family collage

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


When my husband and I were in the Secondary level, you could say that we went out to "different" High Schools -- both figuratively and literally:

I went to an all girl school run by very strict nuns (think half-slips and sandos plus a fingernail length requirement), while my guy went co-ed and... Oh you know what guys would normally do with co-ed!

I had a different set of classmates every year while my Yub was in the same class from Kindergarten to High School (that is why his group from Lucena is so tight).

I was a artist geek (yup I love to draw) while my husband was a jock (patintero player.... kidding, he's in their basketball varsity).

But it was safe to say, that both of us were very well behaved in High School that we never cut classes nor were we late for the first class.

I carried through that "good girl" act all the way to the present where I always made it a point to be on time for work and never leave until my boss needs me. Even though we were allowed to go out for lunch, I still stayed at the office not because our food is provided by the company but I just felt it was my duty to be on stand by.

But all of that changed when somebody from my "High School" past decided to kidnap me for a lunch date and declared she would bring me to RUSTIC MORNINGS by ISABELO.

With that no matter how good a gal I am, I was powerless and surrendered to her invite. Either because this gal was the "evil twin" from High School and I was concerned for my welfare (he he he he he) or I was really curious of RUSTIC MORNINGS by ISABELO that I went against my High School "principles".

I would say curiosity won the better of me because the raves on RUSTIC MORNINGS by ISABELO were endless... but still, where was my Chinese stalker/knight-in-shining armor when I needed him to protect me from this "evil twin" from High School???


RUSTIC MORNINGS is the AM counterpart of ISABELO GARDEN RESTAURANT deep in the heart of Marikina City. It serves hearty breaksfasts, brunch, desserts, and wake up drinks. I haven't tried CAFE ISABELO by night but also read a lot of good reviews of the great food and how getting a table may be difficult because of the many diners who crowd in during that time. With my homefront in Mandaluyong, I hope I'll be able to try it sometime....

But for now, I am very much looking forward to having this RUSTIC MORNING for my first ever lunch out date!

For a first timer in the area like me, it's great that they posted a banner telling diners where their restaurant is.

And we are here at RUSTIC MORNINGS!

RUSTIC MORNINGS has  a wonderful al fresco set up. I could just imagine how romantic this looks at night.... Ala Mid summer night's dream perhaps?

There were some diners who relaxed themselves and enjoyed the noon breeze.

The furnitures of RUSTIC MORNINGS have this comfortable, country, and of course, "rustic" feel that would make you while the time a little bit more than usual. I could imagine myself having coffee al fresco and just reading a good book.

NOT 50 shades of Grey shame on you...

... Mills and Boone naman... Kidding!!!!

But I was kidnapped and I only had a limited time before I get back to work.

Here's a picture of ME just in case the evil twin does not get me back and holds my awesomeness for ransom.

Oh I'm kidding. :)

Yes, that's how I wear my jacket by the way. At least half of me is "al fresco".

My other half (the one wearing the jersey jacket) was getting warm so it was relieved that we were seated in the RUSTIC MORNINGS airconditioned dining area. 

Though I was hungry and excited to look at the meynuh, I admired the interiors once more.

Long table!

I wonder if this fragile display would survive a day in our house?

Everything was just so homey and inviting at RUSTIC MORNINGS. As if you visited somebody's country beach house with great food!

I'm no interior decorator, but the blue works for me :)

By the way little laddie, do not talk when your mouth is full. Kidding :)

Okay dear reader, let me introduce to you my kidnapper for the day, Chef Tricia Ignacio-Fragante. She has so kindly invited me to have lunch at RUSTIC MORNINGS and I was happy that she did because there was no way I could go here with my little knowledge in navigating through the Marikina area. 

Dear Chef Tricia is a Pastry Instructor at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies, teaches Culinary Arts in St. Paul Pasig, and owns a Sacocina Catering. It is always fun to have food trips with her because she knows some of the best places there is.  Of course, it's more fun going down memory lane with her and reminisce of our times being students in St. Paul Pasig!

Take a guess which one is the cheerdancer and which  is the artist geek? :P

Here we were during our High School field trip. She has always been nice to me but I have not forgotten that she did not give me a piece of size 4 paper when I forgot to bring a pad for myself. So generous!!!

I am being sarcastic by the way. H aha ha ha ha ha!

Apparently, she has not forgotten that there would always be forgetful students like me in school because now, while teaching at St. Paul, she would now bring and provide her students extra size 4 paper.

See? My neediness produced angels in everybody.


Back to my flashback, from then on I would always tease her that she is the "evil twin" (because she has a twin sister) and that she was a mean bully. I am kidding of course!! She is one of the nicest gals in the batch and it's always a great time meeting up with her.

Or am I talking like somebody who is being held for ransom? Ha ha ha!

Such a simple condiment's container that works into the RUSTIC MORNINGS feel!


Meynuh again....

And their Meynuh once more...

I don't know about you but hanging lamps just give a touch of simple elegance for me in any place.

First off... RUSTIC MORNINGS Iced Tea (P80.00 bottomless). Nothing instant about this one! Fruity, tangy, and refreshing!!!

Chef Tricia went on the healthy route and ordered RUSTIC MORNINGS All vegetable Omellete (P195.00). 

After much forcing from my part, Chef Tricia finally let me try it (damot!)! The eggs were creamy and complemented the woodsy flavor of the veggies. Light and filling for somebody on a diet!

Chef Tricia's long time knight Mang Bert, who managed her auto steed, joined us. He was looking at me funny while holding his cellphone.

Ha ha ha ha! This was why. He shared the picture of Chef Tricia and her twin sister Corina when they were little tots wearing flowery red (or is that leafy) dresses. He proudly declared he was there for the twins years more before that.

I was yearning to ask if Chef Tricia was adopted....

Kidding! Love you classmate! Har de har!!!!

Mang Bert had RUSTIC MORNINGS Chicken Salad Sandwich because he was also watching his figure he he he he! 

He gallantly offered me to try some but I got shy and just thanked him. I actually got a whiff of it and it smelled so good that I wanted to swipe the whole thing away from him. 

I was able to refrain myself because I thought, NOBODY will take me back to the office then. And I will just look like little Puss N' Boots in the middle of busy Marikina! Eeep!

Chef Tricia's niece, angelic Bea also joined us for lunch! 

If Chef Tricia got the healthy All vegetable sandwich, I followed suit and ordered RUSTIC MORNINGS Barbecue Pulled Pork Crackling Sandwich (P260.00).

Tasty barbecued pork with crunchy cracklings on buttered panini bread is healthy right?

Oh and do NOT forget the mayo....

I have a side of potato salad anyway so this RUSTIC MORNINGS meal is healthy!

That is my view on it and nobody could thwart it for me.

Oh yes I use the words such as "thwart" now because of Game of Thrones... Tee hee!!!!

I cut my RUSTIC MORNINGS sandwich in half and HELLO! This greeted me! Butter, mayonnaise, pork, onions,.... Oh I am so drooling!

Every biteful gave me that flavorful crunch from the pork and cracklings and chewing on it just made me go to a scrumptious heaven....

It made me want to take another bite and another... and ANOTHER huge one!

(Me doing Thor : This sandwich, I like it... ANOTHER!)

Wait a minute, that didn't sound right.... Ha ha ha ha!

Ugh! I just got back from Hong Kong when we ate at RUSTIC MORNINGS and I am 142lbs here!!! Ugh! Ugh!

Oh and one more UGH!!!!!!!!

Btw, I just realized, this is my favorite blouse. I also wore it HERE!!!!!


Great food matched with fun chika!!!!

Almost done!!!

For dessert we had some RUSTIC MORNINGS Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (P140.00).... 

... and RUSTIC MORNINGS Red velvet cupcake (P90.00). Both desserts were moist and satisfied our sweet tooth.

Not that there was anything sweet about us. Here we are "sparring" again....

Me : "I don't know about you but it was only ONE size 4 paper. Just ONE!"

Chef Tricia ; "Stop it! It was STILL one piece!"

Kidding! With true SPCP sisterhood, we truly love each other and always have fun goofing around! He he he he he!

Hark daughters of the Great St. Paul!

Our bill!!!

Thank you so much dear Chef Tricia for the kidnap! Truly had fun with our mini-date! Looking forward to our next lunch getaway.

Yub Eric felt so sad he was not able to join us and put his stalking into use. He blamed me for going out on my own when it was supposed to be EricJaz Foodies.

I told him : "It's okay, you footed the bill anyway."


Let's EAT!!!!

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo
11 Isabelo Mendoza Street, Marikina, Luzon, Philippines


  1. Nice ambiance and the food looks delicious and reasonably priced. I hope someone kidnaps me to go there or its too far from my reach =(

    1. Hiya Stacy! Me too! That's why I was so thankful to my friend who took me there. Yes the food is very good and somehow, cheap! The pulled pork sandwich was so bad for my heart but it was oh so delicious!! I would love to go back there for that!! :) Thanks for reading :)

  2. Replies
    1. Ha ha ha! Mareng Chel! I would love to but now I have forgotten how to go to RUSTIC MORNINGS! Tara magtripping tayo. He he he he he!

  3. I love that it has a diverse menu for everyone to enjoy but not so complicated that they can't prepare it all well. Beautiful atmosphere and looks like an amazing meal!

    1. Hiya Tara! Yes we did!! Nothing like good food in a relaxing venue with amazing company too! Thanks for reading!

  4. i knew you were from st. paul pasig when you start describing it hahaha. especially when it got to the part of " fingernail length requirement." :)) i'm from spcp too :) anyway, your blog entry has been helpful :D will try this tomorrow for lunch! hoping it won't be packed :)

    1. Hiya schoolmate Larisse!!! What batch were you? We were from '93! He he he! I think we were the only school which required the half slips, the sandos, and the short nails that when I studied in Assumption for College, my barkada was so surprised that I wore the same undergarments the first day. ha ha ha ha! Anyway, I'm glad you liked my silly little foodie blog! Thanks for reading and the nice comment! Take care :)

  5. Marikina is actually my hometown. I feel overjoyed that you'd been there Mamzi XD. I'm a proud Marikenya even if I'm a cute QC girl now. XD

    1. Super kaduper cute!!! Wow dami food destinations in Marikina now ha!!!! We always get our pansit and puto there for meetings.

      Mwaaaaaah cutie patootie girlie!!! Take care always!


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