By Stella A. Estremera
Goin' Places

FACEBOOK is becoming a new source for places to go hereabouts, where friends of friends post something about a new place. This is where I learned about this new place, which I have already noticed when it was still being spruced up.

It was a coffeeshop before, one of three branches of what was once Brewedcaster. The Brewedcaster along Araullo Street has long changed its name, while this other one along Palma Gil Street in Barrio Obrero, just across Urban Club in the Wheels and More compound, closed down and renovated into something else.

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That something else is now known as C-Tress Buffet Restaurant and Piano Bar. I didn't know it was a buffet restaurant when we went there last week with Imee and Charmaine (Trish and Deng are up to their necks in work and cannot be disturbed until the end of the week while Carlos is playing Indian). Like all raw information I get from friends and friends of friends, I only know it's a new place where there's food.

Thus, when we arrived, I wasn't prepared for a buffet, nor were Imee and Charmaine. Imee just asked what is in the menu for ala carte orders and was offered what seems to be the one and only that can be ordered outside the buffet since no menu was handed over - it's Hungarian sausage. Charmaine was more daring and took on the challenge of joining me for a buffet dinner even if we weren't hungry (and you thought this work is fun, eh? Try eating when you don't feel like it, and binging when you're supposed to be on diet. Haha!)

There was a row of food warmers and servers featuring molo soup, pork adobo, a salad station, shrimps in ampalaya, kinilaw, lechon kawali, a lot of other meat viands, plus deep-fried crabs, and dessert that looked like mocha jello and fresh fruits.

I started on the crabs (priorities!). It was tough. (Darn!)

I tried the molo soup. It was good. Then the lechon kawali; I liked it too, but that's because I like lechon kawali, period. I've had better ones.

Overall, the food is just okay but not something that will make you drool just thinking about it, and that will be a big challenge to the resto owner.

With so many buffet places hereabouts, offering such for P260 per person will be pitting it against the all-time favorites that Dabawenyos now frequent (some at much cheaper rates).

The piano bar later in the evening can be regarded as an added feature. Except that the whole set-up is for a restaurant and not for lounging. Meaning, there must also be something there that will encourage the diners to stay on and listen.

We left as soon as we finished dinner, and that was the time when the piano player started his set.

By then, there was just a couple who were just finishing up their dinner, and four persons who were looking over plans and appeared to be discussing business.

Verdict? Just food.