Affordable and great tasting meals are the best for practical foodies like me. Places that offer good food without burning a hole in your pocket definitely earns a spot in our list of favorite dining places. Our recent addition to this list is Cafe Lidia. This quaint restaurant in Marikina City has an interesting mix of Asian and Western flavors in their menu. You can find soup, salad, pasta and steak selections along with pinoy fares like tapa, longganisa, and tocino.
For our first visit, we got tried the Mozzarella Sticks, Dad’s Special, Chicken Pesto Pasta, Rib-Eye Steak, Salisbury Steak, Crispy Fried Boneless Fried Chicken, and Pasta ala Lidia. I liked the crunchy coating on the mozzarella sticks as well as the marinara sauce that came with it. Although the sticks tasted fine, I would’ve preferred that they added a bit more cheese in them.
Dad’s Special consisted of Beef, Shrimps, Grilled Tomatoes, and Caramelized Onions. The beef tasted like salpicao and was tender even though it was medium cooked, while the shrimps, onions and tomatoes had minimal seasoning. This is also great because fresh veggies and seafood taste best in their natural flavors. The Crispy Fried Boneless Fried Chicken that we ordered for my niece was served with plain rice and mixed vegetables. She enjoyed the crunch and flavor of the battered fried chicken as well as the slight crispness of lightly cooked vegetables on the side.
It took us a while to decide on which pasta dish to try out first but we finally decided on the Chicken Pesto Pasta with cream sauce and Pasta ala Lidia, a house specialty. I found the Pesto Pasta Sauce to be a bit runny, but my sister and mom thought it was just right. Since the sauce tasted good and the pasta noodles are cooked just right, I have nothing to complain about. I especially liked the chunky chicken nuggets and the sprinkle of nuts that added flavor to the dish. The Pasta ala Lidia was also good. It is like a Pasta Puttanesca with a twist. Aside from the unique flavor, they also didn’t scrimp on the ingredients here. You can pick out the tuna, anchovies, olives, and tomatoes on your plate and still have some left to go with the pasta noodles.
As for the Rib-eye and Salisbury Steaks, we simply love them both. The meat is juicy and flavorful and they are cooked according to your preference. I like mine really well done but I know of some who would rather have it medium cooked. The steaks came with a gravy boat but I think Worcestershire Sauce is a better option. A steak lunch or dinner at a Php255-490 price range is a great deal for foodies on a budget. This puts Café Lidia one of our favorite steak places around the metro.
Cakes, Pastries, Desserts, and Specialty Drinks are also available for those who simply want to chill in the afternoons. I am not so crazy about their cakes though, because some are quite dry while others that tasted fine don’t seem to be worth their price tag. In general, their meals are practically priced which merits a lot of return trips with family and friends. So far we have enjoyed their steaks and pasta dishes, I can’t wait to try the others in their menu as well. Those who happen to find themselves in Marikina City during lunch or dinner time may want to swing by Café Lidia and get their fill of great tasting steaks and pasta and wallet friendly prices.
Café Lidia is found at #64 Calderon St. Calumpang, Marikina City. Aside from great tasting dine-in and take-out meals. they also offer catering and function services.