Patio Vera Restaurant is a Loving Tribute to Mother and Lola
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The matriarch of the Caballes family always wanted to put up her own restaurant so that she could put to practical use and make money out of what she had studied in college – nutrition. The dream, which began in 1966 right after she obtained her university degree, though was set aside to make way for raising a family consisting of a husband and four children.
“Now that we are grown up, we, her children, decided to make her dream come true. So we put up this restaurant and we opened on October 1, 2011,” says Dennis Caballes, an interior designer by profession and a food enthusiast at heart, who acts as the restaurant’s marketing manager.
The restaurant was named after their grandmother Savera, fondly called Lola Vera by her grandchildren. Lola Vera herself loved to cook and Dennis fondly remembers the fiestas in their place in Calumpang, Marikina, when an enormous amount of food is prepared for the feast.
“Every fiesta, our household staff would cook in large pans and pots,” Dennis says. “So this restaurant is just a continuation of that tradition.”
Patio Vera specializes in Spanish cuisine – paella (paella de marisco, paella con carne, paella negra and paella valenciana), lengua – which are the restaurant’s bestsellers. It also offers Filipino favorites such as kare-kare, dinamita (jalapena stuffed with vigan longganisa and cheese), pork chop hamonado, spare ribs, humba, menudo de meya (menudo without tomato sauce), crispy pata, chorizo and cheese stuffed chicken, chicken adobo, chicken sa gata with talong, among others.
The restaurant offers a relaxed environment, with tables set in the garden covered with a giant canopy, surrounded by plants, palm and bamboo trees. There’s a bicycle parked beside the canopy, jars, angels, chandeliers, among other artifacts, adding to the homely feel. This spot, which magically transforms at night when the lights are on, is perfect for tete-a-tete among friends and families, romantic dinners between lovers that could lead to a marriage proposal.
“Ang dami nang wedding proposals na naganap dito. Madami na ang lumuhod dito,” says Dennis in Filipino. (There are so many wedding proposals that took place here. There are a lot of men who knelt in front of their girlfriends to ask their hand in marriage.)
Some groom-to-be even go to the extremes – hiring a musician to play romantic songs, rent the entire place, coordinate with waiters so they can help time the proposal to make sure that the mood is perfect.
“Minsan pati kami naiiyak (sometimes, even us are left teary-eyed),” Dennis says of some wedding proposals that are just too romantic, it pinches the heart of everyone in the room.
Patio Vera also serves alcoholic drinks such as beer and cocktails. The bestseller is frozen margarita – strawberry, mango and classic.
While the place looks classy and the profile of its clients are from the A and B classes, the food and drinks are friendly on the wallet.
Average price per dish is around P200 to P300 and the serving is generous, making each order ideal for sharing. Customers come from as far as Batangas and Alabang.
For those who want to stay indoors, Patio Vera has an airconditioned dining area with tall glass windows that offer a view of the garden.
Aside from marriage proposals, the restaurant has hosted a number of other occasions such as wedding banquets, birthdays and baptism. It also accommodates pre-nuptial pictorials. The whole place can cater up to 100 persons, making it an ideal venue for large gatherings.
70 Gen. F. Santos, Marikina 1800
0935 611 9051
12 noon to 10 pm, seven days a week.
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