Still, nothing rivals Sans Rival

Posted: May 27, 2009 in All and Sundry, commentary, Random Observations
Tags: , , ,


The unassuming cakes and pastry shop called Sans Rival in Dumaguete City is one of those small restaurants  that crowd my list of childhood favorites that satisfied my gustatory desires.

The list includes of course Dainty, the ice cream parlor that was located along Perdices street where Jolibee now stands in all its fastfood franchise glory. In the 80s, it was the only ice cream parlor that sold half a pint of ice cream in a small plate. I remember looking forward to Sundays when my mom would treat me to half a pint of Rocky Road ice cream at Dainty after I had my anti-allergy immunization shots from the late Dr. Madamba at Holy Child Hospital. Up to now, I still wonder why half a pint was enough to convince me to face a big syringe every Sunday. But then again, I heard that it was only Dainty that sold ice cream that way. I haven’t heard of any ice cream parlor that sold half a pint of Rocky Road in my travels around the country.


Then there’s Maricar’s, that pastry shop located right across our old house (a building which was later transformed into Taster’s Delight). The smell of freshly-baked nangka bars pervading my room early in the morning is stuff for nostalgia. I remember how my elder sister and I would run to Maricar’s, our grandmother following suit, to get our first taste of the nangka bars and the malacanang cake fresh from the oven. My childhood mornings were filled with these memories of pastries, good food, the smell of brewed coffee, and smiles all over people’s faces. This later made me realize as I have grown older that good food always takes the blues away so to speak. Even a perfectly-baked slice of banana cake from some unassuming bakeshop can make one smile for even just a moment.

After Maricar’s and Dainty closed shop in the 90s, Sans Rival was the only local pastry shop in Dumaguete that stood its ground. It has survived the test of time–franchised restaurants, fastfood establishments mushrooming all over the city brought about by development agression. Still one can find Sans Rival where it has always been. It has been expanded to house more customers. Despite the changes in appearance, the restaurant still retained its old menu and affordable home-style cooking that has endeared aplenty of locals and tourists. 

It wasn’t a surprise then that I knew what I was going to order for lunch at Sans Rival on our last day in Dumaguete. It was my sister-in-law Claire’s good-bye treat for Rose and me.  I wanted something that speaks of gustatory memories that will never age.  We all agreed to order Sans Rival’s famous pasta dishes (the spaghetti and baked macaroni), brazo de mercedes for dessert, and the very sinful cookie-monster smoothy (a later addition to their well-known list of beverages).

And as expected, Sans Rival didn’t disappoint us. The pastry shop is a true testament that cheap food can be delicious and most of all can make one smile. The new Hispanic interior design also adds to the homey communal feel of the entire place, which made us stay for another hour, order another set of food, and talk like there was no tomorrow.

  1. Ian says:

    wow. memories. when are you coming back?

  2. maldeetuh says:

    i couldn’t agree with you more..sarap ng sans rival sa dmgte!..hahahaha..ei. this is my other blog site..lets exchange links?

  3. ceegee says:

    nice photos…

    visit my new site..thanks! =)

    ceegee is also

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s