January 16, 2016

Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar- Hearty and Healthy Dishes in Cedarhills Garden Center

For our annual Christmas party reunion, Sumi, Stacy and I decided to go for something healthy since we were already feeling the holiday pounds even before Christmas. The girls suggest we try something new and Hillside Cafe and Juice Bar was our top choice for a casual lunch and get together. The holidays have gotten so busy, that we were only able to meet up after New Year.

The place was not hard to find, but limited side street parking was available for customers. Fortunately, we immediately secured one upon arrival. The place was booked for a private event when we entered, but thankfully, our group of 5 was still accommodated. The event was a calligraphy workshop held by the cafe owner Alessandra Lanot of Life After Breakfast blog. She is also the owner of Pipino Vegetarian restaurant which I got to try in Malingap St. Quezon City and Makati. The Makati branch unfortunately closed down, but their Malingap branch is now 5 years in business.

Back to Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar, everything on their menu looked interesting. The descriptions on the menu items didn't sound so boring at all. 

We started with Hillside's Spinach and Kale Salad (P215)- a simple mix of superfood greens, walnuts and cranberries in a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Being a lover of falafel, we ordered their Falafel Soft Tacos (P215) with brown rice and black beans. 

It was pretty ok, but I was expecting more texture and grit from the falafel balls. It also didn't have that Middle-Eastern spice/flavor I was looking for in my falafel.

We had high hopes for the Vegan Pasta Alfredo (P385) and was very interested to know how Hillside will come up with the alfredo sauce.

It was a creative dish using cauliflower for the sauce, but taste-wise, it was bland. Our group had to season it with more salt and pepper, while I mixed the pasta with our order of Greek Mac and Cheese (P275)

Now this one was tastier, creamier and more flavorful with organic spinach, garlic, milk, vegetable stock, feta cheese, and roasted pine nuts.

The highlights of our meal were the main courses.

The Corned Grass-Fed Beef Short Ribs (P465) was tender,sweet and savory, while the bed of creamy polenta was simply addicting. It somehow reminds me of the overcooked couscous I make at home. I just can't seem to make my couscous light and fluffy. Perhaps I should make polenta instead.

The Pesto-Crusted Chicken Parmigiana (P435) on the other hand got the unanimous vote. Everyone chose this as their personal favorite and I could not agree more. The golden brown breaded chicken fillet was creatively set on a zucchini spaghetti aglio olio, topped with a cassoulet of chickpeas, edamame and corn then finished off with melted cheese and crunchy sweet potato chips.

If you are not so much into healthy or vegetarian/vegan food, then these two mains are your safest bet. They also have a Pan-Seared Grass-Fed Hanging Tender Steak and Air-Fried Chicken which I'll make sure to try on our next visit.

Aside from these healthy food selections, Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar takes pride in their healthy and fresh Cold-Pressed Juices (P165/bottle) and Superfood Smoothies (P185/glass)

Most smoothies contain coconut ingredients, and since I am not a fan of coconuts, the Banana Almond Blast Smoothie (P185) was my best option. I personally enjoyed my tall glass of smoothie, and judging from the empty bottle of drinks from my companions, I think they enjoyed theirs too.

Hillside Cafe and Juice Bar Menu:

Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar busts the stereotypes about vegan/vegetarian or healthy food being boring and bland. In fact, I've tried several restaurants offering healthier food alternatives that are far more unique and tasty than other calorific dishes. While Hillside focus more on healthy food and drink selections, they do so by incorporating creativity in every dish without sacrificing its taste and flavor.

Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar
57 Mo. Ignacia Ave, Diliman, Quezon City
Tel Num: 374-1117

Check out some healthy/vegetarian restaurants around the metro here:

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