Best of Dagupan-Calasiao Eats in a Day

Panaderia Antonio

If all you have is a day to spend in the Dagupan-Calasiao area, I have two sure winners for you. First, the Panaderia Antonio by the Seens. The establishment is from the same couple that created the growing Plato Wraps franchise. It’s not your typical bakery, though bread is the star of this cozy, “maaliwalas” spot in sweltering Calasiao. You can just sit and order a refreshing glass of fruit shake or milk tea and take pleasure in the aroma of hot bread diffusing in the air, and then if a waitress hands you the menu, you just might go for a total pig out.

In addition to pick-me-up beverages and snacks, Panaderia Antonio serves contemporary and traditional breakfast and all-day meals such as pancakes, steaks, pastas, pizzas, sandwich meals, and the essense of Dagupan — bangus. Also appetizers such as sisig and chicharon chicken skin.

Green Mango ShakePanaderia Antonio 2Chicharon Chicken SkinPanaderia Antonio 3Panaderia Antonio 4Panaderia Antonio 5Panaderia Antonio 6Hopia Baboy 2Egg CookiesButter Cupcakes

Bought a whole lot of bread to bring home, but it is the butter cupcakes (in the photo above) that sent me to nirvana. It’s a dense type of butter cake with a slightly crusty top.

Panaderia Antonio 7Dagupeña Restaurant

For lunch or dinner, only Dagupeña Restaurant. I have already featured it in the blog (here) and I will never tire out of their Fisherman’s Soup with gay marrungay. I could eat only that.

Of course, the crispy pata, crispy fried hito with Pangasinense buro, Thai-style crabs, char-grilled teriyaki bangus, Dagupeña pinakbet and dinuguan were all excellent.

Desserts at Dagupeña are unique, like the mango crepe has two different sauces and the sans rival is an ice cream concoction with caramelized cashews on the side.

Dagupeña Fisherman's SoupCrispy PataFried Catfish with BuroThai-style CrabsChar-Grilled Teriyaki BangusPinakbetDinuguanMango Crepe and Sans Rival Ice CreamDagupan Fish Ponds

The De Venecia Road is the island in a sea of bangus (milkfish) ponds. Don’t forget to buy Calasiao puto. And if you need another alternative restaurant, just look for Matutina’s, also a good place to enjoy the bounties of the sea.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Revisiting Dagupeña’s Pangasinense Cuisine

Dagupeña Restaurant

Because I only invited myself to this road trip down southern Ilocos, I jumped for joy when I heard our Pangasinan insider suggest Dagupeña to the famished men. The hubby and I share a mutual love for Dagupeña’s Fisherman’s Soup. We used to frequent the old locale in bustling downtown Dagupan.

The menu’s preface reads that the restaurant was established by Ignacia Caliolio Bernal in 1928. A widow and a very meticulous cook, she set up a little eatery that soon gained the patronage of Dapupan’s prominent citizens. Her masterpieces are a legacy to her children, who continue the Dagupeña tradition, and Pangasinan’s culture at large.

The new location (Calasiao) is a breath of fresh air, homey but spacious with ample parking space.

DagupeñaGrilled Boneless Bangus (Milkfish)

In the vernacular, Pangasinan’s name translates to pag asinan (where salt is made). The province is famous for its aquaculture which remains to enrich the lives of  many.

A major product of Pangasinan is boneless bangus (milkfish). Dagupeña prides itself with a plethora of innovative bangus dishes, from the modern herbed bangus to the traditional tapa, etc..

For our recent gastronomic adventure, I had the pleasure to order for the men. Everything turned out so well. The crispy catfish with Panganinense buro (fermented rice) that’s quite different from Kapangpangan buro in the sense that it is oily (in a good way) with a less salty, milder taste and scent. As usual, the Fisherman’s soup was terrific. Imagine rich malunggay, clam, shrimp and crab flavors put together in a piping hot semi-thick broth. I don’t know what else they put… oh gawd! food for the soul! The men got another big serving… see, the frenemy can be useful:)

The menu says the binagoongang pata (pork leg salted with shrimp paste) is a bestseller. We devoured it like playful canines. They looked impatient to dissect crabs. In the end, everything was wiped out:)

Dagupeña's legendary grilled boneless plump bangus, binagoongang pata and Fisherman's Soup with malunggay, clams, shrimps and crabs.

We cleansed our palates with their signature desserts. Their frozen banana mousse, mango crepe, leche flan and buko pandan flan are lovable, but I got charmed by the sans rival ice cream with nut crunch.

Uniquely, Pangasinan has its own distinct cuisine with influences from its neighboring provinces. Our feast was worth the long road trip!

Dagupeña Restaurant San Miguel Highway, Calasiao, Pangasinan, Philippines Tel. No. (+6375) 5222752

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