Even with a prime location in Laoag, Kentucky Fried Chicken lasted only a year. Let’s face it, Ilocanos are frugal especially when it comes to food. Speaking about the shelf life of an eatery here, didn’t you notice, the paksiw, miki, hi-bol, and empanada places stay longer than your average fancy eatery? The moneyed investors eying food business in Ilocos should think twice — that’s just my two cents.
We all love good budget food, and so I started a local food adventure in the most unlikely places and thanks to friends who are free-spirited enough to share the joints they frequent, I was able to find mention-worthy Xian’s Choice (east of the old Ivan Dominic along P. Gomez St.).
The stars in this garage converted into a canteen are fresh lumpia, palabok, spaghetti, miki and hi-bol (paksiw with pancit). The servings are comfortably sized. I paid only 65 pesos for one single palabok and two servings of vegetable lumpia. It’s singkamas and not ubod, yet it roughly tastes like the real thing. The size is actually bigger than the one at Max’s which costs way a lot more.
Neighbors and students from the nearby provincial high schools and colleges frequent the place I heard. The merienda size palabok is huge enough for two if you’re ordering lumpia on the side. Though it lacked the usual fastfood palabok garnishings such as tinapa flakes and shrimps, the chicharon topping was not “tipid” and the sauce was flavorful. They also have bilao size palabok, ideal for potlucks.
I love fresh lumpia, so this place is love!
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