8 Times Via Mare
From the typical millennial perspective, Via Mare is a reliable source for heart-warming Filipino comfort food. From pancit luglog to puto bumbong, Via Mare has been the best answer to all kinds of Pinoy food cravings since the late 70s. This unassuming restaurant goes beyond that, though. Via Mare has put Filipino cuisine in the global map by providing world leaders with unforgettable dining experiences, representing the Philippines in prominent international events, and many other instances that made a fantastic impression all over the world.
Here are 8 times Via Mare made history, which will make you appreciate this oldie-but-a-goodie even more. Get your eating top ready because reading this will probably induce an emergency run to the branch nearest you.
8. Wedding of Francisco Jose Elizalde and Sofia Zobel de Ayala | January 7, 1994
The food and service calibre that made Via Mare a culinary gem for more than 40 years isn’t limited to the cafes and restaurants your family frequents. You can actually experience Via Mare’s true Filipino hospitality through their catering services as well. That’s what the Elizaldes and Ayalas did for an extremely important event, the wedding of Francisco Jose and Sofia.
Even with hours of rain going with the wedding garden reception, Via Mare’s Glenda Barretto made sure that the event not only pushes through, but does so flawlessly from the setup down to the food. The bride, Sofia Elizalde, gushed at how beautiful the reception turned out and at how Via Mare’s food stood out for all the right reasons. Just imagine well-executed Norwegian salmon, steamed prawns, roast prime beef, fresh foie gras and the cherry on top, a bibingka and puto bumbong stand.
7. Leyte Landing 50th Anniversary | October 20, 1994
Via Mare incredibly converted the Golden Odyssey Yacht into a first-class floating hotel with nothing but the best restaurant, of course. They were tasked to appease 7,000 veterans’ grumbling bellies at Red Beach in Palo, Leyte.
They made it an unforgettable lunch by accompanying simple yet scrumptious food with adorable nostalgic touches. Corned beef, chewing gum, chocolate bars and soda were served in lunch boxes resembling army rations. There was also a barbeque area, which was made from pits that the Leyte government dug out.
6. Viva Manila Seville, Spain | April 20 – May 12, 1992
Via Mare not only won best booth at the prestigious food World Expo in Seville, Spain, the local restaurant also became the talk of the town for a while. Apart from the tasty dishes Pinoys know and love very well, believe it or not this fame was actually because of Via Mare’s impressive waiters.
Faced with the dilemma that non-Spanish waiters were prohibited in the World Expo at Spain, Via Mare’s Glenda Barretto came up with a brilliant solution. They selected Filipino waiters who could sing and argued that Via Mare’s waiters possessed irreplaceable talent. Not only was the Via Mare team allowed in the Expo, they also ended the event with Seville’s local radio stations raving about the singing Filipino waiters.
5. Viva Manila Lisbon, Portugal | May 22 – September 30, 1998
Via Mare came out successful in the food World Expo in Portugal as well. This time becoming the crowd-favorite, the international pool of foodies loved Via Mare’s straightforward menu items. Simply enough, they offered pancit, mango and buko juice. Their options were also the cheapest items in the expo, drawing in crazy lines.