It's a little difficult to find at first. It's located at 64 Calderon St., Calumpang, Marikina, so if you're not familiar with area, and you're driving there, you might get a little lost. If you're a commuter, then it's easier for you. You just tell kuya tricycle driver to drop you off Cafe Lidia.
Cafe Lidia has this rustic appeal to it. Just outside, you'll see red bricks and arches. Kinda reminded me of a posh saloon. When you enter Cafe Lidia, it's like you've been transported to a different world. The interior is simple yet eloquent. It has this a simple, radiant, elegant ambiance that you don't normally find in Marikina establishment. People from Marikina are simplistic and have this homey-frugal approach when it comes to dining establishments.
Though Marikina is rich in food market - food peddlers, food kiosks, canteen-type or turo-turo, they usually don't decorate. Just a few tables, chairs, and an electric fan would do. Cafe Lidia seem to have deviated from Marikina's traditional food service and whipped up an affordable yet chic Italian restaurant.
The waiters were really nice. They're funny and chatty. They also know their products well because when you ask them what their best seller is, or what food they want to recommend, they have a ready answer, with an explanation. They don't answer the usual "lahat po masarap" (everything is yummy) when you ask them "ano bang masarap dito?" (which food is delicious here, or what's your best seller). I had a lot of questions about their menu since I'm not a huge fan of Italian food. I wanted to order buffalo wings, which from what I heard was their best selling appetizer, but thought that I'd save it for next time.
Being the fish lover that I am, I ordered the Parmesan Crusted Fish Fillet which was a pan-fried cream dory with parmesan cheese on the breading, topped with this Italian, semi-sweet red sauce.
My church friends ordered Baked Penne and Penne ala Vodka with Bacon
The Baked Penne had this Italian-Filipino zestiness to it. It was sweet, sour and meaty. A very hearty taste.
A friend suggested we order pizza, so we did. The house special has everything in it! It was so delicious! Too bad I didn't have too much room to eat more than 1 slice. What with dessert coming up?
My friend ordered the almond marjolaine cake. The top's already been eaten in the picture though. I wasn't able to taste it, but from how it looked, it looked interesting
Over all though, I love the food and ambiance that Cafe Lidia offered. I sure will be coming back to eat more.