*Please excuse the low res photo. This was a spur-of-the-moment eat-out, and my phone and camera both broke down. Had to make do with my 1.3mp classic bar phone.
It is fascinating to me how ice cream can comfort the soul like no other. A bucketful lifts the spirit in times of lovesick depression, but can also calm it – quite paradoxically – with icy sugar rush in adrenaline-pumped moments.
The Magnolia Flavor House is a mix of that: the comfort in ice cream and nostalgia. So when Lia handed me a neglected flyer of their newest installment at SM North Edsa’s Sky Garden – on a bus en route SM North, no less – there was no hesitation, though the quarter-Ilocana in me nearly died looking at the price list.
|Excuse the antsy hand. Peach iced tea. P50. Tastes like…peach – powdered peach in a pack.|
The prices spike high on the steep-o-meter, but servings are huge enough for sharing for two to three except for the rice meals.
It was a rainy Sunday. We came about an hour past opening time, yet we were the first customers there. The place wasn’t packed the entire three hours we sat there, but with the growing number of Magnolia Flavor House junkies, the potential to flourish like its Robinson’s Magnolia branch is undeniable.
I ordered Nachos Overload (P185) as an appetizer and was surprised when I received a colossal tower of salsa-beef-onion-grated cheddar cheese-sprinkled yellow tortillas with softened Magnolia cheese sauce on the side. After all, the server said good for two. An old classmate and her husband joined and at the end of a three-hour banter, we still had left over. The bowl was that brimming.
Another “bestseller” that the server recommended was the Ultimate Clubhouse Sandwich (P255). It’s a three-decker sandwich with lightly toasted bread and a generous filling of ham, scrambled egg, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber and chicken salad. In the middle are fat, fried potato wedges paired with a small bowl of insipid aioli dip. The sandwich was no better than a home made one (In fact, I can do much better); the chicken salad tasted like those bottled sweet chicken spreads in groceries. But the potato wedges, I do appreciate as I do like them in their earthy, sputtering skins.
Me and my daughter rarely get out of tables without dessert, so we went for the Cookie and Cream Cheese (P175). One of their Marble Creations dessert, it is a tart-shaped waffle bowl that sits two scoops of cream cheese-flecked Magnolia’s cookies n’ cream with a thin spread of mamon in between. A singular oreo cookie crowns the choco-slathered stack.
I was a bit skeptical if the cream cheese would work, and surprisingly, it fared better than that. The marriage of salty cream cheese and Oreo-laced vanilla ice cream is fantastic. It had this toothsome sprite, and it is probably the only thing I would ever come back to out of all those Plain Jane things I’ve tried.