50-Peso Budget Meals at Ayenz Place, Laoag

Pinoy Budget Meal

Back to urban foraging. I was thinking of Evergreen, but my friend Konee suggested Ayenz Place, a few steps away from the Bangui jeepney terminal and so near Hotel Tiffany and Isabel Suites. It is a budget foodhouse that serves not Ilocano but socialistic Filipino food such as adobo, pork spareribs, beef steak, etc.

A 50-peso meal is inclusive of soup, itlog na maalat (red egg) with fresh homegrown Ilocos tomatoes. They also serve silogs and noodle meals. For the nasalimetmet a Ilocano, students and budget travelers, Ayenz Place is a fitting option. Meals are not imot size. I mean not tiny for 50 pesos.

Ayenz Place

It also gets busy during merienda time, especially on work and school days, according to neighbor Butch, who ended up picking the tab.

Chanced upon the Payoyos eating at their own place. A good sign.

Beef Spare Ribs

I liked my beef spare ribs, but I was dreaming of fatty red egg.

Ayenz Place D. Samonte St. cor Gen Segundo Ave, Laoag City

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Mr. T and Mrs. Y: Beef pares, budget meals and more

Mr. T and Mrs. Y

If you liked my last post, here’s another homegrown food house you may want to visit.  Mr. T and Mrs. Y is only on its third day of operation. It is one of the stores around the St. William’s Cathedral compound, down the “hilera” on F. R. Castro Avenue. Pares, goto, and typical Pinoy comfort food are the mainstays. It can get stuffy inside, but I guess it’s part of the appeal of uncontrived specialty eateries such as this one.

Budget EatsPares

It’s seems there’s a pares house in every block of jeepney street in Manila, but before stopping at this spot in downtown Laoag, I was so clueless about what a pares is like. I’m happy exploring offbeat and utilitarian food. Pares (meaning pair or combination) is a meal consisting of soup, rice and beef cooked in star anise. The taste calls to mind the unmistakable sweetish and aromatic flavors of Chinese beef mami. My friend Connie and I also shared a budget meal with crab omelette and menudo. I paid less than 150 pesos for the dinner.


Hope you are having a good weekend, everyone.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Authentic Chinese Meals at Chow Bin

With a big family like mine, dining expenses can be a bit of a problem. We had to eat somewhere because the cook was away and there was nothing to cook in the refrigerator. With only a one thousand peso bill in his wallet, the dad says, “I know somewhere.” Somewhere turns out to be Chow Bin, a new Chinese eat-in run by a Chinese couple from China’s Guangdong province. Besides being right next to a busy street, the place is small, with just four tables, but nevertheless far from being a greasy spoon.

The menu is made up of a few Chinese staples, including dumplings, siomai, kikiam, beef noodle soup, fried noodles, soya milk, and surprisingly, Filipino merienda items with Chinese origin like lomi, kimlo, miki and adobo.

A sign reminds people to wait because everything is freshly cooked. Although the other tables were occupied, we didn’t have to wait too long.

I can’t believe a large bowl of beef noodle soup costs only 35 pesos. Bihon guisado (sautéed rice noodles with vegetables) is the most expensive here. Everything else is under 40 pesos.We had beef noodle soup, dumplings, kikiam (pork rolls) and chao fan. I wanted adobo egg (braised egg), but they didn’t have it. Among what I tasted, I liked the beef noodle soup a lot. The egg noodles that they use are good quality.  The dumplings and chao fan were a little bland and the pork rolls were tasty, but oily. The boys reordered thrice, though.

The dad paid only 400 pesos for the six of us☺

Chow Bin P. Lazaro Ave., Peralta Building, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved