The Great Bicol Experience Part II — Food Trip Sorsogon & Albay
I’m not a food blogger, not a foodie, and definitely not into spicy food. But I had the most wonderful time eating in Sorsogon and Albay last October, that I can’t not tell you about the wonderful meals I’ve had with my new found friends.
BIGAJO – Hidden along the small alleys of Gubat public market, is a family-owned eatery serving the best Pinangat in the area. Ate Ghie and Mommy Victoria gave the warmest welcome as we entered the carinderia.
I was hesitant to try their specialty at first, but I was really glad I did. They gave me a serving of gabi leaves and stalks cooked in coconut milk and served under a blanket of fresh creamy gata! It was sweet and not spicy. Perfect for me!
If you’re a local or if you like it spicy, just say so and they’ll prepare one that would blow your palate away! They will ask of course, if you are sure about wanting it spicy as they use Diablo, a super spicy Jalapeno, to give the dish a kick.
I love the warmth off the people and the simple, yet tasty food in BIGAJO. No trip to Gubat is complete without having brunch here. I’d definitely be visiting them next time I’m in Gubat.
During our Bulusan Trip, we had a chance to eat Binut-ong and Hinagum at Debbie’s place. I so love the Binut-ong. And was already filled with just one serving. The malagkit cooked in sweet coconut milk was so divine! The Hinagum was also nice. I wish I had more!! We had a picnic lunch at the spring. I know we had some octopus, tilapia, sinigang and some veggies, but because we were so hungry I forgot what they named the dishes. I guess it was the same reason why we kept on calling the hinagum as espasol, and the binut-ong as suman.
We just had some fruit shakes, calamares and sisig as we rested in Red Labuyo in Daraga, Legazpi. The food much, as what we ordered were common ones that we can order in Manila, but the view was just AHMAZING! To top it all off, we had wonderful conversations about tourism, culture and heritage preservation. I am more excited to see our small talks turn into meaningful causes and events in the months to come.
Our next stop was my new favorite, Balai Cena Una. It is a charming renovated bahay na bato. We tried spring rolls, pasta, and the chicken tinutungan. I so loved Chicken Tinutungan. The smoky and creamy coconut chicken was so divine! We also got some blueberry cheesecake, and got to meet pastry Chef Cory. It’s one of the really few places I’ve been to where in I savor each and every bite of the wonderful dishes. The prices are really affordable and the taste- oh, so delicious!
Before we parted ways with James and Rome, we had our desserts at 1st Colonial Ice Cream. We tried the different ice creams that are not available in Manila: Sili, Tinutungan, Malunggay, Baileys, Calamansi. I just love the Tinutungan Ice cream! The ice cream cups went around in circles, and then we tried mixing-up the flavors. Suddenly, James and Arvin started to experiment. Calamansi and Kikoman. Sili Ice Cream with Kikoman and Wasabi. I actually had more fun watching these two and their wacky experiments.
Our last food stop was Bob Marlin, in Naga. James recommended this place. Verbatim: “Dun ang pinakamasarap na Krispy Pata na natikman ko sa buong buhay ko.” It had tender, juicy meat. The skin was ok, but not as crispy as we hoped it would be.
I’m not a fan of high fat, high cholesterol food, so it didn’t live up to the expectation set to me. But it was just right when we finally paired it off with a bottle or two of San Mig Light. Ah, the good life! It was a nice way to chill down before we hit the Lazy Boy back to Manila.
I brought Nori, rice vinegar and a bamboo roller so we can make sushi and maki, but plans change, so we were not able to make use of them. But we did have fresh giant prawns as Sinigang for dinner on Day 1. Tinapa and Tuyo for Breakfast, Grilled Fish, Crabs and some steamed prawns for lunch, and some barbecue liempo for dinner on Day 2. We didn’t really have any plans for Day 3, but we surfed, had a hearty lunch, had our massages and had a wonderful dinner on Pasta Night.
We were so hungry for dinner, that the appetizer cheese sticks were cooked after we ate the pasta and the brownies and cream dessert.
The Wine and Cheese that James wanted turned-out to be Wine, Cheese Sticks and Dynamites. Btw, the Jackpot cheese stick was won by our Bunso. And we all had a wonderful laugh about it. Who ever said that a cheese stick without cheese is not fun?
The Great BICOL Experience was great because of the food we had along the way. But what made it Awesome was the dinner we shared at Glenda’s place, where we helped prepare the food, shared delightful meals with warm laughter, surf, travel stories, advocacies and intelligent conversations.