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

Snackin’ at Xian’s Choice

Fresh Lumpia (Spring Roll)

Even with a prime location in Laoag, Kentucky Fried Chicken lasted only a year. Let’s face it, Ilocanos are frugal especially when it comes to food. Speaking about the shelf life of an eatery here, didn’t you notice, the paksiw, miki, hi-bol, and empanada places stay longer than your average fancy eatery? The moneyed investors eying food business in Ilocos should think twice — that’s just my two cents.

Xian's Choice

We all love good budget food, and so I started a local food adventure in the most unlikely places and thanks to friends who are free-spirited enough to share the joints they frequent, I was able to find mention-worthy Xian’s Choice (east of the old Ivan Dominic along P. Gomez St.).

The stars in this garage converted into a canteen are fresh lumpia, palabok, spaghetti, miki and hi-bol (paksiw with pancit). The servings are comfortably sized. I paid only 65 pesos for one single palabok and two servings of vegetable lumpia. It’s singkamas and not ubod, yet it roughly tastes like the real thing. The size is actually bigger than the one at Max’s which costs way a lot more.


Neighbors and students from the nearby provincial high schools and colleges frequent the place I heard. The merienda size palabok is huge enough for two if you’re ordering lumpia on the side. Though it lacked  the usual fastfood palabok garnishings such as tinapa flakes and shrimps, the chicharon topping was not “tipid” and the sauce was flavorful. They also have bilao size palabok, ideal for potlucks.

Fresh Lumpia

I love fresh lumpia, so this place is love!

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

Dinner with My Two Boys

Hot Hero and Garlic and Cheese Pizza

Shakey’s has left me with fond memories of my youth. In every summer, there was always a nice Shakey’s story.

Ever since it arrived in the north, I’ve always known where to take my boys. The love for thin crust pizza has become a family thing. The flavors have evolved through the years, but the old favorites remain the best. I can’t have Manager’s Choice and Friday Special as often as I’d want to, yet simple garlic and cheese (the only pizza for Eugene) is enough to satiate the appetite for pizza

No Shakey’s dinner is complete without a Hot Hero, still the zingy sandwich that leaves you craving for a second one.

CalamaresShrimp Scampi

New on the menu, Shrimp Scampi bathed in olive oil and herbs and extra-crispy Calamari Crrrunch with two dips didn’t disappoint. But if you’re eating with someone like Brandon, I guess you have to order more.

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