One of our favorite places to visit when in Argao is Alex Kafe, a home cafe owned by the Kintanar family of Argao. Alex, from whom the cafe is named after, is already dead but the cafe still lived on.
Most towns outside of the mega-Cebu area are relatively very laid back. In the southeast of Cebu province, once you step in Naga, the town after the city of Minglanilla, you’ll notice that time moves at a slower pace. The southeast towns, compared to other towns in the province, are buzzing with more commerce, more vehicles plying the roads, and more people along the highway. Argao is one of the towns along the southeast area of Cebu province.
Because Argao is famous for its torta, we always make it a point to sit down at Alex Cafe and have snacks of torta and our favorite tsokolate (total bill of P75 for two cups of tsokolate and 1 piece of torta). Torta is a popular dessert in the Philippines but what sets the torta apart from other places’ is the tuba (local coconut wine) used. In college, I had the chance to interview the owner of Chitang’s (a famous bakery in Argao) and she told me that the tuba was not used to add the sour flavor to the torta but to act as a preservative. Without modern refrigeration, Argao’s torta will last for one month.
The Alex Cafe is located at the ground floor of the Kintanar ancestral house. Inside, you’ll find a hodge podge of memorabilia, my favorite are the framed sketches. I loved that the cafe is very near the church, convent and municipal hall. It makes the cafe a part of a historic area in the town.