This is a prelude to my solo walk tour of JARO ILOILO.
A cafe called MADGE CAFE located in inside the public market of La Paz was referred to me by the tourism office. Nearby is the first DECO’S restaurant where the main menu in all its branches started to be served and loved – the La Paz Batchoy!
From downtown, I took a jeep going La Paz and asked the driver to drop me at La Paz Public Market, corner Rizal and Hervana Street, at the back of Grand Dame Building. Short ride at P7. I first saw DECO’S along Rizal and immediately took photos being the first branch and where its batchoy started. Now I know why it’s called La Paz batchoy – because the first Deco’s that served it is located in La Paz!
The restaurant is a small and very simple, a far cry from its high end branches in the city. I Looked at the menu and ordered the Extra at P70. I am familiar with the taste and aroma of batchoy and I exactly got what I wanted. Delicious! Eating in a place where it all started even made my meal better!
From Deco’s, I went inside the public market [entrance along Hervana] and looked for MADGE CAFE. Just ask for directions inside the market and they know. Madge Cafe is carinderia-style in appearance and very neat! It was quite windy when I was there that made my visit very relaxing. I ordered ice coffee at P30 – tall glass and “pandesyosa” – toasted bread with butter at P20.
While waiting for my ice coffee [they brew their own coffee by the way – selling point of the cafe] I was talking to Aling Julieta, the present owner and cashier. She is in her 70’s and the name MADGE was taken from her mother-in-law, MARGARITA. Aling Julieta and her husband inherited the cafe when the parents of her husband passed away. Since it started, Madge Cafe has been serving good coffee for 70-years, about Aling Julieta’s age. She also informed me that they have a newly opened branch in the Diversion road, air-conditioned but with price mark-up. I like it better in the public market, honestly.
My ice coffee was good with pandesyosa! If I was not thinking of my Jaro walk that afternoon, I should have stayed longer.
Full with batchoy from the first Deco’s and ice coffee from Madge, I was ready to do my JARO WALK!!!
READ MORE OF ILOILO THIS BLOG:
Iloilo City on Foot: A Solo Downtown Walk Tour [Iloilo Walk Tour Series]
OTHER WALK TOURS-THIS BLOG:
Here’s the location of La Paz Public Market where Deco’s and Madge Cafe are. Click to open. Click again to enlarge: