Here’s one restaurant that I wish were just around the corner—Pipino Vegetarian! I’m really trying to incorporate healthier food choices in my diet, and Pipino’s creative plant-based dishes and desserts hit the spot without feeling like second best next to my regular artery-clogging fare. Plus, it’s an adorable hangout, and I’m envious of the Teachers Village residents who can just walk on over to the cheery and cozy restaurant for their veggie comfort food or vegan cupcake (!) fix. It also has its fair share of Maginhawa regulars and fans from nearby UP and Ateneo.
A bit of history from the Pipino peeps: Pipino was originally launched at the popular Pino Resto Bar as a six-item vegetarian line, in celebration of Earth Day in April 2010. Realizing that there was a huge and underserved vegetarian market in the metro, Pino’s Chef Edward Bugia and co-owners PJ Lanot and Star Jose decided to partner with PJ’s vegetarian wife Alessandra to create a full-service restaurant that would be a safe haven for vegetarians, veggie-lovers and the health-conscious. (Trivia: we just featured Alessandra in our In The Spotlight section, and you can now use her cute watercolors from the Graphics tab when you create a look!)
According to the owners, Pipino Vegetarian opened its green doors to the public in October 2010, offering creative vegetarian comfort food in its quaint, classroom-like restaurant in Teachers Village, Quezon City to impart a valuable lesson: that vegetarian food can be both healthy and delicious.
Bestsellers like the Watermelon Steak, Portobello Inasal with Red Beet Puree (P260), Cheese-less Lasagna (P120) and Tofu-Lemongrass Skewers (P145) are simply bliss for veggie-lovers, and even carnivores will gain a newfound appreciation for vegetarian food. Light in the tummy, and light on the pocket, too!
Feast your eyes on these…
Wash it down with refreshing beverages such as the Pipino-Lemongrass-Ginger Cooler (below, P65), Brewed Iced Tea (P40), and Fresh Fruit Shakes (P80).
Pipino has also gained a cult following for their ‘surprisingly’ dairy-free and egg-free desserts like their Moist Chocolate Cake (P80 per slice), Chocolate Chip Cookies (P40 each), and Green Tea Muffins (P50 each).
Vanilla Cinammon Cupcakes
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PIPINO Vegetarian Food by Pino is open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM, and from 7 AM to 10 PM on Saturdays and Sundays with an all-day breakfast menu, at the second floor of Pino Resto Bar, 39 Malingap Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City. For delivery, call (02) 2121212. To reserve a table, call (02) 44-11-77-3. For more information,visit www.pipinovegetarian.com. —Pierra
All photos courtesy of Pipino