A friend called and asked if I was free to have coffee. With a pile of groceries on my hand, I think I could spare an hour or two.
It turned out we were not going to a nearby coffee shop.
Cafe at the Ranch is located in Taal Batangas. It was 27 kilometers drive from Lipa City.
We entered a gate into the wilderness. No signages, no concrete roads, just plain earth. It was like entering a private property. A few minutes more we found a gate that says “Plantacion Isabelle”. So that explains the field of sugar canes, this is probably an affluent azucarera: sugar factory.
Inside the gates lay a really old home probably built in the Spanish era, with no signs of business going. But it sure is beautiful.
“Is this it? I don’t think they have coffee.” I thought to myself.
Nearby was another old home, probably built in the same time. Maybe it was it, but gates were closed.
We traveled all the way here, and it’s closed. My mind was juggling the other possibilities of what else can we do if we go back.
Luckily, there were men working.
Turns out, we took the forbidden road. There was a safer, more concrete way to the place. We took the muddy one. We did not regret it, the view was more scenic, and imagine the thrill of getting charges for trespassing.
The men opened the gates and showed us the way. A few minutes more and finally, we arrived.
It was an ancestral home converted into a restaurant. With a large front yard and a mini aviary at the back. You can see horses, sheep, and chicken being grown just a few meters away.
It was antique, you can smell the scent of old wood, with a little effort to create a millennial vibe.
I was freaking starving when we arrived. There is no way I am just having coffee.
You will wait for sometime before the food is served. We roamed the place. I tried peeking into the Capiz window feeling like a reserved Maria Clara. Watched a friend play with his daughter, talked a little and we made fun of why the food was taking so long. Or you can sit and stare at the sky while listening to their playlist of Taylor Swift songs. They have ACs but the mid afternoon breeze was cold and fresh enough to soothe you.
The food was great! They have a pretty healthy selection to chose from. You’ll wonder if the chicken on your plate was formerly running in the yard near you. They have organic eggs too, in different shades of brown.
I went home with a sack of ripe papaya and a bundle of banana from my friend’s mother. And I wasn’t able to taste a single drop of coffee, but I was happy.