OASIS FOR THE URBAN COWBOY

In Brew by Augusto Toledo4 Comments

Urbanidad Close View

 

Urbanidad – it’s Spanish for “urbanity,” which could mean any number of things.  The word connotes civility and all its attributes, like polished courteousness, a suave disposition, and a cosmopolitan manner.  Derived from the Latinurbanus,” it connotes elegance and refinement, a view of the world as seen from ancient Rome in those days.  Or it could refer to “New Urbanism,” a modern design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habitats in an otherwise citified milieu, like open spaces, walkable neighborhoods, a sophisticated locale bereft of any barbarisms.

And when we sauntered into Urbanidad Cafe one rainy Sunday, it felt like all of that. Located at the quiet corner of Scout Lazcano and Mother Ignacia in Quezon City, it was tucked away, almost unobtrusively, in a low-rise building amidst a serene residential setting.

 

FROM A DISTANCE - An oasis that has to be found, Urbanidad Cafe is a welcome sight for urbanites seeking solace and comfort from the troubles of the day.

FROM A DISTANCE – An oasis that has to be found, Urbanidad Cafe is a welcome sight for urbanites seeking solace and comfort from the troubles of the day.

Inside, the interiors were spartan but chic, one wall declaring the cafe’s mission statement, and the opposite wall decorated with vintage photos of Quezon City’s landmarks during kinder and less congested times.

 

OFF THE WALL - City slicker leans against the wall with the "Manifesto" that articulates the beliefs of the proprietors: serving high-quality coffee, slowing down and relishing life's simple pleasures, and being grateful to God for His bounties.

OFF THE WALL – City slicker leans against the wall with the “Manifesto” that articulates the beliefs of the proprietors: serving high-quality coffee, slowing down and relishing life’s simple pleasures, and being grateful to God for His bounties.

We started off with Americanos which seemed a tad bland, but a quick follow-up of double Espressos pulled from South American Arabica blends more than made up for that initial dispassion.  The “Classic Grilled Cheese” sandwich from a brief menu lived up to its masterly reputation.  But it was the “Huevos en Purgatorio” savory, a slightly spicy baked egg dish with thinly sliced chorizos, tomatoes and melted cheese atop a hearty serving of beans in tomato sauce, that convinced us that a return trip to this oasis was of the highest imperative.  And soon.

 

DINING WITH DANTE - If this is the typical repast in that intermediate stage after death while preparing for transition to heaven (now a discredited dogma), we wouldn't mind undergoing purification at all.

DINING IN DANTE’S PURGATORIO – If this is the typical repast in that intermediate stage after death while preparing for transition to heaven (now a discredited dogma), we wouldn’t mind undergoing purification at all.

 

LIFE'S A BOX OF CHOC NUTS - A small bar of that ubiquitous local peanut milk chocolate provides a charming accent to a piping hot cup of java.

LIFE’S A BOX OF CHOC NUTS – A small bar of that ubiquitous local peanut milk chocolate provides a charming accent to a piping hot cup of java.

 

THE IRON CHEF - Homeless bum poses with multi-tasking Allianna, the barista, cook, server, dish washer, cashier and all-around enlightener. Posters exhorting all to eat heartily adorn the background, while a shelf of natural and organic products (shampoos, gels, balms. sprays, honey, lemongrass hand wash and moringa tea from the GreenEarth Heritage Foundation) complements the food and coffee offerings.

THE IRON CHEF – Homeless bum poses with multi-tasking Allianna, the barista, cook, server, dish washer, cashier and all-around enlightener. Posters exhorting all to eat heartily adorn the background, while a shelf of natural and organic products (shampoos, gels, balms, sprays, honey, lemongrass hand wash and moringa tea from the GreenEarth Heritage Foundation) complements the food and coffee offerings.

Unwinding while seated comfortably and sipping a steaming cup of espresso in that gracious setting, as cloudy skies and drizzly weather prevailed outside, it seemed the perfect definition of urbanity – we were relaxed, unhurried, composed and absolutely chill.  We dined and drank in a leisurely three hours, taking time to read a few chapters of Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird,” scribble a few pages of food styling notes, and shoot the inevitable selfies.  No wonder American author James Norman Hall was said to have remarked, “When urbanity decays, civilization suffers and decays with it.”

 

TEA FOR TWO - Attention to fine details provide a refreshing touch, such as these teaspoons with inscriptions of homespun aphorisms.

TEA FOR TWO – Attention to fine details provide a refreshing touch, such as these teaspoons with inscriptions of homespun aphorisms.

 

WAKING UP TO SMELL THE COFFEE - Urbanidad has its own branded beans, a blend of dark-roasted Arabica from South America. The coffee menu has the standards - Americano, Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino - but the Cafe Bombon (equal parts espresso and condensed milk) and the Affogato (gelato topped off with a shot of espresso), unusual in other cafes, are welcome delights.

WAKING UP TO SMELL THE COFFEE – Urbanidad has its own branded beans, a blend of dark-roasted Arabica from South America. The coffee menu has the standards – Americano, Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino – but the Cafe Bombon (equal parts espresso and condensed milk) and the Affogato (gelato topped off with a shot of espresso), unusual in other cafes, are welcome delights.

 

Comments

  1. MSG

    Congrats my dear friend Toto! You finally did it. You now have a live blog. Praise be to God. Wishing you success and sustainability in this new endeavor you have found for yourself. Urbanidad is a great way to start! Hope I get invited in one of your future adventures.

    God bless you! ?

  2. Aldrich A. Matti

    Hi!

    Good day! First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for featuring our fledgling coffee shop in your blog. My wife Patricia and I missed you and your daughter at the cafe by a few minutes as we just came back from Sunday mass. My cousin James had also told us that you were dropping by. I hope our staff was able to attend to your needs and served you in the best possible way. Your paean to Urbanity entitled “Oasis for the Urban Cowboy” has brought delight and inspiration to us. We even posted your feature in our Facebook page (Urbanidad Cafe).

    If you happen to be in our neck of the woods, please do drop by again and visit us! You can reach me through this number- (+639178179067). Again, thank you very much and God bless!

    Best regards,
    Aldrich

    1. Author
      Augusto Toledo

      Glad you liked the write-up, Aldrich. Hope to catch you next time we visit – we need another whiff of the “Huevos en Purgatorio!”

      Toto & Lica

  3. NOEL

    I TOTALLY AGREE. I TRIED THEIR AMERICANO AND TO ME THE TASTE WAS VERY GOOD. THEIR ENSAYMADA WAS TOPPED WITH LOTS OF CHEESE. IT IS A MUST TRY TO EVERYONE.

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