (Php 175.00), Fish Tinola (Php 195.00)
Pasta, Salad, Sandwiches – Spaghetti with Fresh Organic Tomatoes (Php 175.00), Spaghetti with Clams (Php 195.00), J’s Greens (Php 220.00), Cheese Burger & Chips (Php 195.00)
For the drinks, we tried in small amounts and they tasted yummy. You can choose from any of these: Calamansi slush, Guyabano juice, BananaNana smoothie, Mt. Kanlaon Rainforest Organic Coffee, and Merkado Iced Coffee.
We capped our lunch with desserts: Calamansi Squares (Php 50.00/slice) and Creme Brulee (Php 85.00/serve).
*Exchange rate at the time of writing is USD 1.00=Php 47.00
“We are not fast food. We serve good food as fast as we can.” This is the promise of Merkado Cafe. If you happen to be in Bacolod, try their food and you will enjoy them at reasonable prices and with a good cause.