TUCKED in a residential area just a few meters from the main road in Koronadal City is what looks to be the place to go when you are craving for pizza and pasta.

The name is saBalai Bistro and its cozy interiors walks you through the collections of its owner, Carlo Ebeo, who is deep into the study of cultures and arts, you'd feel the vibe as you walk in this home turned bistro along Jose Abad Santos Street in Koronadal.

We were on our way home from Lake Sebu and wanted a heavy late afternoon snack to carry us through the long trip and top of the mind is Carlo's place because... friends.

We ordered their brick-oven baked and regular thin crust pizza. Lots, because it's buy one take one and it's Koronadal-priced.

We got the El Diablo, Vegetarian, Garlic and Cheese, and what turned out to be our favorite -- the open-faced Shawarma.

There's more, but we had our sights set on the pizza and we ordered a lot.

saBalai Bistro also has fries and nachos, carbonara, seafood pasta, and meaty lasagna, and a lot of stuff served on sizzling plates, aside from their super meal sets. Majority are between P99-P150, the most expensive being the pepper steak at P275.

That is what's fun about traveling to roads less travelled, you get bigger value for your money that can elicit one big burp for less.

The greater treat was that Carlo was in town and he talked about his research for his doctorate dissertation that traces Filipino genome and linguistics. Now that is something to look forward to... aside from another visit for one more round of the open-faced Shawarma pizza.