A bag of beans. This phrase doesn’t sound much. It may conjure memories of making addition and subtraction more visual in earlier learning, with the old-fashioned bag of beans as a tool. It may conjure other things to different folks. For me, it’s linked with cheesecake, kapeng barako and a relaxing place to consume the two. It’s found in Tagaytay.
Let’s go through the five things mentioned above.
Cheesecake. I wasn’t a fan of cheesecake. My wife, on the other hand, is nuts about cheesecake. I’m still not a fan of cheesecake, with one exception — the cheesecake in Bag of Beans. The cheesecake is not too heavy, not too sweet, just light and right. The crust is not too hard, so there’s a smooth, easy slice from the top of the cake, with the strawberry (or blueberry or other toppings), all the way through the crust. You may say there are more delicious cheesecakes (I’m sure there are, so let us know so we could hunt them down), but let’s just say that, ahem, this is my post.
Tagaytay. It has a great view of the Taal volcano or Taal lake. It’s cold and way much nearer to Metro Manila than Baguio. We’ve written about some nooks in Tagaytay, including Nurture Spa and Massimo’s, although there seems to be no time to write about the rest of the places in this cool (or cold) place. Perhaps it’s not about the lack of time, but the lack of incentive to write about it. It’s been said that it’s easier to write about something you like.
Coffee. I love coffee, so it’s easy for me to write about it. I’m not referring to Starbucks, although I used to drive from Manila to Tagaytay on Friday evenings just to have coffee in Starbucks. The open fields and the cold atmosphere always provide a great alternative to the city life. It may sound pathetic that I drive there alone, and have coffee alone, but I don’t mind because I always like the peace and quite of it all. Or on a lazy weekend afternoon, just sit back under the bamboo cluster and sip kapeng barako. It has a stronger kick but less smooth than the espresso in upscale coffee shops. I like it that way (or you could temper it with the sweetness of the cheesecake).
Bag of Beans. I’ve heard about this place through word of mouth. I’ve seen it along the way to Sonia’s Garden. It’s just a short drive from the cluster of restaurants along the ridge. It’s a perfect place to have coffee and dessert after consuming the heart-stopping bulalo at Leslie’s or Josephine’s. So a couple of months back, I finally went there, past the traffic light at the heart of the city, then parked at the other side of the Swiss Chalet. That’s where you’ll find the Bag of Beans. There’s a signboard, so you won’t have a hard time looking for it, unlike Sonya’s Garden (when I asked why they don’t have directions, I got this answer: “It’s Sonia’s Secret Garden.” Makes sense.)
They say the Shepherd’s Pie is a bestseller. It’s ground beef with mashed potatoes on top. It tastes good and should be a hit for those who want a light meal before the dessert. There are other baked products, like ensaymada, cinnamon roll and others. Still, I consider Bag of Beans as my place of dessert.
Relaxing atmosphere. There’s a small store beside the road where you could buy bread and pastries. Beside the modest store is a flight of concrete stairs going down a nice relaxing place, where you could sit comfortably amidst the bamboo and other trees, order Cheesecake (highly recommended) and, of course, have coffee. There are other items on the menu, but since I haven’t tried the rest, I’m in no position to give an opinion on those.
It’s indeed a relaxing place. Maybe it’s the rustic atmosphere. Maybe it’s the cool, fresh air. Maybe it’s simply the cheesecake or kapeng barako. Whatever it is, you could just sit back and relax. Time runs slower out here, it seems.