Good Pizza, Good Coffee at Lucas Cafe

I am eager to be inside my room 24/7, working relentlessly on editing paperwork whose payments are long overdue, but this has taken a toll on me, especially since I was a girl who sought for peace in discovering new places before the pandemic started.

I am always anxious when I go out since (1) the delta variant is just around and (2) I am a freelancer trying to make do of what I have. But there are also times when I am persuaded by my concerned connections and friends to go out for a while to take a breather (after seeing my artworks implying dark thoughts on Instagram). I agreed on a few conditions: places will only be in Rizal, preferably near my hometown; we won’t stay too long outside; it would be on a weekday so there’d be fewer people; and there is coffee . . . which led us to our discovery of Lucas Cafe.

How to Go to Lucas Cafe

Across Valley Golf subdivision is a narrow street, a part of Gen. A. Ricarte road. Walk toward a tricycle terminal, and then tell the driver to drop you off at Mars Street (PhP 30–40), which is a street away from Taytay United Methodist Church. Walk straight until you find a cozy cafe.

What to Expect in Lucas Cafe

The above pictures show how the exterior of Lucas Cafe looks like at four in the afternoon. It had a rustic and welcoming ambience, with air-purifying plants and wood accents beautifying the venue.

At six in the evening, they open their LED lights whose warm tones add to the coziness of the cafe. The pictures below show how their al fresco dining area looks like. They are only limited with three tables that could accommodate at most two to three people if protocols are followed.

We dined there at around four in the afternoon of a Wednesday, and it was one of our best decisions that week, I guess. It was not too hot, and there were few dine-in customers. The cool wind, along with the serenity and coziness that Lucas Cafe brought forth, refreshed and calmed our stressed selves. For the first time that week, I felt relaxed.

What to Eat in Lucas Cafe

We ordered macchiato iced coffee (PhP 100), noncaffeinated cookies and cream iced blended drink (PhP 120), and their best-selling spinach pizza (PhP 210).

I loved both the drinks, especially when eaten with the pizza. Though if I had to recommend only one of the few things we ordered (I am sorry, coffee), I highly recommend their spinach pizza. Must try! I wanted to go for the bacon flavor, but the spinach flavor was highly rated, so we took the recommendation. Never have I thought that I could taste both sweetness and saltiness in a pizza (since most of the pizzas I order are fully loaded with either cheese or meat); this may have been the best pizza I have ever tasted.

Favorite Picture

Lucas Cafe
12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
3 Mars Street, Taytay Rizal

The Ups and Downs of Visiting Art Sector Gallery and Chimney Café 360º

Note: This post has been in my drafts for a long time now (since February, imagine), and I was planning to publish this once the pandemic is over. However, realizing that the PH government prioritizes silencing their critics over flattening the curve, I have decided to post this today before I forget that I have this in my drafts.

Update: Art Sector Gallery and Chimney Cafe are open for visitors, but they do not entertain walk-ins. You have to book a visit and preorder your food. Since jeepneys are not allowed to operate yet, you can only go there if you have your own car.

Aside from mountains and nature reserves, Rizal is also known for its art galleries. Popular ones are in Antipolo and Angono, but there is also one in Binangonan called Art Sector Gallery, which I went to visit last February 2020.

How to Go to Art Sector Gallery and Chimney Café 360º

From Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall or Junction, Cainta, ride a Binangonan Highway jeepney and tell the driver to drop you off at Scrapyard Cafe and Restaurant. From there, tricycles lined up beside 7-Eleven can bring you to Art Sector Gallery (drivers asks for Php 200–300), but you can also hire a motorcycle taxi service like Angkas (I was lucky to get one), which only costs Php 70. Beware, however, as the GPS won’t point at the exact location. Better follow the guard’s instructions, or look for an eye-catching white building.

We left at around 6:30 p.m, fearing that we wouldn’t find a ride home. True enough, there were only habal-habal services (Php 75), which dropped us off at a tricycle terminal. It was a scary experience because the path downhill was steep, and there were three of us riding the motorcycle (including the driver).

The ride from the terminal to Angono Highway costs Php 10.

What to Expect in Art Sector Gallery

Even before entering the gallery, you will be greeted by a breathtaking view of Laguna Lake. I suggest you come at 3:00 p.m. if you want to take solo pictures at this spot.

Since we went on a Friday, we paid Php 125 to enter. There were only a few paintings, some even familiar; I think I’ve seen similar themes in Pinto Art Museum. My favorite is entitled Jae by Arnica Acantilado, which is hung on one of the walls of the second floor. (I wonder if it’s the name of the dog.)

The white-painted gallery accentuated with black borders strongly reminded me of Pinto Art. What made it different, however, was it had a venue to view the stunning sunset. Pak na pak ang golden hour.

What to Eat at Chimney Café 360º

I wasn’t able to take note of how much each dish was, but I remember paying Php 700 for all of these. The thin-crust pizza was okay, a 7/10. The mango shake (or was it a frappe?) and the pasta need improvements, however.

Things got disappointing when the cashier wanted to charge us with another service fee because we wanted to order more. Often when you order another dish, they’ll just add it to your current bill, right? So you’ll be charged with service fee once. But it wasn’t that way at Chimney Cafe; according to the cashier, “Ibang resibo na kasi.” I asked why they wouldn’t just include my supposed additional order to my first receipt, but he said, “Di po talaga puwede.” Hindi ko sigurado kung dahil ayaw niya ng erasures, o talagang gano’n ang patakaran nila.

In the end, I just decided not to order again. Can anyone clarify if this is okay? This ruined the experience for me, but I would still recommend going there for an astonishing sunset view.

Favorite Picture

Art Sector Gallery and Chimney Café 360º
3:30–10:00 p.m.; 4:00–9:00 p.m. (cafe)
Lot 18 Block 178 Eastridge Executive Village, Tayuman, Binangonan, Rizal

Carpentry and Coffee: A Neat Coffice in Cainta, Rizal

Coffice is a term used for cafes that can almost be your own office, and I’m glad that I found one only a few kilometers away from home. Carpentry and Coffee appeared on my Instagram feed after I followed #cafeph, and as a cafe hunter, I was willing to visit their place and try their food.

How to Go to Carpentry and Coffee

If you’re coming from Angono and Taytay, ride a Sta. Lucia or Tropical jeepney (or if you’re from Ortigas, you have to go down at Junction first). Tell the driver to drop you off at The Garden Walk, which is in front of SM Hypermarket. Carpentry and Coffee is located on the second floor.

What to Expect at Carpentry and Coffee

Whether you’re looking for a tranquil place to work and eat or you want to discuss a remodeling project with experienced builders over a cup of coffee, Carpentry and Coffee got you covered. With clean-furnished walls, tables, and other wooden furniture, this coffice stands by their name. It is a carpentry-theme cafe, established from the owner’s love for coffee, architecture, and interior design. I love how they provided a space for a mural depicting two workers painting on wood. They also used buckets and paintbrushes to design one ledge. We were during Valentine’s day, so their interiors were filled with hearts and reds.

Aside from their friendly staff and good food, their cafe emits a peaceful, nature vibe that is perfect for tasks that require utmost focus and offers sockets where you can plug in your laptop and mobile devices. The comfort room is outside the cafe, though.

What to Eat at Carpentry and Coffee

Above are their salted caramel frappe (Php 160) and chocolate milk tea (Php 95). We also ordered their must-try spicy Angus tapa (Php 235), regular Angus tapa, fish and fries, and tuna pesto and mushroom. I wasn’t able to take note of the prices of the other dishes, but all of them were superb. I will definitely go back for their Angus tapa and fish and fries, maybe with hot coffee next time.

Favorite Picture

Carpentry and Coffee
10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
2nd Floor, The Garden Walk, Felix Ave, Cainta, Rizal