So I’m here at Maginhawa’s food street at 9am, and I can’t find a coffee shop to setup my writer’s portable workstation. There’s definitely something wrong with the gamut of coffee shops closed at 9am! What kind of self-respecting coffee shop isn’t closed in the morning?

Thankfully Theo’s Cafe came to the rescue. While driving through Maginhawa we found a place called Theo’s. It was like, the only place open so it won our valuable attention by default.

The interiors are pretty cozy. The shop is tiny, to be honest, and it had a very cramped feeling, but there was a good vibe to the place I am always impressed by a lot of wood and the entire place had a very wooden motif.


The place is pretty cozy. I like the wooden interiors.
The place is pretty cozy. I like the wooden interiors.

The menu is relatively small but there’s a good breadth of things to eat and order. There’s also a special’s chalk board menu which changes periodically for a special of the day or special of the week.

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I love the wooden paneling.


The greatest thing about Theo’s Baked + Brewed is the look. The food… well let’s talk about the food. We ordered the Waffle with Bacon and Egg for breakfast, along with a Tapsilog.

Lots of great eats here! Ummm WAFFLE.
Lots of great eats here! Ummm WAFFLE.

The waffle and bacon was pretty good. I wouldn’t put it on Pancake House level, though. The batter isn’t as light, but crisp and yet fluffy the way Pancake House’s waffles are, but I give them kudos for their special cream, which as far as I can tell is cream cheese melted with butter and some sugar in a thick, creamy sauce. It’s pretty good, but there isn’t much of it.

They aren't very generous with the cream sauce.
They aren’t very generous with the cream sauce.

The bacon is not crispy or toasted, it’s quite delicious and tasty but I prefer my bacon well-done. All things considered, it’s good and goes with the waffle. There was a little maple syrup provided, but it was very small in quantity. I asked for more, and they said “ok” but I had finished my waffle and they still didn’t give me the extra syrup, so that annoyed me a bit.

The Tapsilog here reminded me of Tapa King’s King Tapa.

Tapa comes with achara and two eggs!
Tapa comes with achara and two eggs!

The actual tapa wasn’t that great. It’s spiced same way as the King type of Tapa King tapa, but it has tougher meat with lots of fats and cartilage, which detracted from the experience. Achara though tasted exactly like I remember from Tapa Kings. The rice on the other hand was great, it’s perfectly cooked, it’s soft and jazzzed up with some herbs. Much better than Tapa King rice.

The great thing is that all the breakfast options come with a free cup of Americano coffee.

This coffee is pretty strong!
This coffee is simple!

This Americano coffee is not very flavorful. It’s not so strong, and has some good espresso in it, but the base coffee taste is pretty black. There’s no fruity undertone, no nutty taste, just that bitter black taste. It’s not something I recommend to be honest.


For dessert, we had the Cookie Shots and some Red Velvet Cake.

This is called a Cookie Shot. It's a shotglass made of cookie dough.
This is called a Cookie Shot. It’s a shotglass made of cookie dough.

Now, the Cookie Shot is really weird. It’s a strange concoction for sure, and I ended up getting it because it looked so novel. And well, Irene from just ordered it up so yes that made the decision easier!

It’s strange though. You have to put some milk into the cookie dough “shot glass.” Then drink the milk. But this process did not really add to the taste of the milk at all. There’s some chocolate in the glass but its flavor did not infuse into the milk.  So I thought it was pointless in terms of taste.

I then tried to bite the cookie glass to eat it while drinking the milk… but this ended with me spilling the milk and making a mess. I am not sure what the point of this is. Its fun, but taste-wise it makes no sense. After drinking the milk, I ate up what was left of the glass. The cookie dough wasn’t very good; it was too sugary with not enough butter content. Butter is a must for a good cookie to be honest. The best part was the basin of chocolate at the bottom, which was delicious.

Now, this cake... was a disaster.
Now, this cake… was a disaster.

The Red Velvet was not very good. It was dry and stiff. In a way, the stiff, hard cake dough had its own charm, but give me soft, moist red velvet any day. It’s called “velvet” for a reason — you expect velvety smoothness in something called “Red Velvet” and this was not smooth.

The cream cheese included was similar to the one used in the waffle, but not as buttery, and more sugar to stiffen it up. It was fine, (not great) but the real problem was that there was way too little of it. Combined with the tough batter, it wasn’t enjoyable at all.



All in all, Theo’s was okay. It wasn’t great, but I think you could do far worse. However, I think it’s better to eat lunch here, the cakes and coffee weren’t all that good. The waffle and tapa were okay, but I’ve had better elsewhere.

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Posted by Erwin Anciano

Erwin has been eating food for the past 30 or so years. Yes, he actually thinks that makes him an expert on all things food-related.