New Restaurant Alert: The Bookyard Cafe at E. Rodriguez, Quezon City
They have a Lang Leav drink that has all the feels.
G/F G3 The Garden Heights Condominium, 269 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Thursday) and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday to Saturday)
(SPOT.ph) This nook is barely as big as your typical studio-type condo, but size limitations didn't hamper the owners to make Bookyard Café look like a backyard—complete with a white picket fence, bean bag chairs, and wooden crates that act as tables. A tree-shaped shelf holds books and board games available for the customers to enjoy.
Friends Kenneth Orallo and Danj Valderueda are fresh grads and aspiring teachers. They realized that teaching younger folks isn't limited to the classroom, so they came up with a venue to encourage reading—with snacks and drinks.
There are over 200 books that can be borrowed and read while in the café. Most of the titles fall under YA, and you'll see familiar names like John Green, Ransom Riggs, Lang Leav, and Kiera Cass, as well as Danielle Steele, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King. Local literature is represented by Bob Ong, Lualhati Bautista, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Buenaventura S. Medina, Jr., and more. Board games include Jenga, Ice Breaker, Dominos, and Snakes and Ladders.
Visitors aren't allowed to take any of the books home, but Kenneth and Danj are working on a more efficient borrowing system where customers can leave their identification cards at the desk.
This reminds us of a book cover.
To drive their literary theme further, Bookyard Café plays around with the names of their dishes. Items on the menu pay tribute to well-known authors and the characters they brought to life. Take for example, the MilkShakespeare, which features a set of milkshakes: Hazelnut of Venice (P130), a nutty drink with fluffy cream and chocolate syrup, and the Tempestrawberry (P130), a sweet and tart combo drizzled with strawberry syrup, among others.
Hazelnut of Venice
John Green Tea
One of their blended drinks has been labeled the John Green Tea (P150), which would appeal to even non-matcha lovers thanks to the Oreo and whipped cream embellishments, while a citrus slushie has been dedicated to hugot author, Lang Leav. The Lang Leavmonade (P80), however, isn't bitter at all. It's a sour pink lemonade with a slice of lemon.
Buti Pa Ang Roma May Papa writer Noreen Capili, also known as Noringai, also gets a namesake beverage. The Citrus Noringai (P80) is a mix of calamansi, moringa, and cucumber to create a truly refreshing thirst quencher.
Mozzarella Pepperoni Fries
For those who want to stretch on the "bookyard" reading, make sure to enjoy your book with food on the side. The Mozzarella Pepperoni Fries (P120) flaunt thick-cut Belgian fries, cooked with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices. Be as cheesy as a romance novel for an extra P15. Continue that theme with the Nachosen One (P95), which uses pure beef to season their nachos. It comes with a killer cheese dressing.
Try the Classic Burger (P150) if you're craving a heavier meal. An all-beef patty, tomato, lettuce, onions, mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup make up this simple yet satisfying stack.
S'mores Than Words
This library café has an entire mini-catalogue for s'mores. The bestseller is something called S'mores Than Words (P120). A thick layer of melted chocolate and crushed graham sits at the bottom, then topped with torched marshmallows. To crown this mouthwatering dessert, they add vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. You eat them with pretzel sticks—available in both plain and chocolate.
Sugar-filled snacks? A playpen-esque yard? Bookyard certainly makes you feel like a kid again. We hope it feeds your love for reading, too.
Photos by Juan Sinag Cano