We’ve been told about the goodness and benefits of eating vegetables since our Kindergarten days. As a preschool teacher, I also tell my little kiddos to eat vegetables and I even tell them animated stories like there are germs trying to embrace our bodies to make us sick and these vegetables are like weapons which try to fight and shove those germs away. Perhaps I was very good at telling these stories to them that they all looked interested in vegetables and when I asked them if they are going to eat vegetables na, they all answered me with a crisp “YES!” Although I don’t really take that “yes” as a guarantee since I’ve also been a kid before and I also told my teacher that I will eat vegetables but still ended up throwing up when my Papa would try to force me to eat tofu, okra, eggplant, and ampalaya. BUT still I hope my students would really eat vegetables!
You see, I don’t really have a long-standing love affair with vegetables. It was only when I hit my mid 20s that I started appreciating the taste of some vegetables. And I repeat: SOME –because I’m still not in good terms with okra, talong, ampalaya and kalabasa 😀 But at least I’m proud to say that I’m already enjoying the taste of chopsuey and some veggie salads now, which means, I’m already on the road to healthy living now!
Anyway, last Tuesday night (January 15), I met up with one of my dear friends PA for some long overdue catching up, after my night class in UP. Since I’ve been hearing some raves about the famous holes in the wall in Maginhawa street in Teachers Village, I asked PA if we could try one of the restos there which is owned by Patty Laurel’s friend —Pipino Vegetarian Resto. It was the first time that I pass by that Maginhawa street that’s why we had some difficulty finding Pipino Restaurant. Plus, PA and I were so full of chikas and we were so engrossed with the good lineup of restaurants along Maginhawa street that we forgot to tell the cab driver the exact address of Pipino.
This veggie resto is actually located along Malingap street, second floor of the beige building where Pino Resto and Bar is. You actually have to enter the gate on the right side of the building and turn left and you will see a staircase. Go up that stairs and you will find Pipino Vegetarian Resto.
The resto might look really good on pictures I found online but it’s actually nicer when you get there and see it for yourself.
Okay, since I seemed to love every details of this place, I might as well just list them down here:
1. I love the white interiors and the eclectic designs inside.
2. I love the faded red brick wall with the longest cork community board I’ve ever seen.
3. I love the cream wooden bench tables. It gave me a feeling like I was eating in a park while enjoying the happy morning breeze.
4. I love the tall white windows. I have a special fancy for pieces that gives off a country-side feel that the tall white windows inside Pipino are also so charming for me.
5. I love the large blackboard on the other side of the wall (across the brick wall) where the add-ons to the menu were handwritten in colored chalks.
6. I also love their wooden flooring!
7. I love the “Promises for the Planet” doodles posted on the resto’s refrigerator.
8. I love that the handwritten stuff on the counter window which looked like it was written using crayons.
9. I love the staff. They’re sooo warm and accommodating and they were very nice to us when we were dining there. A big thumbs up for the service.
10. I love this cute staircase-like shelf where the pastries for sale are placed.
11. I love the Pipino shake that PA ordered. It tasted sooo natural and very refreshing!
12. I love my order – Garlic noodles with broccoli with walnut and Parmesan cheese. It’s like the Vietnamese Pasta of The Old Spaghetti House, only that it’s topped with broccoli and it’s a lot drier than TOSH’. I love that it’s not oily and that the noodles weren’t sticky.
I also tried their dairy-free homemade Vanilla Graham IceCream, but it didn’t create too much appeal to my palette since I love sweeter desserts the most.
13. I love PA’s order — Creamy Pesto with Wasabi onion rings. We both had a taste of each other’s food.
14. I love their comfort room. I also have a little fancy for clean restrooms. Pipino’s restroom looked well maintained. It just so happened that I wasn’t able to bring my phone with me when I went to the restroom that I wasn’t able to take a shot of it.
15. I love the ambiance inside the place. It’s very cozy and comfy. I think this would also be a perfect place if you want to throw intimate birthday parties or small group activities. The place invokes creativity and artistry like you would want to get your crafts from your wooden box and start creating some handcrafted stuff. This is also a great place for writers who would want to get inspiration from outside his/her writing spot and observe the people and things outside. There’s peace and stillness in the place. I think that just by looking at the chairs placed near the brick wall could already give inspiration to a creative writer to weave words about waiting or hope or lost love or even finding love. There are a lot of stories you can create just by letting your eyes wander inside this very cute vegetarian restaurant.
And for that, I’d say Pipino is already included in my jar of favorite places! 😀
By the way, what I love most about this first experience with Pipino’s that I got to try it with one of my best friends. That Pipino date was the first time I got to see him again after a year –a year! We didn’t even know it’s already been a year since we last saw each other. And as PA said, perhaps we didn’t feel that time apart since we’re so comfortable with each other that when we saw each other again, we shared kwentos like as if we’ve just talked over a cup of coffee two days ago. And for that, cheers to our friendship!
How to go to Pipino:
If you’re commuting, you can ride a tricycle in parked beside Ministop in Philcoa and tell the driver to bring you to Malingap street. I think the fare’s only P9/person.
Other ways? photo below (courtesy of Pipino website)