April 14, 2007
Calea Calea Calea
One of the most hallowed institutions of culinary arts here in this fair city of Bacolod is Calea. The place is well-known to all and even Red Ribbon (with its dismal sales) will attest to the prowess and sheer tenacity of this dessert place. Only during force majeure will Calea fall. (A matchstick and a can of petrol will do the trick!) In a nutshell, because of its unyielding quality and generous quantity, Calea will forever increase the diabetic curve of my fellow Negrenses. Pass me the insulin will you. Better yet, let me inject 10 'u' Actrapid SQ stat prior to cake consumption.
Calea, hopefully, will not be beholden to the Sodom & Gommorah (that is Manila) when it tries to tempt our cakeshop with the promise of hyperbolic profits. I'm glad that instead of taking the bait and let Manileños have their cake too, Calea is contented to sit and relax and see its three shops here churn centavos in profits. At least this will ultimately force Manileños to order stuff provincially rather than to have everything conveniently bought from Glorietta.
Their main shop sits beside the 3-star hotel called L'Fisher, Lacson Street while the other two are conveniently located in Robinsons and Eastblock. They open from 10? to 10 p.m. Negrenses looking to have their dose of diabetes can get their daily shots there.
But the question remains, what makes Calea very very special?
1. Even though they are located in the heart of this provincial nest of vipers, Calea is able to make cakes worthy of Nigella Lawson with ingredients culled from Bavaria. Take for instance their White Chocolate Cheesecake. It's rich and sinfully so, and is accompanied by a spoonful of raspberry puree. Where in Manila can you find such treat for only P60? Even Sugarhouse cannot afford such luxury.
2. The varieties are endless (only in Bacolod you will find the racist dessert called Black Sambo which is merely chocolate-vanilla layered pannacotta) and Calea is not stuck with the usual regimen of Chocolate cake and Chocolate Crinkles and Blueberry Cheesecake. Each cake is filled with soul and people who have tasted Calea will always point out how "uncommercialized" the taste is. For instance their Blueberry Cheesecake are like the ones being made in NYC and the crust! the crust! How to describe it? A buttery concoction of oatmeal crunch granola instead of the usual graham crust being peddled in Starbucks and Cheesecake Factory. They even have several semifreddos that even Bizu can't come up with.
3. The place (especially in East block) has a great atmosphere. Great concept and lay-out that is more like Sugarhouse with personality. It is fortunate that whoever designed the place didn't get his/her inspiration from Dumaguete's House of Sans Rival because did not end up looking like the interiors copied from a Grimm's Fairy Tale.
4. They serve goooooooood coffee. I don't know what blend or what style (perhaps human kopi luwak?) but their White Chocolate Capuccino is waaaaaaay better than Starbucks.
5. The price! The most expensive cake would be around P60-65. Most cheesecakes are in the P50s range and the Butter pecan slice about P64. In McDo, your P65 is just your typical Cheeseburger meal. Do the math.
Thus, Calea is ours and ours alone to taste and enjoy.