Have you ever been to Trinoma mall, in Quezon City, on a non-working holiday? Caught the first screening of Wall-E with my fam, then met up with a friend after lunch. Parking was already bad even shortly after 11am, so you can imagine the crowd when we came out of the cinema. Close to the frenzy of last-minute Christmas shopping!
My friend C and I had documents to complete and a quick catching up session, so we needed coffee, a table, and none of the noise that surrounded us during our search for a good place to spend our short meeting.
Not surprisingly, the old dependables -- Starbucks (all three branches), The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Figaro -- were already full and actually SRO. Good thing there was Max Brenner's -- a walk-in, 3-wall small (about 8 tables) on the cinema level.
It's absolutely the place for chocoholics, that time of the month when girls crave for chocolate, and for consolation via a comfort drink in one of their hug mugs (more of that next time). But since we needed coffee and didn't want to blow P180 or something on hot chocolate (this can be shared, though), we had their brewed coffee --- only P88! I was delighted to discover they had coffee -- I never went past their list of chocolate drinks before -- and they offer about 5 variants: plain brewed, decaf, latte, double espresso, cappuccino. At least that's what I remember.
No queues, good thing, and a waiter with a buzz cut (hey, I thought they were supposed to be clean-shaven) invited us in with a smile, showed us to a clean table in a good spot and took our orders, leaving us with the menu in case we wanted something else (like a super expensive cookie) to go with our coffee.
We didn't wait long for our coffees to come. The beverages were really hot, C had to add some cold water to get her first sip without scalding her tongue. We each got a packet each of white and brown sugar, but no creamer or milk, which we had to ask for. They ran out of non-fat, but it wasn't a big deal at this point, especially when the server gave us this bit of news with an apologetic smile and quickly came back with our mini cups of warm milk. The coffee was very good, just the right strength, slightly acidic, and full-flavored. For me, it was excellent.
The music wasn't bad, but I honestly can't say it was good --- anything was actually a relief from the noise of the mall.
All in all, we got to do what we planned on doing. Now I know where to get a good cup of brewed coffee when all the other places don't work. Who knew? I don't usually go to a Chinese restaurant for a Paella.
P.S. I believe Max Brenner has closed most, if not all, of their outlets here in Manila, 25 Feb '11 :((