Go ahead, explore

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

I HEARD the news straight from Echosi’s Chit Juan herself during her last visit to Davao: Echostore was opening with local partners Elle and Sarah Claudio. On opening day, however, I was nowhere near Davao City.

Thus, it was a quiet evening that found Miggy and I at Echostore at Lenel Building along the Diversion Road (it’s near the Mercury Drug), just the way I like trying new places – away from the fanfare and the beso-beso crowd.
There were just us and one other table occupied by Miss Golda and buddy Dino. I was trying hard to drag others in including Carlos who lives nearby, but they all had other things going in their life that night. Bad.

Miggy got the mushroom burger and mushroom soup. I got the warm mushroom aragula salad and the Pasta ala Trio, which I was told is a mix of Al Tonno, Arrabiatta, and Pesto. Yes, they specialize in healthy food and also have a wide display of artisan and eco-friendly products. The greatest find was Padre Ninno’s Sun-dried Tomatoes. But there was just one bottle left. Darn. This all-time favorite by Father Franco Uros aka Padre Ninno is always out-of-stock because as Father Franco would say, there is no sun. It’s cold in the highlands of Marilog where the farm and processing center is.


The mushroom soup tastes like real mushroom and you can actually see and feel the minced mushroom. The mushroom burger was good, especially for vegetarians. I wouldn’t mind a double-patty though. The warm mushroom and arugula salad is definitely only for people who love arugula, and don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. I love arugula and so I found it yummy. The pasta was a merry mix. I’d stick with the single sauces next time, it’s less complicated.

We topped our meal with coffee. Caffe Mocha for Miggy and iced Americano for me.

They also have meat dishes, mostly breakfast meals. But we were feeling healthy that night, and Miggy is a vegetarian so we binged on the healthy stuff.

The greater fun is in the exploring the store. Aside from Padre Ninno’s bottled goodies they have… Tadaaaah!!!! – Messy Bessy’s! Errrrmmmm… Messy Bessy Cleaners Inc, is a line of organic household and personal care product produced by high-risk youths. It’s one of those do-gooder companies that make you proud to support. Their products are good, too, and for a good cause.

Of course, they have all other line of goods made by partner communities from all over Mindanao as the group behind Echostores, the Empowering Communities with Hope and Opportunities through Sustainable Initiatives (Echosi) Foundation taps small producers, farmers, and women micro-entrepreneurs to develop and package their product and provide market access.

There are a lot of others. You have to set aside time to explore. Just be ready with your extra stash. You might end up spending more for the things you picked up rather the food you ate. That’s giving you fair warning.


Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 18, 2014.


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