Overnight out of town for a foodie is a lot like the amazing race. So many places to eat in, so little time! What to do?! Plan ahead…then break it—and go where the road…the whim…the craving hits you. I’ve had my share of food adventures in Ilocos ( http://kitchenkitchiekoo.com/2012/01/06/flee-to-ilocos-food-and-fun-part-one/), Davao (http://kitchenkitchiekoo.com/2011/06/15/delighted-with-davao-my-overnight-food-trip/) to name a couple. Here’s my adventure in Naga.
Pit stop: After touchdown,lunch between friends was a toss-up. I entered Chef Doy and was greeted with a waft of Bangus sinigang sa bayabas. Hmmmmm tempting. Instead, I ordered ibos-ibos, inspired by the delicacy called suman sa ibos. A complete meal of rice cooked in coconut cream and shallots, laing and beef tapa, with slices of tomato and egg. The tapa was sweet, intended I suppose to contrast the spicy bite of the veggie. I ended with leche flan, a velvety treat for the sweet-tooth, crowned with glazed pili nuts. I thought it was a nice touch, giving credence and tribute to what Bicol is known for.
Fast Forward…to a most anticipated late dinner at Bob Marlin. The place was packed! The waiters offered the only conceivable space left, the receiving area which resembles a front porch.
We ordered the must try, its-now-or-never-kakain-tayo-ng-crispy-pata. When the heap of crunchy meat and thin crispy skin arrived, it did not disappoint. This piece-de-resistance goes great with the mildly spiced laing simmered in creamy coconut milk, the fresh eggplant lightly roasted and the beautifully grilled squid. The squid was perfectly, perfectly cooked that for me, it could stand on its own vs the crispy pata. Like David was to Goliath.
Bursting at the seams, we decided to walk back to our hotel, only to find out that it was only 2 minutes away! Oh well, the calories will have to stick to our hips in the meantime.
Detour: On our next day departure, we decided that it was practical to eat at the mall’s food court near work before heading for the airport. The food court I believe is also a microcosm of the food scene in a place. Aside from the usual fast food suspects, one is treated to the locals’ go-to favorites.
I got myself Geewan’s signature Bicolano specialty called the pinangat, close cousin of the laing. It’s a pouch of gabi leaves encasing tender flakes of pork, super tiny shrimp called alamang gently simmered in coconut cream.
I also told myself, I will not leave Naga without trying an everyday snack referred to as toasted siopao. It’s actually baked not steamed, dense like monay, and more like a meat roll. The ones I’ve tried are asado and minced pork with egg and decided to skip the version that said bicol express with salted egg.
It’s 8:30 pm and I’m back home, unpacking my generous basket yield of delicious pasalubong. My amazing race is finished for now. Looking back at my overnighter, I think I crossed the check-in mat definitely a winner… and most definitely heavier.
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