The carinderia with no name


Location: Don S. Hernando Ave. (near K’s Bakeshop or the buko roll store), Laoag

Specialties: Salpicao, imbaliktad, beef curry, pares

Ambiance: Streetside, nondescript.

Prices: 50-60 PHP for beef viands, 10 PHP for fried rice. Bone marrow is free (if you ask).

Verdict: If you’re tired of budget food like tapsilog, this is the place to go. If you are budgeting for two, like you have less than 100 pesos to spend, go for salpicao but get one more rice. It’s cooked in margarine, but that’s good ‘coz it’s healthier. On the spicy side, it is tasty with lots of garlic. Pares is supposed to be the star, but is getting eclipsed by salpicao and imbaliktad, says Eki, the young owner. 17-year-old Genesis says bone marrow is anti aging (laughs), so he asked for bone marrow (straight from the fridge) and added it to his hot pares and waited a bit for the bone marrow to thaw. Pares tastes like a cross between corned beef and beef stew. Even better with bone marrow. I ditched rice when I started my Javita diet, but cheated to enjoy the food. Definitely going back again.

Carinderia EatingPinoy CondimentsCarinderia
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

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

Goto, pares, silog, atbp. sa GOTO Love It!

In a rice-consuming country like the Philippines, what we eat with rice is as important as the rice itself. We’ve grown to love rice dishes like goto (porridge with beef tripe), pares (rice topped with braised beef) and silog (rice with meat and egg) that we crave them at any time of the day.

Yesterday, I had an afternoon date with Alexa at the newly-opened GOTO Love It! Tricia Domingo actually invited me to check out their Facebook page. I found more options other than the goto variants. The foodie in me got tempted.

The “gotohan” is pretty spacious, with tables not too close to each other. The neat orange walls scream food, love it! I asked Tricia’s co-owner, Arnel Condeza, what would he suggest to a first time diner and he answered, “goto!” I believe the food sense of this guy, and so I got “goto with everything sans egg in it”. Plus sweetened saba con hielo. Alex asked for tapsilog and I honestly thought she was kidding.

When the goto came, the first thing that caught my attention was the fragrant smell of the food, it had no smell as a matter of fact — something I consider foremost in my rice dish. I hate old, poor quality rice. Olfactory… I want it pure and appealing, so I can enjoy what else goes with it. My tripe was tender and the garlic bits were perfectly toasted. I tried my goto without any condiments and it was still tasty. Halfway, I added a bit of chili garlic and it was also great — some Chinese twist into it.

Alexa must have loved her tapa (Filipino fried marinated beef strips), nothing was left except for a little garlic rice. Not greasy, I was able to eat it without any side dish.

The sweetened saba (banana) with shaved ice brought back memories of summer as a child. We always had the delicious cooler at home. Theirs had diced banana, but just the same wonderful syrupy saba.

Julia Child was quoted to have said, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.” I congratulate the three owners, Tricia, Arnel and Chef Neil for coming up with a fine concept. Love it!

GOTO Love It! LDP Bldg., Balintawak St., Laoag City Open Mon-Fri 11:00 AM-10:00 PM

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012