After eight months of living in Lipa, we finally got to try Purple Beetle Café this week. This wouldn’t be much of an event if not for the fact that it’s one of the food establishments that we live very close to, and we’ve already tried most of them. We may not have admitted it, but the primary reason it took us a while before we even considered dining at Purple Beetle, I think, is the less-than-gratifying experiences we had at similarly themed cafés.
Purple Beetle, as you might gather from the name, is bohemian/Manic Pixie Dream Girl-inspired. True to its name, it has miniatures and various representations of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle in abundance. Its walls are adorned with artworks depicting free-spirited-looking girls, as well as a number of dreamcatchers of different sizes, among other such signifiers. You get the whole “soulful, carefree, artsy, unconventional living” vibe. Not long ago, we dined at a couple of establishments in Tagaytay with a similar motif, namely Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe, which happens to have originated in Lipa, and The Red Bus Diner. For all their efforts to be aesthetically appealing, the food items that we tried in both weren’t very satisfying.
For that, they felt like an “all form, little substance” kind of thing. Of course, the respective vibes of both places were delightful, and the efforts to achieve them were appreciated, but food matters the most. They’re food establishments after all. The impression stuck, and, unfortunately, it morphed into a stereotype of hippie-themed places.
What Purple Beetle has to offer
|On the left is the baked mac, and on the right is the buffalo wings with rice|
Thankfully, as we found out this week, Purple Beetle doesn’t suffer from the same deficiency. It’s pretty, as described above, and the food doesn’t disappoint either. They offer café staples, as well as Php 99-rice bowls, and the baked macaroni and Buffalo wings we had were really good for foods you have to pay a total of only Php 230 for. The iced tea that came free with the rice meal also didn’t taste like the ubiquitous Nestea Iced Tea, or at least it wasn’t the flavor you get at every diner that serves free iced tea, or used to chase Emperador with.
So, yes, sorry, Purple Beetle, we misjudged you. We’ll try your coffee soon.