Hello? How could I have tried it just today? Isabela’s favorite noodle dish has been on this side of Ilocos for over a year now.
It was actually my first time to try out food all by myself. I failed to eat lunch because I had to catch an appoinment in Batac. I was supposed to meet up with Eugene after my appointment, so we could eat empanada at the Riverside, but things didn’t go as planned. He had to stay behind in MMSU for an important activity. Then it rained ’til I thought of the pancit Cabagan I read about in a travel mag.
Pancit Cabagan-Isabela’s Best in Laoag serves the same pancit that was first introduced by a Chinese settler in the town of Cabagan in Isabela. I tried their 40-peso super without egg. I expected a generous topping of crispy lechon skin de carajay, but the skin was so little. Nevertheless, I loved it! The authentic special noodles they use come all the way from Isabela. The owners are from Alicia, Isabela.
They also serve pancit Cabagan sabaw, a soupier version.
It’s good to know that they deliver bilao orders. They have Bilao 15 (good for 15 people), P650.00; Bilao 10 (good for 10 people), P550.00; Bilao 7 (good for 7 people), P350.00; and Bilao 3 (good for 2-3 people), P150.00.
Pancit Cabagan-Isabela’s Best in Laoag 118 Gen Segundo Ave. (former Bacarra Rd.), Brgy. 13, Laoag Tel #: 077-7715475 CP #: (0922)8666363
Read my recent post about Dok’s Pancit Cabagan in Tuguegarao (here)
Photo by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Tuguegarao is perhaps the city in the Philippines with the most number of panciterias (noodle houses). It’s like there is a panciteria on every corner. They serve either Batil Patung or Pancit Cabagan.
We asked insiders for the best places to have them.
Big Star’s Batil Patung
We had our Batil Patung at Big Star. Batil Patung is a Tuguegarao original. Batil means mix and patung means top or topping. The noodles in Batil Patung are the flat kind. The topping consists of sautéed beef or, I guess, carabeef, bean sprouts, sliced leeks, julienned carrots, crushed chicharon, meat loaf slices and fried egg. It comes with a cup of egg drop soup meant to be sipped or mixed with the pancit. Chopped red onions, calamansi and chili peppers are also served. The fifty-peso super we had was huge enough for two people.
Dok’s pancit Cabagan
It was actually my second time to try Dok’s Pancit Cabagan. Pancit Cabagan is said to have been introduced by a Chinese settler in the town of Cabagan in nearby Isabela province. It looks Chinese enough. The wet pancit has round noodles, julienned cabbage and carrots, boiled quail eggs and a generous heap of lechon de carajay slices. It comes with the sweeter white onions, calamansi and egg drop soup. The fifty-peso serving is supposed to be for one person but I shared mine with the dude.
My Verdict: I should have ordered one whole Pancit Cabagan for myself. I was craving for it the whole time on our way back to Laoag. The noodles, perfectly al dente, and the lechon was tasty with thin and extra crunchy skin. I liked it more than the first time I had it last year.
I’m not gonna have Batil Patung again. I didn’t like the “nuang” smell, which reminded me of a “beef” dish I had in a carinderia in Buguias, Benguet, many moons ago — one of my freaky road trip misadventures. To add, the noodles were dry and nasoprak (Help! What’s the English word for it?)… but then, the problem’s probably me because Batil Patung is really popular even to non-locals.
Big Star Taft St. (beside Cagayan Colleges Tuguegarao), Tuguegarao, Cagayan
Dok’s Panciteria Pengue Highway, Tuguegarao, Cagayan
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED