Discovering the cooking of Lidamero’s (Jamiroze)

Sinanglao-Paksiw

I have to confess to you, dear readers, I’ve been a biased blogger all these years. Out of my loyalty to the late Nana Carmen Dawang of Dawang’s Place, a favorite carinderia in Ilocos, I turned a blind eye to the other uber popular Lidamero’s on the same side of the road.

I met Jasper Pacapac Dawang of the Dawang’s clan and serendipity made its way. There is always a right time for anything.

After meeting with him at Lidamero’s (I paid my own food, btw), I can slap my own face with my own lechon lard-laden hand. Lidamero’s, or Jamiroze now, is a class of its own.

Turo-Turo

The Lidamero’s turo-turo (point-point) counter is fillled with very Ilocano dishes like monggo a ginisa, presko a baka (beef kilawen), igado, nateng, dinardaraan with crispy bagbagis, lechon and so much more. Tinuno a paltat (grilled catfish) and sinanglao (or paksiw) are the other bestsellers.

Their not too oily sinanglao is a different version, a very good version with very tender, tasty chunky beef. “Napalukneng a justo,” without the aid of pressure cooker, you’ll just know if you love eating.

I never knew there’s an everyday lechon place in town. That’s a big regret. I like Lidamero’s way of presenting the lechon which is cooked by them. The skin’s color and texture made me drool at first sight. The homemade Ilocano liver sauce and spoonful of lasona stuffing from the very roast pig are wonderful additions.

LechonLechonSinanglaoSinanglaoPreskoPresko a baka.

Jasper’s mom, Milagros, a native of Abra province, is hands-on with the eatery. She’s there Mondays to Sundays. Dad Rommel is the Dawang. Their son says, “Lidamero’s is all about the merging of two worlds — the Abreño and Ilocano cultures. He adds, “We build good relations with our customers and try our best to be the best in Laoag.” Lidamero’s is located near the Laoag-San Nicolas boundary.

Lidamero'sTinuno nga PaltatGrilled catfish.JasperJamiroze

I recommend Lidamero’s or Jamiroze for authentic Ilocano food. It’s been around for 19 years. You won’t be disappointed. I love their budget-friendly prices too.

Lidamero’s (Jamiroze Eatery) National Highway, Nangalisan-A, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte

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

Genuine Ilocano Food at Monte Mar Restaurant, Burgos

Pokpoklo Salad and Chicharon

Between Laoag and Pagudpud, there are not too many really restful pit stops. Monte Mar Restaurant in Burgos offers authentic Ilocano food, a nice and quiet recess and a great view of the ocean. Owner Bob sees to it that travelers will have to enjoy the local flavors of Ilocos. Everything looked good especially the pokpoklo salad, longaniza and chicharon aka bagnet.

Check out this hideaway along the National Highway. It’s near Cape Bojeador.

Ilocano FoodRock SteadyMonte MarOld WoodMonte Mar
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

The Mojo of Ilocano Cooking

Sinuka-an/Inartem

Ever wondered what makes Ilocano food so distinct? Primarily paksiw (sinanglao), dinakdakan, imbaliktad, and dinardaraan (dinuguaan)? It’s the infusion of supreme Ilocos organic vinegar. It’s also the same vinegar we mizzle our orange empanadas and tinuno with.

Sukang Ilocos is fermented from sugarcane juice and samak leaves, traditionally left in  burnay jars to age, first to basi (Ilocano wine) until it turns to vinegar, when color and flavor become darker and perfectly stronger. In our home, the darker, the better.

Prutas

We love to artem (pickle) our fruits like sincamas, balayang, salamagui, sarguelas, mangga, and papaya especially during the summer. A little of that same vinegar is added to the bath after a bout of fever for a truly makapabang-ar (refreshing) sense of feeling, and as the babbaket say, “tapno haan a mabinat (to avoid recurrence of illness).”

MangaSuka ken BasiSukang IlocosSuka ti Ilocano

Ilocos Vinegar is ubiquitous in markets, souvenir shops, and stalls particularly along the National Highway in San Ildefonso (Ilocos Sur), and Pasuquin (Ilocos Norte).

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