A cerveceria

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Saturday, May 3, 2014


OUR specialties are pizza, pasta, and burgers, the food attendant said as we looked through their menu at Black Olive Cerveceria in this new hangout complex in Pasig -- the Capitol Commons.

We agreed to get an all-meat pizza to share. Juju and wife Eleonor ordered Paella and a cold cuts platter. Lani and Bobby ordered Paella Negra and an herbed sausage. I decided to just share in their food.
(While they were saying they were very hungry and that they might not have enough to share, I was proven right in the end because we even had leftovers!)

You know you’re in good company when you are able to lasso in four friends, two of whom (both males) are obviously bushed from too much work, but who still agreed to stay up till past midnight so as to accompany you while away the time for your 3:30 a.m. flight.

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That was my company Friday night for my Saturday flight in the company of very dear friends.

Thus, dinner was in a place that Bobby and Lani haven’t tried yet, but which Juju recommended.

First thing we noticed… the unusually big number of security men. Like four big men wearing black shirts with “SECURITY” in huge white letters at the back, by the doorway.

We went up to the second floor where two more big men wearing the same shirts were. It really makes you wonder what you are entering. True, we are so used to seeing armed men in camouflage manning the entrance of the whole Matina Town Square complex, but not one security man hovering by the entrance doors of a bar, except when they are taking a break to eat.

The crowd seemed tame enough, just people who are there to have dinner and enjoy some drinks.

We had water and Coke in cans (just two, Juju and Eleonor sharing, and one for Lani).

The waitress said we will get our orders in 15-20 minutes, and we wondered how that is possible considering we ordered two paellas. But true enough… service was fast and our table was filled up with all our orders within 15 minutes.

I searched Black Olive in the Internet to check, and found terrible reviews about their service. Hmmmm… apparently management took note of these, or maybe we were the type whom service crew love to give a good impression to (hehehe!), the ladies were knowledgeable about the food they were offering, and service was fast and efficient unlike some rants in social media. Longer hmmmm…

The meal goes with a complimentary basket of chewy French bread slices served with olive oil with a dribble of balsamic vinegar. If you order another basket, that will be P65.

The pizza was good. Thin crust with a topping of fresh greens including aragula. We asked for more aragula and they gave us a saucer of sliced aragula, which apparently was free since this did not appear in the bill.
The cold cuts platter comes with a concoction of olives, cherry tomatoes, and slices of bell pepper in olive oil and a dribble of sweetish sour sauce, perfect to dip your bread slices in. Bobby cornered that after I got the cherry tomatoes and a few pitted olives.

The sausage was really good served on a bed of potatoes and sauce. I like the herb, whatever it was, it went well with the meat.

The paellas were okay to, although the paella negra was not as black as what we have over here in Davao (it didn’t leave our teeth and lips super black as our paella negra here would).

Overall, the experience was pretty swell, despite the more than usual number of security crew (there were three big men at the entrance door wearing black shirts with “SECURITY” in huge white letters at the back, around two inside at the ground floor, and two more milling around at the mezzanine where our table was. I’m okay with being inspected at the entrance gate, even with armed men, but big-muscled bouncers prowling inside a restaurant is just too much for me).

Music was not that loud and so we can carry a decent conversation with each other, except that Peewee was with his friends at the bar right beside Black Olive, the Tipsy Pig. We went there after dinner to be treated to loud music, super loud laughter, and everything we errrmmm… peace-loving people didn’t quite relish.

Yes, Capitol Commons and Black Olive is worth a visit. Tipsy Pig is too loud, both in music and in people.

But expect Manila prices. There’s also one common observation among the five of us at Black Olive… reading through their menu can make you dizzy. It’s because it is fastened on top and have prints back to back making you flip and turn the menu around as you read.

The whole area is spanking new, and a high-rise is still going to be constructed. There was parking space, but not for long, we are sure. Juju said that normally, parking is really difficult there. But on the night we were there, there were two parking slots waiting for us. Swell.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 04, 2014.

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