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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.


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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

entry arrow7:37 AM | Food Roundup Dumaguete 2016: Lokal Organic Cafe

I am an accidental foodie: I used to write a food column for a local paper and have written extensively about the Dumaguete food scene for national magazines and newspapers -- until I decided to discontinue the enterprise about four years ago. Still, people I know who visit Dumaguete keep asking me about the best places to go to eat, and I've found I no longer quite know the scene. A lot can change in half a decade. So I've decided to try a new approach this year and go about sampling the local food culture once more and document everything online in the course of twelve months. The city has grown and expanded enough in the years since 2011, and a significant part of what's happening food-wise has become unfamiliar to me. Consider this a personal adventure.



When I'm pressed to think of comfort food, I find myself suddenly thinking about Lokal Organic Cafe, the quirky restaurant at the base of Plaza Doña Milagros Building along Pinili Street. Seriously, this restaurant shouldn't actually work: it's located along an unpopular street in a part of town nobody really goes to unless you're doing traditional tsianggue shopping. And the interiors -- an intimate hug in terms of size -- is a whimsical combination of flea market aesthetics and bohemian devil-may-care air. And yet it does: the shabbiness is a strange comfort, and this has made the place a regular hangout for students and artists. (They have regular poetry readings and art shows -- which is astounding for a place this tiny.) It's a place to unwind, and I hope this particular notice won't make it too famous that there wouldn't be space anymore for the regulars who are zealous in their proprietary regard of the place. (I'm sorry, guys.) But the main reason I come here regularly is the food, the glorious, no-guilt menu that's a well-regarded balance of fruits and vegetables and fish and chicken, all locally-sourced, all organic, all fresh, all delicious. The last time I went there, I hankered for their grilled chicken with avocado and watermelon salsa, their ampalaya with eggs, and their chicken creme soup with malunggay. (See photo.) They have corn coffee as well, and some other strange caffeine concoctions, one of which is a blend of peanut butter. The baristas and waiters, a crew of polite young men, are also friendly and considerate, which adds to the appeal of the place. Regular meal priced between P85 to P150. Drinks between P45 to P80. Placed my order at 7:00 PM. Order received at 7:20 PM.

#FoodRoundupDumaguete2016

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