Green Day

Thorny Fingers

Yey, the sun came out! Hopped on my Land Cruiser and headed to Pammalian Garden along Vira Road. Just a breather… I don’t have space for a garden in my home, we’re actually about to explode. The color green just soothes the eyes, everything. I feel lighter. There was not many vehicles on the road, only runners. I regret not taking the bike.

Green DayMiniPeanut PlantCurly CactusGreensBinalot

Still in tune with the mood, I stopped by Papa Pau’s for farm-style binalot (means wrapped) bistek (Filipino beef steak) with rice and salted duck egg.

Wintermelon Tea with Grass Jelly

Capped my day with an iced Share Tea wintermelon with jelly strips. I’m clueless what the chewy jelly is made of. Seaweed? I really don’t know, but, of all things, it reminds me of Korean potato noodles. The texture is fantastic! A funny thing about the drink, the stringy jelly is so difficult to suck. One has to slurp, excuse me, hahah.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

Papa Pau’s Diner in Laoag: Back with a vengeance

This is up-to-the-minute news for all the foodies out there. A few days ago, my little insider, Brandon, the gourmand, told me there is a new taco place in town, so off we went last night… until we learned it actually opened that very same day we went.

Papa Pau’s Diner, the innovator of the “binalot” concept in Laoag, is back in their original home; and this time around, within the blossoming restaurant row on the eastern portion of Rizal Street. A far cry from the old Papa Pau’s at the ground level of the Ilocano Heroes Hall Building, the new Papa Pau’s is spacious, and it has this welcoming, comfy ambiance.

Though they still maintain their branch in Batac, within the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMHMC) complex, the owners decided to come back to Laoag with fresh ideas in addition to the “binalot” they are known for. “Binalot”, which means wrapped, originated from the Tagalog region. An old practice in the countryside, hot meals wrapped in banana leaves are brought to the fields for farmers to savor during their brief midday rest. The banana leaves seal in the heat making the rice with any viand more appetizing and oozing with aromatic goodness. Half a decade ago, inspired by the tradition, they introduced their own take with great success. They have binalot Bistek, or Adobo with rice, Tapsilog,  Tocilog and Longsilog, priced within P60-P75.

A Filipino restaurant with a contemporary eclectic design

Today, they have added Ilocano fusion dishes like PPP (Papa Pau’s Pancit with Ilocos chicharon), Sizzling Squid stuffed with Ilocano longaniza, Paulina’s Crispy Pata a la Bagnet, and Pinakbet with Bagnet. Their snacks, P45- and up, include Tacos, Nachos, Mushroom Melt Burger, Papa Pau’s Patatas (potato fries with special dressing), Pancit Malabon with thick rice noodles, Mama Grace Filipino Style Spaghetti, etc. Their hot, hot items, Kapangpangan style Sizzling Sisig and Dr. June’s Sizzling Pork Spareribs, marinated in a secret sauce, are still there.

A post-dinner, and with just a four hundred peso budget for the six of us (P200- from me and P200- from Ericke), all we could order — a pitcher of red iced tea…

and three servings each of Nachos and Mushroom Melt burger. Success! We still had change for tip.

Oh, a coffee bar! They Have Filipino coffee bean varieties like Benguet, Barako, Kalinga, Sagada, etc.

Food for the eyes, photos by Dr. June Orosa, an EENT specialist at the MMMHMC, hang on the wall

More food for the eyes: Ilocos Norte treasures, still by Dr. Orosa

The owners beam with pride. From right to left, husband and wife Paulo Magsino and Grace Orosa-Magsino, and their business partner, Miss Joy Orosa.

Papa Pau’s Diner can accomodate 50 people for functions and parties. They also have a porch dining area which can sit 32 people. You can find them in Laoag at Rizal corner D.M. Castro Streets.

Welcome home, Papa Pau☺

Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED