Popular Restaurant in Baguio called Cafe by the Ruins

"If you haven't eaten in Cafe by the Ruins, you have't actually been to Baguio". This is what I kept on hearing from other people, and judging by our experience, it was what everyone else did too. Hence, I'm guessing that this is the reason behind the magnitude of customers flocking in during our visit.

Cafe by the Ruins in Baguio, Benguet
Cafe by the Ruins in Baguio, Benguet
Fighters in a Chaotic Place
It was almost an unpleasant experience. The place was packed, and there was a long queue of customers wanting to be seated. Right there and then, we knew that we will no longer have the chance to dine-in. We didn't expect it, and we were all hungry. Hence, we decided to order something for takeout. Unfortunately, we were informed that the takeout will be pended along with the orders of those dining in. Tired and lazy to go to another restaurant, we still went for it.

As we were ordering, I witnessed an agitation among the waitstaff and the cashier which made things look extremely chaotic. By then, everyone, including us, started to become cranky. Finally, after more than an hour, the orders came out.

So, what happened during the long hour of waiting?
Well, I realized that the taking photos of the dishes in their "takeout form" may not look pleasing in this blog; hence, what I did was to guard the post and shoot whatever comes out. Luckily, I was able to take photos of almost all of what we ordered.

Anyway, I shall now present to you the dishes we ordered, and those that I just randomly took photos of.

Kesong Puti Plate || P150
Kesong Puti in Cafe by the Ruins
Kesong Puti in Cafe by the Ruins
Even for an appetizer, the Kesong Puti was really enjoyable with its soft cheese flavor and fineness.

Chicken Galantina || P280
The Chicken Galantina of Cafe by the Ruins
The visually enticing but ordinary-tasting Chicken Galantina
Among all those that we ordered, it's this dish that I liked the least. It was perhaps because I was able to try a really excellent one in F1 Hotel.

Tita Susie's Crispy Tapa || P300
Everyone's favorite: fried shredded and seasoned beef on top of a mountain rice, served with fresh tomato-onion relish and a cup of beef broth.
Tita Susie's Crunchy Tapa in Cafe by the Ruins
Tita Susie's crunchy tapa shreds in Baguio
The tapa was surely an interesting dish with the enjoyable crisp and crunch. However, same as the Baguio Bagnet, the serving size wasn't that impressive.

Beef Ribs Sinigang || P340
The refreshingly tasty Beef Ribs Sinigang
The refreshingly tasty Beef Ribs Sinigang
The sinigang had this apt fruity sourness that gave it a genuinely refreshing taste! The meat was tender, as stated, and its serving was ample enough.

Bistek with Herbed Butter || P320
The modernized and steak-like bistek of Cafe by the Ruins
The modernized and steak-like bistek of Cafe by the Ruins
This bistek was notably tender and was characterized by a smokey zest. Really nice!

Baguio Bagnet || P340
A typical Ilocano meal: double fried pork belly - first it is tenderized in lard, then re-fried to a crisp. Condiments are Podas bagoong and tomato relish.
Baguio Bagnet - a best-seller of Cafe by the Ruins
Baguio Bagnet - a best-seller of Cafe by the Ruins
This Baguio Bagnet had this guilt-driven tastiness enhanced by the flavorful fish sauce. The only sad thing about this dish was its small serving. Bitin!

Cafe by the Ruins - Taken out and eaten at home!
Cafe by the Ruins - Taken out and eaten at home!
Tortang Talong || P220
The torta was really a brilliant creation with its well blended flavor! It was further made interesting with the infusion of the kesong puti. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the dish.

Here are some of the dishes I randomly took photos of:

Cafe by the Ruins' bountiful saladCafe by the Ruins Special Drink
Cafe by the Ruins Carbonara

Cafe by the Ruins - Overall Ratings and Summary

Note: Unshaded stars are equivalents of half-stars. The ratings apply solely to this dining experience.
Place ★★
Taste  ★★
Service ★★☆ 
Value for Money ★★
Budget: At least P400 per head for an enjoyable mini-feast (consisting of about 4 foodies)

Overall, I have to admit that the dishes range from above okay to great, but they are considerably pricey. (What more if we include the opportunity cost from the time spent waiting?)

To wit, Cafe by the Ruins is a must-visit restaurant in Baguio, but make sure that you do during off peak season/days. Otherwise, you may have to deal with waiting and uber busy staff.  However, if you don't mind these things, go ahead and check it out!

How about you - do you recommend this place?

Cafe by the Ruins
Location: 25 Shuntug Road, Baguio, Benguet
This branch is the one that got burned down

Service Charge: 10% of the price including take-out orders

Store hours: 7:00 am to 11:00 am - Breakfast
11:00 am to 10:00 pm - Lunch/Dinner
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