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Kitchen Rescue
Pancit Cabagan, ‘poki-poki’ and others

By Reggie Aspiras
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:01:00 04/08/2009

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Leisure, Lifestyle (House & Home), Food, Restaurants & catering

HERE IS PART 2 OF OUR Pinoy foodie guide for summer?food destinations our friends and colleagues are generous enough to share:

Katrina Ponce Enrile
CEO Jaka Group of Companies

?I usually travel to Cagayan by land. My first stop as soon as I cross the Dalton Pass is Mrs. Gaddi?s, located just after Sta. Fe in Nueva Vizcaya, with its good selection of hearty provincial fare, with steak and sandwiches thrown in. Must-have is the strong coffee that would last you all the way to Tuguegarao.

?Just outside Tuguegarao is a popular panciteria called Felicitas (Ngarag, Cabagan, Isabela (078) 3530091, 0908-2541396. Two of my favorite Cagayan noodle dishes are here?Pancit Cabagan and Batil Patung. Pancit Cabagan is fresh miki noodles served with toppings of lechon carajay or lechon kawali, quail eggs and mixed vegetables. The broth where the pancit is cooked is usually served with the pancit in a small soup bowl. You can sip or mix it with the pancit for a soupier dish.

?The Batil Patung is cooked with large pieces of pork meat and pork liver, with bean sprouts and strips of cabbage leaves added. It is normally topped with fried egg. For something rather unprepossessing, it tastes real good.

?Cagayan is really pancit country, and there are many good panciterias in and around Tuguegarao City. You can try slightly different versions of Pancit Cabagan and Batil Patung at Budjok?s (corner Legaspi and College Avenue Extension, Centro 8, Tuguegarao City 078 8463147), Natan?s or Gretchen?s (51 Magallanes St., Centro 5, Tuguegarao City (078 8442176). They?re always best with a dip of soy sauce, chopped chili and onions and a squeeze of calamansi.

?Cagayan is also longganisa country. Almost every barangay has its own secret, zealously guarded recipe. My first choice is a meat stall in Sto. Domingo Market in Tuguegarao owned by Aling Juliet Daraway (Don Domingo Public Market, Tuguegarao City (078 8461943, 0927-4407693). Her longganisa is so flavorful and filled with enough garlic to ward off evil spirits. Fry it almost to a crisp and serve with fried rice and fried egg for breakfast, with native vinegar as dipping sauce.

?Outside of Tuguegarao is the residence of my good friend Mayor Olive Pascual of the Municipality of Lal-lo, Cagayan. I drop by her place before proceeding to Cagayan Economic Zone and Freeport. It is not a restaurant, but Olive?s kitchen that dishes out excellent home-cooked Cagayano meals that make the long ride through North Luzon well worth it.?

Tonypet Albano
President, RPN-9

?The only restaurant I can recommend is Felicitas restaurant in the municipalities of Cabagan (call 078-6363102), Roxas, Santiago City, Cauayan, Isabela, Tuguegarao, Cagayan? for Pancit Cabagan. My great maternal grandfather, Mr. Jangasia, was a Chinese immigrant who settled in Cabagan in the early 1900s. He was the original pancit maker who created Pancit Cabagan, now popular in the whole Cagayan.?

Imee R. Marcos
President, Creative Media and Film Society of the Philippines

?My favorite chow and dining spots in Ilocos Norte include:

Poki-poki (roasted eggplant cooked with eggs), pinakbet, insarabasab (the Ilocano sisig) at La Preciosa, Rizal St., Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; call (077) 7731162 , (077) 7732159

Gammet (Seaweed) Soup at Palazzo de Laoag, Bacarra Road, (077) 7731842; (077) 7731848; (077) 7731856

Beef Sashimi, Dinuguan Ilocano at Dawang?s, Shell station, San Nicolas, Brgy. 1 San Nicolas (077) 7813102

Batac Empanada?Glomy?s Empanada is at Riverside Complex and National Highway, Caunayan, Batac City; call 0920-8522628.

Batac miki?Riverside Complex, National Highway, Caunayan, Batac City

Pasuquin biscocho, soft and hard versions, Poblacion 3, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte (077) 7750198

Chi-locano fusion menu? Lucky House Chinese Restaurant, Fort Ilocandia, Barangay 37, Calayab, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; call (077) 6709001

Porkchop in San Simeon Currimao, Ilocos Norte, just off the bridge and Shell station in Currimao

Pinakbet Pizza Herencia, Paoay Plaza, McArthur Street, Bgy. 14, Sangladan, Paoay (in front of Paoay Church); call (077) 6140214.

Rep. Ronald Singson
First District, Ilocos Sur

Bagnet con Sisig, Tanigue, Vigan Longganisa, Kinilaw, Tom Yam Prawns, Beef Bacon, Bagnet con Bagoong at Café Bigaa/Sitio Bar, Vigan Plaza Hotel, Plaza Burgos, Mena Crisologo St., Vigan City, Ilocos Sur (077) 7228553, (077) 7221527, (077) 6320317

Ilocano food: dinengdeng, pinakbet, bagnet and longganisa at Café Leona, which also serves Thai and Japanese food. In Crisologo St., Vigan City, Ilocos Sur; call (077) 7222212.

For coffee, cakes and pastries, Café Uno. For grilled meat and fish and delicious Ilocano Pipyan, Uno Grill at Bonifacio St., Vigan City; call (077) 6328299.

Chicken inasal and one-dish meals wrapped in banana leaves at Manang Biday?s Binalot, Square Building, Boquig, Bantay, Ilocos Sur; call 0923-4326702, 0921-7827751.

Mary Jane Ortega
Board member, PPMC, CSFI; president,
Inner Wheel San Fernando

?La Union is a unity of three provinces?Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur and Mountain Province. Therefore, we have the products of all three. We are both eclectic and cosmopolitan, heavily influenced by Chinese traders, Spanish colonizers, American teachers and military, Japanese tourists, and now Korean students.

?Our house in San Fernando City is an open house every lunch. This is where you can have dinengdeng, pinakbet, boogie and native dishes.

?Dinnertime is usually restaurant-hopping time. My favorite is the latest Olives restaurant at Thunderbird Hotel (072-8887777) and its Quatro Formaggio or Four Cheese Pizza baked in wood oven. The cod fish wrapped in bacon is also a favorite.

?Whenever my visitors look for Filipino food, I bring them to Patio del Sol (072- 8883317) where the Grilled Prawns, Sinigang na Malaga, chicharong bulaklak are to die for. Next door is another restaurant, Natalna, which serves sinigang na fish roe, tuna belly and grilled panga?all from General Santos.

?For Chinese food, we have the best restaurants in town, from Mandarin (072- 8882424) for its Lo Hang Shai and Kua Pao, Seafood Chami; Midtown restaurant (072- 8885458) for its chicken, midtown rice and pancit canton; and Taipan for its Taipan soup, spare ribs in AI sauce, braised seafood noodles, and Yang Chow with salted fish. A new restaurant in the next town of Bauang is a branch of Baguio?s Rose Bowl.

?If you want the best kare-kare or lechon de leche, we can make it for you if ordered in advance. Our cook has perfected her bagoong that we have encouraged her to be an entrepreneur. She has started selling it as Armang ni Manang Suping. For dessert, the yellow kamote dipped in honey is a favorite. Patupat can be ordered two days in advance, longganisa a day before. Mary Jane Ortega?s Home Cooking (072-2422359)
?My other preferred dining destinations are Villa Navarro Resort, Caba, La Union (072-7080430), which serves delicious local Ilocano cuisine like dinengdeng and ihaw-ihaw.

?Oasis Country Resort Hotel, San Fernando, La Union (072-2425621 local 213) has great Japanese food, while the best pancit can be had at Little Surf Maid Resort, San Juan (072-8885528).

?In Agoo, I prefer to dine at Iceland, located beside the Agoo Basilica, fronting the Museo.?

I agree with Mary Jane regarding Iceland, being from Agoo myself. Its lomi and chami are delicious! And the Spanish bread brings back so many childhood memories.



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