Dagupan’s (not so) hidden food gems
A travel journal that will give you a pleasant view of people, places, food, culture, history and events from a refreshing perspective
DO you feel like you’ve tried all the best food that Dagupan has to offer? Are you ready to explore Dagupan where few foodies have ever gone before, to those places only locals know about? I’d like to share non-mainstream personal favorite food joints in the city.
Dagupan is Bangus City! To savor the flavor of “the best tasting milkfish in the world”, have it grilled. One of the best inkalot (grilled) ya bangus in the city can be bought just before the bridge on Zamora extension. The succulent bangus is meticulously cooked by an old lady named Fely. Take my word for it; her inihaw na bangus can rival even those served at the famous restaurants in the city. Locals queue from 5 to 7 p.m. to have a taste of her yummy grilled bangus.
Love barbecue? Arguably the best pork barbecue in Dagupan can be found in a street corner along Mayombo District just in front of the store near Insider St. adjacent to the Bolinao Bank. The secret of Mang Jojo’s barbecue is the special marinade and sauce. It’s such a hit that you have to be there from 5 to 6 p.m. before they are sold out.
Coming from a drinking spree with friends or you suddenly felt hungry at 4 a.m. but have grown tired of the usual fastfood restaurants in the city? There’s an eatery that serves ‘lutong bahay’ dishes early in the morning up to lunchtime. Bae’s Eatery is located in Lasip Grande just after the place where Capito’s coconut pastillas (one of Dagupan’s favorite pasalubong) are made. Staple for the more “adventurous” eaters are soft bone soup, soup no. 5, beef tendon, and ox brain. Ox tongue or lengua in white cream sauce, a certified bestseller is available only every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Are you a longganisa fan? Try Dagupan longganisa.
Go westward to Pogo Grande and you will find a house with a fireplace and an old lady who cooks rice cakes around 12 midnight up to the wee hours of the morning. Teresita Garcia, who is 60 years old; is a 3rd generation bibingka maker. Bulk of the rice cakes are reserved for pick-up by market vendors but you can also buy them per piece. Want yours with salted egg? Make sure to bring your own.
I’m sure you’ve tried ‘pigar-pigar’, the local street food which is thinly sliced deep-fried carabeef popularized in Galvan street. While there are a lot of restos that serve the dish, one can find a notable ‘pigar-pigar’ stall located just before the curb going to Bonuan Blue Beach/ Tondaligan Park. Big J Pigar Pigar is the first ‘pigar-pigar’ stall in the Bonuan area. It is owned by Jojo Tamayo, photographer by day and pigar- pigar king by night. What I like about the pigar-pigar at Big J is that the carabeef is sliced properly making it so tender, cooked to perfection, and has maintained the original taste as I recall it in the 90’s.
How about you? Can you share your favorite not so hidden food spots in Dagupan? Visit The North Vista (www.fb.com/thenorthvista) on Facebook and send your comments.