Was actually billed 101 pesos, but made tawar (haggled) the 1 peso. And a plate of rice was included.
Kristina’s Carinderia (facing the Jehovah’s Witnesses church on the western portion of Rizal St., and near the Iglesia ni Kristo) was Brandon’s find. Local senior citizens, families, office employees and policemen were fixed on their food when we arrived. You enter through a kitchen, (neat, btw) and point at your chosen items from among a see-through cabinet of noticeably freshly prepared viands.
Presko a baka (raw beef), also known as kilawen here, flavored with light papaitan, was delicious. The subtle use of seasonings such as sukang Iloko, salt, etc., let out the natural flavors of the main ingredients, like dinardaran was not overly sour, but rather naturally came out with that hint of sweetness (from the pig’s blood), and the katuday (katuray/corkwood flowers) salad was not too vinegary nor salty. I’m not sure, but I didn’t detect any use of MSG.
Yes, satisfying Ilocano food this cheap still exists.
Rizal St., Laoag City
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Location: Don S. Hernando Ave. (near K’s Bakeshop or the buko roll store), Laoag
Specialties: Salpicao, imbaliktad, beef curry, pares
Ambiance: Streetside, nondescript.
Prices: 50-60 PHP for beef viands, 10 PHP for fried rice. Bone marrow is free (if you ask).
Verdict: If you’re tired of budget food like tapsilog, this is the place to go. If you are budgeting for two, like you have less than 100 pesos to spend, go for salpicao but get one more rice. It’s cooked in margarine, but that’s good ‘coz it’s healthier. On the spicy side, it is tasty with lots of garlic. Pares is supposed to be the star, but is getting eclipsed by salpicao and imbaliktad, says Eki, the young owner. 17-year-old Genesis says bone marrow is anti aging (laughs), so he asked for bone marrow (straight from the fridge) and added it to his hot pares and waited a bit for the bone marrow to thaw. Pares tastes like a cross between corned beef and beef stew. Even better with bone marrow. I ditched rice when I started my Javita diet, but cheated to enjoy the food. Definitely going back again.
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