Back in October, my good friend Ar and I went on a sisterly date bec the rest of the girls were busy with domestic duties –laundry, store-keeping, mopping, cooking, feeding the kids and probably keeping a close eye of the husbands. 😀 And just bec Ar and I have minimal issues like that it’s always a go esp when Ar’s Saturdays are free from boring board meets.
It’s a carefree day, which I love, there was no itinerary to follow. We really didn’t plan anything but days before our “gala” I scouted a few restos around. I don’t want us to settle to the usual and besides I want someplace where we could hangout long, ideally away from the coveted and crowded Tagaytay.
I checked Camp Benjamin in Alfonso, I’ve been seeing friends on my timeline visiting the place. I eventually got curious esp that the pictures I’ve seen were farm-like.
Camp Benjamin. <excerpt from the official site>
It started with the dream of its founders and funders to give their best to the Lord (notwithstanding their earthly possessions and talents) to attend to battle-weary souls in a secure, relaxing, farm-like and yet modern-looking camp. The goal is to nurture them back to uncanny strength, vigor and conviction — ready to serve the world again much like the Benjamins’ of old and the “Benjamins” we see today serving people with a warrior’s courage and a servant’s heart.
For all that enters its gate, CB is anchored on two-pronged vision of wellness and transformation – a learning facility at its core and a place for physical restoration. It uses as much organic methods (farm life if you may) as it could to restore people’s health and strength while at the same time showcases advances in technology that inspire the mind and makes the world a better place to live in.
I guess with the camp’s vision alone, I’m sold! 🙂 I’d like to spend some time at this place and have a peaceful sojourn. I wish the girls and I can spend a night getaway again. Anyway, we arrived at CB around 3pm, we headed at Mon’s Restaurant bec we’re up to a late lunch or consider it as an early dinner, either way in our case. Mon’s is a fusion of modern and traditional taste and accordingly ingredients are locally grown and sourced from a nearby farm, probably at the neighboring Win Farm.
We ordered a full set and probably the house specialties. On our table (sorry no close-up photo of Crispy Kare-Kare and Ginataang Puso),
CHICKEN ADOBONG MANOK SA TABLEA
Classic Chicken Adobo cooked in thick Cocoa sauce
Crispy Boneless Pork Leg served with sautéed organic vegetables and rich peanut sauce
GINATAANG PUSO NG SAGING
Spicy banana heart in coconut cream sauce wrapped in lettuce leaves
Amongst, I fancy the chicken adobo and funny how the cocoa sauce didn’t really taste strong despite the thick depiction. I got a little skin of the boneless kare-kare so I can’t really tell how it fare. The ginataan dish was excellent bec the gata was heavy the way I like it. Really, I enjoyed the meal but not exceedingly impressive for me bec I was feeling under the weather that time and my palate was bland. Nevertheless, I love Mon’s because of its hill side location, it’s literally a breath of fresh air, homey feel I love. We skipped getting dessert at Mon’s although I was eyeing to try the Bibingkrep, next time.
By the way, Tatang G was with us bec ya know I can’t drive besides his presence add a little fun around. Hehehe. Before leaving Camp Benjamin, Ar and I checked the nearby Shalom Hotel, I was wondering if we could peek in at their hotel rooms, unfortunately hotel was fully booked.
We decided to drive to Tagaytay for dessert, I was considering Twin Lakes but before we hit the main road I asked Tatang G to drive towards Tagaytay proper. We ended at Don Limone. At last cheesecakes!
Don Limone Grill in Tagaytay is easy to miss if you’re not really familiar because the signage along the road was unnoticeable. If you’re coming from Tagaytay-Mendez crossing, it’s on the left side of the road right at the junction where the road splits going to Mahogany Road. The restaurant itself is tucked inside a small residential compound, an insanely quiet neighborhood. I remember when ze husband and I attempt to dine one time, it was early morning because I was thinking of breakfast but they open only until 11am so we left unhappy. This time we arrived almost 6pm, I thought the restaurant would be packed by early diners but lo and behold we were the only guest until we left at around 8pm. A bit weird on a Saturday night eh?
Since we came here for dessert I didn’t bother to check the Mediterranean courses they offer, it’s a bit pricey for me –say lamb chops and lamb shanks, ridiculously expensive! We had the set dessert menu because there is no other choice I think. P400 for a slice of any cheesecake and refillable coffee, kaya sulitin na lang natin sa kape! We got Limoncello, New York and I think Bailey’s (?), we got different flavors so we got to share and taste each, I’m forever partial to NY cheesecake so tapos ang laban. There were also chilled wines, asked for the dessert lines if you’re pairing it with cheesecakes. We had a good chat here bec we own the place, I picked the corner near the bar bec I thought it’s a bit isolated and relax. And bec there were no other guest who came by, the staffs were very attentive. I’d like to go back at Don Limone and sample their espetada and baklava but probably on a daytime bec the place gets a bit creepy at night. Ask Ar and Tatang G they felt spirits would pop anytime and scare the three of us.
In general, it was a great Saturday with Ar bec we were able to get loose of the weekday hang-up. I look forward to our next meet-up and gala and road trip. ♥
MON’S RESTAURANT at CAMP BENJAMIN | Alfonso-Maragondon Road, Bgy. Taywanak Ilaya, Alfonso, Cavite | M. 0977-134-9078 or 0919-955-2758 | T. (046) 683 – 6971 | firstname.lastname@example.org
DON LIMONE GRILL | 4870 General Emilio Aguinaldo Mendez Crossing East, Tagaytay City | M. +63 9328732316