After our morning hunt for Silay City’s grand old mansions, we finally gave in to our tummies and headed to El Ideal, the oldest restaurant in Negros, for our much-delayed breakfast.
Entering the antiquated bakery, we were transported to bistros of bygone days. Similar to Bacolod’s La Corona Café, it exudes an air of eateries found in the sidestreets of Carriedo in Manila. The floors were bare concrete and the painted walls devoid of any decor. The expansive interior was lighted by vintage fixtures hanging across the ceiling (which I remember from my childhood days) and draped windows streaming in light from the outside.
We ordered our breakfast, sat ourselves on one of the bakery’s corner and contemplated the place’s history.
El Ideal is housed in the Cesar Lacson Locsin Ancestral House, a National Historical Institute certified heritage structure. The bakery started operation in 1920, specializing in homemade breads and cookies and was handed down from one generation to the next up to its current proprietor, Maritess Villanueva Sanchez, Cesar Lacson Locsin’s granddaughter.
The bakery had evolved since, now offering more pastry choices; most notable of which are the Guapple Pie, Angel Cookies, Pan Gasiosa and the traditional Piaya. Online reviews have also been raving about their Lumpiang Ubod, which sadly like all the delicacies I mentioned previously we were unable to try out as we were really craving for the more traditional silog breakfast.
Breakfast arrived, chicken longaniza for me and luncheon meat for L. My meal came with steamed rice (would have preferred it fried), for L, buttered toast. It also included two fried eggs and a choice of coffee, tea or juice; all for Php90.00. Not bad really if only for all the additions, we were disappointed with the measly serving size of the meat (specially the luncheon meat). Food was okay, nothing to write home about really.
Another thing I noticed, although the place was clean and air-conditioned, there were quite a few flies inside the room. It was kinda irritating to eat with them buzzing around and trying to land on our food. We were eating with one hand while using the other to shoo them away.
On hindsight, we should have really tried their baked specialties and did away with the usual breakfast fares, we could have enjoyed the place more, it still is a bakery after all.