Interesting finds at Mercato de Oro
Cagayan de Oro’s ‘Night Cafe’ already has a new name – Mercato de Oro. This night food market was brought to the city by the Mercato Centrale group, the same guys who were behind the similar and hugely successful endeavors in Metro Manila such as Midnight Mercato, Mezza Norte and Cucina Andare. It was launched last December 6 at the Ayala Mall’s Centrio in CdeO.
I was excited with Mercato de Oro for at least 2 good reasons. I thought that this is a welcome alternative, to the Night Cafe at Divisoria, the closure of which drew mixed reactions from the city residents. It also provides an avenue for local food entrepreneurs to show their stuffs to a larger audience. These are your home bakers, gourmet burger aficionados and budding restaurateurs.
So one chilly evening in December last year, my best buddy and I tried out the options at Mercato de Oro. The few food stalls set-up at the mall’s garden had to compete with the more established restaurants around them. Nonetheless, they still had a strong following especially from foodies who want to try out something new and something more affordable as well.
We settled for Hungry J.A.C.K.S Burger, buffalo wings from Fuego to Go and smoked wagyu from The Barrel Grill. The beef from the latter was seasoned well but was not that succulent to my liking. The chicken wings were great but that burger from J.A.C.K.S was a revelation. What’s not to like when you have a juicy patty, BLT, cheese, caramelized onions squished between toasted sesame buns?
It was however the Pineapple Crumble from Mercedes Breads that sealed the evening for me. It caught my attention as we were headed home. One of their staff asked us to sample their unassuming pies. On my first bite, a few morsels of crust irresistibly crumbled while the pineapple filling provided a sweet and tangy counterpoint. I then bought a slice to take home to my folks.
I do wish that next time there would be more tables and chairs for dine-in customers. I also missed the organized frenzy at the night markets in Manila where one has to hustle his or her way around a labyrinth of smoky grill stations and heart attack inducing spreads. Maybe Ayala Centrio is too spacious (read: too clean) or that there was only that much food stalls available that evening.
Either way, there are interesting finds at Mercato de Oro. Here’s to hoping that there would be more when I’ll find myself back in Cagayan de Oro.
Mercato de Oro is open every Friday (4pm-12mn) and Saturday (10am-12mn) at the Ayala Centrio Mall in Cagayan de Oro.
For inquiries you may contact +639177131003/+639178401152 or visit their official Facebook page.