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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sans Rival: A pleasurable experience

SANS Rival, the favorite pastry shop of Dumaguete, has come to town bringing with it its famous sans rival, which is “a layered meringue cake (that’s) buttery, nutty, crunchy, chewy, rich and sweet.” It is truly without rival as its name suggests. Also available are the silvanas, defined as the cookie version of sans rival, which are equally yummy. Both are a favorite pasalubong, not just locally but also abroad.

Sans Rival in Cebu is located at the ground floor of Robinson’s Galleria, and is the first branch outside Dumaguete. Its menu devotes a page to Trinidad Teves Sagarbarria who did wonders in the kitchen and who set up the first Sans Rival in 1977, followed later on by Sans Rival Bistro, also in Dumaguete.

The Cebu outlet is not just a place for pastries but also for dining. It serves breakfast, with a choice of Filipino, SR Café breakfast or spa breakfast, the last being a serving of selected premium cereal, nuts and dried fruits served with milk and honey, fresh fruit in season and with orange juice.

For merienda, it has a variety of sandwiches, including its special Sans Rival Club and Sans Rival BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato). Or one could opt for burgers and the choice is signature burger with cole slaw, hamburger classic cheeseburger, bacon mushroom melt burger or spicy chili con carne burger. Or why not a plate of pasta? There’s spaghetti, putanesca, fresh tomato pasta or cheese lasagna.

A full-course meal is also available as Sans Rival serves soup (tomato-basil-cheddar, or pumpkin carrot, or sopa de lentejas which is a favorite), salads (Signature salad, Salad Nicoise or classic Caesar) and main course: honey glazed chicken, calamares de salsa, callos, grilled baby back ribs, chicken asado and roast pork with gravy.

Being a pastry place, there are a lot of choices for dessert, aside from sans rival and silvanas. There are blueberry cheesecake, salted caramel cheese cake, lemon lime mousse cake and a whole lot of other pastries including torta and ensaymada. Its coffee is its own blend which they also sell as coffee beans.

As a pastry place, it has whole cakes like ube supreme, tres leches, kahlua walnut, butterscotch marble, oreo mousse and choco banana crème cake. In ready to go packs are jam squares, chocolate marble choco almond biscotti, special polvoron, lady fingers, kiddie fingers (really colorful and attractive to kids), meringue, nutty brownies, oatmeal crisps and fruity mango bars.

Whether one needs a meal or a snack or a pasalubong, Sans Rival is an ideal place to make one’s choices. Its sky blue and white signature colors are a welcome sight and the staff, mostly from Dumaguete, “the city of gentle people,” are most helpful, making the stop there a pleasurable experience.

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