Cuaderno Thoughts

Cuaderno Food Adventure

Cuaderno Manila

Cuaderno is a Fil-Mex cafe located in Taft area. To be specific, it is near Hotel Benilde. This is the first installment of our food adventure there!

Cuaderno Manila

Located at an area beside the illustrious Hotel Benilde, it has grown a versatile tasteful cuisine sensation that encompasses flavors, cultures and traditions from Filipino and Mexican heritage. Experiencing it first hand was really a great experience!

The owner is Chef Marvin. He is a graduate of De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde and also the one who made the menu.

The first time I heard of this is through my hotelier friends. They discovered it while walking around Taft. Luckily, Nicole who is a bibliophile recommended it to me.

I browsed their social accounts before going to the cafe itself. I fell in love with its interiors. From the murals to the table tops, everything is pretty!

Cuaderno Manila

Ah, the books.

The Place

The cafe houses a lot of books spanning from various genres and kinds. From novels to scholarly books, you can borrow the books and read it. Just remember to put it back when you’re about to leave.

What I love about the place is that it is homey. It’s a great place to catch up with your long lost pals or just have some me time. Truly, a cozy cafe that could take away your stress while you’re there.

For some, there may have been a lot of cafes lurking in Taft. However, this has been the one that caught my attention for the longest time.

As you may not know, some cafes have writings on their tables as well. But the writings may contain gross things or perverted thoughts. Others just contain hugots or pick up lines. Although it’s written in a not so artsy way.

Semana Santa 2017

See the lights, the murals.

Truly, it’s a home for bibliophiles and people who simply admires art.

The Food

While I had a free time, I visited the café to actually see and experience it for myself. I have been eating bits of Mexican cuisine. Burritos and nachos are my fave from this cuisine.

By visiting Gregory Park, I enjoy eating burritos and nachos.

First food: Mexican Braised Ribs

Cuaderno Manila

Mexican Braised Ribs

This is an original recipe by Chef Marvin of Cuaderno. It may sound similar to braised beef or baby back ribs.

The way that it was cooked was so delicious that the meat is not that hard. It’s just right.

What I love about this dish is that the spiciness it has is impeccable! I honestly would say that no words can really describe it. You should really have to taste it!

Afterwards, you get to experience the lusciousness of Filipino and Mexican cuisine.

You can enjoy this for Php 180 (or $ 3.62).

Second Food: Nacho Grande

Cuaderno Manila

Nacho Grande

What do you say to someone who tries to eat your food?

Hey, it’s nacho cheese. 

Did you get it? I just hope you did.

What is so interesting about this is that it has super crispy chips! Other than that, its chips are of two vibrant colors that would surely give you some cheery vibes!

The ground meat tastes well along with the cheese. I am not that very much fan of cheese but I seemed to pretty like it with the nachos. I pretty much don’t know about how it is being cooked or made. But what I know is that the chips are really fresh and crisp when served to customers.

Isn’t that amazing? This is really a great appetizer especially if you’ll stay and catch up with your friends.

You can enjoy a serving of their Nacho Grande for Php 140 ($ 2.82).

Third Food: Toastadilla Rolls (Ham and Cheese)

Cuaderno Food Adventure

Toastadilla Rolls

Rolls that have crispy exterior and sumptuous filling.

Eating it reminds me of burritos that may seem hard to eat. Well, depending on where you are buying one from. Some make it so wide that you are puzzled on how to eat it.

This on the other hand is quite easy to eat. One piece could easily fit in my mouth without any hardships. It is accompanied with chips similar to the nachos. Even without the dip, it’s yummy. With the salsa dip, it tastes better!

Just in case you would want to order, it costs Php 129 ($ 2.59).

Final Thoughts

Cuaderno Manila

Cuaderno Tables

I would definitely recommend this to you!

Here’s why:

  • The food served is of original creations by Chef Marvin.
  • Price wise, it may be a bit expensive for some. But for me, the price is worth it. You get to taste unique flavors when you dine.
  • For the bookworms and bibliophiles, this is a safe haven for you! You can bring your books or borrow from their shelves and read.
    • Those who have extra books at home, you may donate it. They have a box in collaboration with a foundation that gives books to places who do not have easy access to it.
  • To art enthusiasts out there, you will definitely love this place. It has decorations and murals that will surely lighten up your mood.

Disclaimer: I was invited by the owner to try out their best sellers. All photos and opinion are mine.

So what do you think about Cuaderno?

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  • Reply
    Milton Coyne
    May 18, 2017 at 11:16 PM

    Whenever I hear the term “Cuaderno” .. it used to remind me of my favorite Filipino Teacher when i was in High school.. she used to tell us “ilabas na ang inyong mga kuwaderno” haha
    This is an interesting place with a very neat and cozy theme! I personally love that corner with book shelf.. it compliments so well with their motif. Their meals are reasonably priced too considering that it was personally and uniquely prepared by a chef!
    Thanks for the recommendation

  • Reply
    Swayam Tiwari
    May 19, 2017 at 12:18 AM

    We have a similar place in Delhi called the Oxford Book Store. Like this place, Oxford too has a range of books that one can read while having snacks or sipping tea. I think price wise, Cuaderno is affordable. In Indian Rupees, it would be 210, somewhat close to Philippine Pesos. That the Chef is personally involved in all this means that it has to be a lip-smacking experience.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2017 at 2:02 AM

    The place looks awesome! I agree with you that it looks homey. I like that too. I really love the mexican cuisone. Nachos are the best! With lots of cheese ;).
    The ribs also look delicious. I’ve never seen Toastadilla Rolls! I neeeed to try that! It looks really really great.

  • Reply
    Above Precious Rubies
    May 19, 2017 at 6:10 AM

    Cuaderno/Kwaderno is a notebook, isn’t it? I agree with you, this place is for all bookworms out there! And though I am not much of a reader, I think this place is for me, still! haha. I looove to try those foods they served. And how about that colorful nacho? Ugh! Now I’m hungry! lol.

  • Reply
    Amila Wickramarachchi
    May 19, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    This sounds a great place specially for book lovers who also love dining.The food looks great.If the food is with great and unique flavours,then the price may not be a reason for most those who love dining experiences with peace and relaxing environment.And it is good to have book borrowing facility there!

  • Reply
    Roxanne Marie
    May 19, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    Glad to see another cozy place in Taft! A couple of years ago, I used to hang around in the area a lot and there were a couple of Korean-inspired cozy cafes where student “hang-out”. It can get quite awkward when you see them necking and doing stuff like that. I haven’t been to Taft lately, but I’ll definitely try Cuaderno when we go out, especially since my husband loves nachos. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 19, 2017 at 3:44 PM

    I love it when cafes have cozy interiors and shelves of books. For me, those make the place really feel like home, somewhere you can really chill out and have good food with family or close friends. ^_^ And the food do look really good too, especially the Toastadilla Rolls. The melted cheese has me drooling! Waaaaa!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2017 at 5:25 AM

    Wow!! I really love the place! The interior is simply amazing! I love this, how you call it, ‘homey’ atmosphere in the cafe. The books on the shelves and the fact that you can borrow them for reading is just perfect! Since I spend time in cafes alone very often, drinking my coffee, I would gladly enjoy sipping my first coffee and reading a good book. I would be their client for sure. 🙂

  • Reply
    LaiAriel Samangka (Thelittlelai: Beyond limits)
    May 20, 2017 at 8:34 AM

    This is such a lovely cafe to just stay for a couple of hour and read some of their books while trying their luscious food. I like the whole interior design and how they incorporate the colors of their tables and chairs. I must say that it is pretty cool and full of life when you gaze around the cafe. I will surely bear this in mind and would love to visit this cafe If I get the chance. Thank you so much for writing such a concise and honest review.

  • Reply
    Scenes From Nadine (Nadine Smith)
    May 20, 2017 at 3:22 PM

    Looks like a great place to dine and chill! I wish more cafes and restaurants like this would pop up. I bet a lot of students hang out here. I would, if I was studying nearby! I love the concept because it encourages people to read instead of just being busy on their phones or tablets. Also, the food looks yummy, especially the nachos. And yes, I got the joke about the nachos. Haha!

  • Reply
    Berlin | Momi Berlin
    May 20, 2017 at 4:18 PM

    I love the concept of a cafe with books around. I feel so much comfortable with books at the background or even books by the table. The place, though, is far from me but then this still gives me ideas where to hang out should I find myself roaming around Manila.

  • Reply
    Me-An Clemente
    May 27, 2017 at 1:32 AM

    I used to live in Taft so I know that Cafe Noriter is one of the cafes that have messy scribbles all over the place. Anyway, the place looks wonderful 🙂 The bookworm in me would totally love this place. Plus, their food is Filipino-Mexican. Gosh! That toastadilla made my mouth water.

  • Reply
    Eleanor Llabore
    June 6, 2017 at 1:43 PM

    Cool place! Yummy foods, books and wonderful ambience! I couldn’t ask for more. I hope to visit it soon! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    June 6, 2017 at 7:16 PM

    Books and food are a perfect combination! Those nachos are an interesting dishes. Very colorful but are they good? Does seem like a cozy place though. Hope to visit it soon.

    • Reply
      June 7, 2017 at 10:46 PM

      Yup! They’re so good!

  • Reply
    Eleanor Llabore
    June 8, 2017 at 7:49 AM

    I really love the place! It is tempting to curl in a corner with book in my hand while eating yummy nachos! I super want to taste the Toastadilla Rolls you shared with us and the Mexican Braised Ribs! I love the idea of sipping a cup of coffee while reading/browsing the net/writing some stuff inside this kind of place. I guess, I will be putting Cuaderno Manila in my #wishlist. Thank you Maria for this story! Love!Love!Love!

  • Reply
    Nicole P.
    August 17, 2017 at 9:30 AM

    This place looks pretty cozy! Perfect for people who are bonding with their friends and chilling on a late afternoon. The pica pica of nachos and tostadilla rolls looks so yummy! And pretty affordable too… I wish there are hangouts like these when I was still studying. I kinda envy kids nowadays cause of that. And this is great cause not only you get to eat great food, you also get to curl up with your favorite book… I imagine this place is pretty quiet enough for that <3 <3 <3

  • Reply
    Berlin | Momi Berlin
    August 24, 2017 at 6:18 AM

    Seems like a nice place to hang out with friends. I like how they name the place- reminds me of school. Cuaderno is notebook if I am not mistaken.

    Years ago, I dreamt of having my own diner and there would be books on display. Still wanting to have the same place with books around.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2017 at 12:03 PM

    This is a beautiful place to dine in with family and friends and perfects for book lovers, too! I love their beautiful display and that mural. You can never go wrong with having books all over. I am not a big fan because of the purple nachos, I hope I can get to try it and their other dishes, soon!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2017 at 12:39 AM

    Lovely concept! The place looks cozy and those food, yum! I’d love to try those ribs. Thank you for sharing your experience (though it made me hungry haha!). If I wouldn’t be couple thousand miles away I’d probably give this place a try with some friends. 🙂

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