Dawang’s Place: A special place in the hearts of Ilocanos

An excerpt from an old post on BlauEarth…

“We, Ilocanos, can’t have enough of PAKSIW, a popular carinderia fare. In Northern Ilocos, Dawang’s Place is, perhaps, the oldest existing paksiwan. It is located on a flood-prone area in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, but it has withstood the test of time, surviving countless typhoons, economic recessions, the emergence of more kantinas and panganans all across the province over the past 35 years or so.”

You haven’t been to Ilocos unless you’ve eaten at Dawang’s Place. It’s the place to be for ultimate Ilocano comfort food. No one else can duplicate Dawang’s paksiw. The straightforward ambiance makes the Ilocano gastronomic experience all the more authentic. People from all walks of life have been patronizing Dawang’s ever since the first Dawang’s carinderia opened at the back of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol in Laoag decades ago. Despite the distance between Laoag and San Nicolas, the followers of Dawang’s remain loyal. They have two kinds of paksiw. The original paksiw and the nadigguan. Nadigguan is paksiw poured over presko or kilawen nga baka (rare beef). There’s more papaitan (bile) in here. Dawang’s paksiw has a distinctive smoky taste that makes it a cut above the rest.

The dinardaraan (chocolate meat) with crispy bits is again something to beat. After 9:00 AM, the hot item disappears.

Tinuno (grilled pork), igado and imbaliktad (half-cooked beef with pinapaitan) complete the Dawang’s Place menu.

Truly, the success of our grandam in Dawang’s is one for the books.

Dawang’s Place (breakfast and lunch place), National Highway, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved

Bihon Dinardaraan for Lunch

Dinardaraan (dunuguan to the Tagalogs) is native to Ilocos Norte. It’s basically pig’s blood and meat stewed in spices and sukang Iloko. A more modern version of dinardaraan is the crispy dinardaraan made famous by Dawang’s Place, the well-liked Ilocano breakfast and lunch place with an uncontrived ambiance. For lunch I went to Eagle’s Nest by the Java Hotel and tried out their crispy dinardaraan on a bed of bihon (rice noodles), another dinardaraan mutation I heard about from a Manileño friend of mine. It sounded provocative.

It was strange in good way. For the audacious eater, it’s definitely a must-try. The waitress mentioned it was a hot seller. While I was relishing my chocolate meat, Alexa, who was with me, was also enjoying her own chocolate ice cream.

I had  piña colada on a whim.

I also tried the banana balls for dessert. Chocolate syrup over breaded saba. I guess butterscotch sauce would be a great complement to the banana balls.

They have huge servings at Eagle’s Nest. The menu is eclectic, with Filipino, Ilocano and Japanese fare. I delight in their sukiyaki and salmon sashimi on occasion.

Eagle’s Nest, Java Hotel
Gen. Segundo Ave.
Brgy. 55B Salet, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved