I was running on tour at the facade historical site of Zamboanga when my legs cramped due to almost 2 hours of nonstop walking . I looked for a unique place where I can take a rest and satisfy my hunger for a bit of snack. Walking along Valderosa Street not far from the famous Lantaka Hotel, I saw an establishment named TSOKOLATE. Though I don’t have that much for a sweet tooth, the place intrigued me to check it out.
|Some of the affordable tasty pastries sold in the store|
The place was a cozy small resto for pastries and cakes and projecting like an owner’s personal museum. Tables were made of old sewing machines and dozens of antique memorabilia like old guitars, posters, old vinyl records etc. were displayed magnificently on the orange bricked walls. Even the telephone was primordial compared to the techy designs we have in our current generation. I was thinking that the owner has a sense of craftsmanship and creativity, recycling his old stuffs into some kind of a money maker.
On the side of the counter, I noticed a performance stage, and I bet live music gigs are played here every night. I approached the counter and scanned on the menu they have. I was awed by the simplicity of the prices, half cheaper than a regular food chain and yet the pastries look delicious and more affordable than they look like. The food selection is not limited to pastries as they also offer merienda and full type meals including combo meal.
|Special palabok (Php 55.00) and hot choco (Php30.00) served indiferrently|
I asked the food attendant for the house specialty and their best seller. She directed me to a mouth watering chocolate cake displayed on the glass counter. But I wasn’t craving for chocolate and thought I should try something other than cake. I ordered their special Palabok and house specialty Tablea hot choco---for others this is a bad combination but not to me. Automatically the cashier gave me the password for their Wi-Fi connection seeing that I was carrying a laptop and must have known I was a first timer in their store. FANTASTIC! I sit on one corner of the resto and munch on the food I ordered while listening to a soft recorded music .
|Coffee on a warmer (Php30.00)|
I stayed for awhile and took advantage of the free Wi-Fi service. Looking around, I observed that the place is a common meeting place for hippies and group of people from different walks of life-travelers, businessmen, students, young professionals, LGU employees, etc. If you want to check your email or update your status on your social network, there are laptops set on one side of the resto that you can rent for a minimal fee.
To my shame of staying for almost an hour, I decided to order brewed coffee and some pastries on my desk. I was amused on the way the coffee was served. It was placed in a warming container and the brown sugar and milk were placed separately. After a few minutes, somebody stepped on the stage and started singing live jazz music.
|Take out counter|
Outside of the store, the management put up a pastries’ takeout counter, especially made for customers that couldn’t be accommodated inside the crowded resto.
With this revelation, I no longer wonder why the place was a jam-packed. It was the coolest “tambayan” in the city and I recommend this to travelers who love chocolates, pastries, music and a little entertainment for a break from touring around.
|Free Wi-Fi connection|
|Table made out from old flatform of sewing machines|