Mario’s Super Brother | La Panatteria Di Luigi

Tired of jumping around, eating ‘shrooms and playing second fiddle for Toadstools affections, Luigi decided to drop being a wingman and take on an entirely different path and passion…baked goods. Hardcore Super Mario fans, forgive that altiverse story. I didn’t get into this shop’s backstory.

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Waiting for our orders from Jafar’s Shawarma Station, limited outdoor seating, the heat and the cars driving through the area forced us indoors where we found La Panatteria Di Luigi willing to accommodate us for a purchase. The tiny space held a dizzying array of bread varieties with Italian labels. Who knew I wasn’t eating “the real Italian Ciabatta” for the longest time (as one label insinuated)? Looking just to pay for our table, we considered smaller items and a pastry dessert.

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The Pizzeta, a mini-pizza, looked most appetizing on the main display. Mozzarella cheese and real tomato sauce swirled on the surface of a solo-sized dough round with black olive slices and basil bits. The very simple preparation took on a smoky flavor from the traditional oven it was baked in and had a pronounced herb taste from the basil giving way to equal parts of mellow from the cheese and the tartness of the tomatoes. Very Italian, for the lack of a better word.

Adam and Eve lost Paradise by biting into an apple and generations later, the offspring of their offspring lost their trim waistlines to a processed cacao bean. In remembrance of these events, the Italians came up with the Tortino De Mele E Ciocolato — a pastry of apples stewed in cinnamon and baked with Italian chocolate. Blessed are these food items among others and blessed is the fact that all these are in each delicious bite. Hey, Arronofsky rode the Biblical Ark like a rodeo bull. Leave me alone.

A cup of The Original Ganoderma brand Organo Gold Gourmet Black Coffee (“with 100% Ganoderma Extract”!) was a perfect bitter to pair with all the sweetness, a reminder that life is a delicate balance of opposing forces. Or maybe I’m just really hungry as of writing. Now that ganoderma is also suspect. It IS a mushroom.

La Panatteria Di Luigi is located at the ground floor of the Banilad Town Center (right across the entrance to Chains), Banilad, Cebu City.

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