The last meal I had was a pack of instant pancit canton six hours ago and my stomach was starting to protest as we went off the Lucban church ground in search of morning grub. I heard of a somewhat peculiar café near the historic Lucban Church from a fellow traveler that only opens during the Pahiyas Festival; Sucre et Sel Café it was named.
Literally translated, the name means sugar and salt. But being foreign to tongue, I held off asking the locals where the café was located. Fortunately it was really not that hard to find, being located at the east side of the Lucban Church. A tip for those who want to check the place out, just gaze upwards at the second floor of the houses besides the church and you’d find its carved wooden signboard.
Sucre et Sel Café looked like a typical ancestral house with its ground floor converted into a store selling local Lucban delicacies. We asked the store clerk if the café was already open and she led us into the second floor of the house.
We passed a dim hallway, through a flight of stairs and into an airy dining hall filled with metal chairs wrapped in rattan and glass tables. The floors were of wide hardwood planks that typifies houses of this type. Capiz windows line two of its dark wooden walls with the central one looking directly to the stone façade of the Lucban Church.
We ordered tapsilog and longsilog through their open kitchen, traditional Filipino breakfast fare fit for a morning at the province. Well, there really wasn’t much of a choice since all they have besides those two was Teriyaki Chicken (which I must say was really at odds with their atmosphere and offerings).
While waiting, we watched the streets go busy through the huge central window. The sky turned grey again but the light drizzle didn’t seem to dampen the crowds visiting Lucban for the annual Pahiyas Festival. Merchants were opening their stalls in the middle of the street, kesong puti sellers weaving through the throngs with their wares slung on their tough shoulders along with balloon and taho sellers. The crowd’s getting thicker by the moment.
Our meals arrived some minutes later, it took a quite a bit but we didn’t mind waiting; it was a treat to hang out at their window.
Sucre et Cel’s tapsilog beef jerky was a bit tough but has a nice slightly sweet flavor. Their longsilog which consist of a pair of crispy traditional Longanisang Lucban was excellent as was to be expected of the famed garlicky sausage. It would have been better though if they added another piece of longanisa since the portions are way too small.
One pet peeve I have about Tapsi houses are their claim to serve fried rice when in actuality they do not; unfortunately Sucre et Cel Café is guilty of this.
Nevertheless, the café’s ambience, more than passable food and very affordable price make it an interesting food destination if you happen to find yourself in Lucban during the Pahiyas Festival.
Sucre et Sel Café
113 A. Mabini Street
Telephone: (042) 540-1523
GPS Coordinates: 14.114458,121.554097 | Click to View Location on Google Maps
How to commute to Lucban, Quezon:
Board an HM Bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna in Cubao (Php149.50.00), ask the driver to drop you off at the
jeepney terminal going to Lucban. Take the big jeepneys with the Sta. Cruz - Lucban signboard (Php49.00),
you can topload if you want but the road is zigzagging and the drivers are pretty fast so extreme care must
be taken. Alight at the jeepney terminal and hop on a tricycle to town (Php10.00 per person)
PART OF A THREE-PART LUCBAN PAHIYAS FESTIVAL SERIES
LUCBAN CHURCH – SAN LUIS OBISPO PARISH | SUCRE ET SEL CAFÉ | PAHIYAS FESTIVAL