Days before our planned visit to Los Banos,  I asked my friends for any recommendations on where best to have lunch in the area.  Frankly,  I wasn’t in the mood for a typical Filipino meal of bulalo, laing, crispy pata or kare-kare.   Neither am I up to a burger or chicken inasal lunch.   Not this time, anyway.



Believe it or not,  I chanced upon a “tweeted recommendation” to check out Dalcielo right along the lone Lopez Avenue headed for UPLB.   Not one to search for a dining place somewhere off the road,  I readily decided we must give this one a try. Easy to find.  “Just look for those 2 huge orange umbrellas fronting the deli” — he tweets.   Oh, I love this online community.   So easy to source travel and dining ideas!   Just keep me out of politics and other social agenda, and I’m fine. So there we were, searching for 2 orange umbrellas.  Perfect markers!  You just can’t miss it.  And they have a parking area right beside it too!



We found Dalcielo a good half hour before noon.  Served us right.  We had the luxury of choosing our “corner” in the limited space, just before the noontime crowd sets in .  Maybe just 5 tables to choose from.   Yet, we have just stepped in a good meter or two ,  and I knew we would have a good meal.   The shelves were teeming with farm produce (cottage cheese, yogurt, what else?) and bakery products.   The chocolate cake looked so inviting I was tempted to make it my appetizer.  That, along with a cup of good brew.   There were cookies, cream puffs, cheesecakes,  lemon squares, sans rival .  We’re in heaven!



For starters, we ordered the local Fern or Pako Salad.  After that, we AGONIZED over choosing from among so many of our favorite dishes.  Till we settled …….  to have all, or share all.   Marissa, the owner, was ever so gracious.  It is only a small dining place with only one food server, with Marissa ruling the kitchen.  She would sneak in and out ,  each time surprising us with the aroma and presentation of our ordered dishes.  I just love their Lengua Estofado while my friend drools over their Callos.   The Lengua  had very thin, tender slices cooked to perfection.  The Callos had just the right spice to it — never mind that the portion was kind of small .   We all enjoyed the Seafood Paella or Paella Marinara. And we likewise shared the Grilled Fish, served on a bed of spinach.   The desserts completed our sinful afternoon.   Two kinds of sans rival: one which is sugar-free, guilt-free?   …. and the regular sinful one. We also tried the cream puff  with our coffee, along with the mango panacotta.   There is also a strawberry panacotta, which I must try the next time I visit.   As we left no room for more desserts,  Marissa so kindly gifted us with a slice of take-home chocolate cake.  Isn’t that a lovely gesture?  Even their coffee is soooo good.   We savored every morsel and bite of every dish and dessert we ordered.  Like nothing simply went wrong.   We were prepared to see Marissa and the lone waiter looking harassed and stressed out,  but they so cheerfully attended to our every whim and fancy.



For sure,  I will make another trip to Dalcielo.   It would be a good stopover (??) on my way to Paete , Pakil, Pagsanjan, Liliw  or some other interesting towns of Laguna.  Anything. Anywhere, for a reason to pass by this gem of a deli and bakeshop.

You may also wish to read my other blog  on Dalcielo and places to visit in this neck of the woods. Bon apetit!