Max says…

I missed dinner and the hubby wanted coffee. I told him that, perhaps, Max’s had brewed kape barako (sshhh, strategy). They didn’t even have any other brewed coffee. “Not available. Instant lang,” says the waitress. Patay! He ordered fresh mango shake. “Wala rin,” says the waitress. He asked for fresh watermelon shake. “Meron.”  Ay, salamat! Then it was my turn to order pancit luglug, which I read was good, cauliflower soup and halo-halo (I also read  it is among the top 10 halo-halo in a survey). The waitress comes back. “Wala pong cauliflower soup.” Okay, the posters of laing tilapia were all over and screaming at me. I made pahabol the laing tilapia. “Wala din po.” I browsed through the menu, asked if they had gambas aligue. “Meron.” Ay, swerte!

Brandon and his friend Gen, who were on bikes, came by and joined us. Bran was lucky they had his lumpiang ubod (the same lumpiang ubod I featured here and here).

No one makes pancit luglug or pancit Malabon here in Laoag. Because of the thicker noodles, it is a different story from palabok, a mainstay at Jollibee, Kookie House, Dohan, Hotstuff and Sarah’s Kitchen. Pleased to see this favorite, which I ordered often at Barrio Fiesta, housed in 5 Sisters, before it shut down about a decade ago. Btw, I heard 5 Sisters is closing down soon. If supposed plans push through, big supermarket chains will be my new neighbors, exactly on the left and on the right.Verdict on the pancit luglug: Nagimas! I have one rant, though — the serving’s too tiny. I’m so used to the bilao size, you know (char).The gambas aligue is super delicioso! Rich and spicy hot. No thick sauce nor egg, the way I like my gambas to be. The hint of aligue (crabfat) is teasing. I had to eat it with rice. The downside — I find it high-priced at 267.00 Php.

Brandon's lumpiang ubod, my favorite as well.

The halo-halo never came. I decided to cancel it.

Our bill: 701.00 Php.

Max’s Restaurant Gen Segundo Ave. (former Bacarra Road), Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved

Lumpiang Ubod from “the house that fried chicken built”

Filipino Spring Roll, Lumpiang Ubod

Max’s Restaurant is still going strong after more than six decades. Early on, the Filipino-owned restaurant  catered to American soldiers during the American occupation in the Philippines. It wasn’t long until the locals heard of their juicy and tender chicken with crispy skin. It became a hit in Manila.

Back in secondary school, Max’s Fried Chicken was exciting to me. It was my brother who first brought me to the restaurant. After discovering it was chicken that was causing my allergies, I decided to stay away from chicken for life, but not Max’s.

Lumpiang Ubod na Sariwa (Fresh Palm Heart Spring Roll)

When it opened in Laoag, I found so many likable dishes from their menu of standard Filipino dishes. I was impressed with their sariwang lumpiang ubod (fresh palm heart spring roll). The crêpe wrapper was thin, not too floury, and the peanut sauce was tasty and not lumpy. Whenever I go to Max’s, lumpiang ubod would always be my number one order.

Dessert Medley

After checking out the menu for updates, I wanted to try the dessert sampler. I had their Ube Decadence before, but not the other three parts of the medley — Leche Flan, Buko Pandan and Cream Cheese Brownie a la Mode. The flan was okay, but I wished it had more syrup. I’m not fond of pandan, but it was also okay. The best in the sampler was the cream cheese brownie with chunky walnuts. It would be even more special if they made it more chewy and fudgy.

My cook at home saw me upload the photos and she asked if I ate all that I photographed. Well, I had to…

Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED