Food Finds in Meralco Village, Marilao

It’s less than two weeks to Christmas and time seems to be hurtling at breakneck speed except when one is stuck in horrendous traffic brought on by the season. A lot of people take joy in cooking for their loved ones but what if you’re too busy with work, shopping and other things that you don’t have time to cook? Or you’re not sure you have enough food to serve your guests? What if you can’t cook?

If you live within or near Meralco Village, Marilao Bulacan, then you’re in luck. Here are a few places where you can get food for potluck, to serve your guests and loved ones.

Nelia’s Pancit Malabon / Tetoks

Location and Direction: Network Ave. From SM Marilao, take Lias Road then turn right at the first street (Network Ave.) after Villa Filomena Resort. Keep going ’til you reach the Meralco playground next to the Our Lady of Fatima Parish. It’s the three storey house.

nelia's pancit malabon
Tetoks has been around for years and people from the neighboring areas, may have had their Pancit Malabon during a party, one time or another. Their Pancit Malabon uses thick rice noodles and is topped with hard-boiled eggs, shredded Chinese cabbage and halved shrimps and boiled pork (salted already). No need for calamansi. The noodles already has a twinge of acid.  A single serving in a styrofoam container will set you back by P40. Larger orders are in foil-lined bilaos.

nelia's pichi pichi grated coconut

nelia's pichi pichi cheese

They also offer kakanin (native delicacies) which should go well with your pancit. There’s puto, biko, sapin-sapin, pichi-pichi and cassava cake. Go for a box of big bite-size pieces of pichi-pichi (gelatinous cassava dessert) topped with grated coconut or grated cheese. They’re soft and gooey and addicting. I think they make their own pichi-pichi while the rest of the kakanin are supplied to them.

nelia's cassava cake

Thumbs up also for the cassava cake (their cassava cakes have a firmer consistency than their pichi-pichi) they sell. The leche flan (milk custard) on top of each makes all the happy difference.

nelia's sapin-sapin

They look like parols (Christmas lanterns) from Pampanga, don’t they? Instead of plied on top of each other, the layers of their sapin-sapin (gelatinous dessert made of rice flour and coconut milk) converge around sweet sticky rice centers known locally as biko. The different colors correspond to different flavors: the violet, purple yam; white is coconut milk; yellow orange is jackfruit; red is anise; yellow is flan, brown is brown sugar. Their sapin-sapin comes with a packet of toasted desiccated coconut. Between you and me, I can’t get enough of the biko’s latik (coconut curd topping).

Aling Cora’s Pancit Malabon

Location and Directions: Lamp St. From Nelia’s Pancit Malabon, continue along Network Ave. until the second street that branches to the right. Take that street until you reach again the second street to your right. It’s the third house to your left.

cora's lumpia

We highly recommend their lumpiang sariwa / lumpiang ubod. Aling Cora’s lumpiang sariwa / ubod has ubod, tofu, carrots, lettuce and I think a bit of pandan? all tucked into a crepe-like blanket topped with crushed peanuts. Orders come with a savory-sweet sauce sauce. A steal at P35 a piece.

The crepe is just the right ratio to the filling and you can tell the ingredients are really fresh. Friends who have tried this were pleased that they were eating healthy stuff that tastes good. A break from the usual sugar and fat laden treats on the dining table.

aling cora pancit malabon

Edited June 2017: Compared to Nelia’s/Tetoks’s, Aling Cora’s Pancit Malabon has thinner noodles. It has more sahog of  boiled eggs, shrimp, pork and greens since they’re not just on top of but mixed with the noodles. It’s sauce has no acid.

Bombing’s Crispy Pata

Location and Directions: Lamp St. Right across Aling Cora’s Pancit Malabon

bombings

Still if it’s a heart attack you want, there’s Bombing’s Crispy Pata. The meat falls right off the bone. However, it should be consumed quickly since the skin loses it’s crispiness fast. That shouldn’t be any problem at all as evidenced by the pic above. This crispy pata comes with a sweet-sour tomato-based dipping sauce. Wallet damage is around P400+. Arteries, good luck. But your taste buds and tummy will thank you.

It’s best to allow a day lead time when ordering. More during days leading to fiesta and Christmas.

If you know any food finds in Meycauayan or Marilao, I’d love to know what and where they are. Hopefully we’d have them on our table this coming holidays.

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Mang Inasal and Goldilocks Dinuguan / Pork Blood Stew

In my part of the world, a lot of us are not averse to eating cooked pig blood. I know there are a lot of people who like betamax or grilled pork blood squares. Myself excluded though. Find them not to my liking as they’re bland on their own. The taste is dependent on the sawsawan or dipping sauce. Now dinuguan is something I would not hesitate to eat often.

Dinuguan or pork blood stew is mainly pig blood, pork and/or offal, vinegar, garlic and finger chili. I prefer ones with pig’s intestines and added coconut cream. Yum. My dad used to make dinuguan right until my mom’s co-teacher who delivered fresh pork to us retired. Mom would tell her if dad will be making dinuguan and she would throw in pig blood for free. My parents are wary of using pig blood obtained from the market least it’s not fresh.

Since then we’ve been dependent on fastfood stores, restos and trusted eateries for our dinuguan fix. Two of those fastfood chains would be Mang Inasal and Goldilocks. Because how food tastes sometimes vary from store to store, I will be talking about the dinuguan served at Mang Inasal EDSA Taft and Goldilocks SM Marilao which I’ve had recently. mang inasal pork blood stew Mang Inasal’s dinuguan does not have offal, only bite-size pieces of lean pork and not much fat parts. This may be the reason why it’s not oily. There’s a good amount of gravy – smooth and thick even if there’s no coconut cream.  It does not have a fishy taste – hindi malangsa. For me, it has the right amount of vinegar. Other people might think it’s a bit sour – sister does. It’s not spicy since the chili is not mixed into the stew. goldilocks pork blood stew Goldilocks’ also has no offal but has more fat parts than Mang Inasal. I think this is why its gravy is much oilier.  The gravy, though slightly thinner than Mang Inasal’s, has chunky parts.  It also does not have a fishy taste and is not as sour as Mang Inasal’s. Like Mang Inasal’s, the chili is not chopped into the stew.

Between Mang Inasal and Goldilocks I am picking the former since I don’t like pork fat and I want plenty of gravy to drizzle unto my rice. I like that both fastfood stores have the green finger chili sitting on top of their dinuguan. This allows the customer to decide just how spicy he/she wants his/her stew to be. Mash it well for fiery hell or prick with your fork for a wee bit of a kick.

So how’s about serving dinuguan on Halloween  for dinner or for your party? There are a lot of dinuguan recipes on the net or you could just get some from stores. Remember to check your teeth after eating except if that’s really your goal, blackened teeth to compliment your Halloween costume.

Craving for Entrails and other Food Horror Stories

It’s 11 PM where I am at, the moon obscured by dense clouds. So unlike a week ago when it was bright and full, right after it was swallowed by the snake in the sky. No, it didn’t turn blood red then. TV Patrol, an evening news program, sure fooled us when they claimed that they were airing live footage of the eclipse. Sure it was. Live NASA footage and nowhere near the Philippines. Grrrr.

Dogs at the end of the street have started barking. Must be an office worker, making his/her way home. Or another dog that managed to escape or allowed to stray from a neighbor’s house.

isaw

Earlier I’ve scored entrails from the vendor off the main road. Now I am currently satisfying my hankering for barbecued innards on a stick. Chicken intestines. Pig’s ears. Pig’s small intestines. I also wanted pig’s large intestines (or were they cow’s intestines?) but they’ve run out of that. One of these days I will write down the kinds of barbecued meat on a stick. The isaw vendor’s stall we frequent has a menuboard listing them along with their prices. They have crafty names, like betamax for blocks of congealed pork blood and adidas for chicken feet.  There was a new one, chicken innards which were neither livers nor gizzards but are rather tough to chew.

My brother would have shook his head. He’s into clean, healthy living ever since he graduated from college. A couple of my friends have looked at me with disdain one time I told them that I want isaw. From the looks of their faces, it would seem that they haven’t had them ever. I just hope food snobs know, as they sunk their teeth into a decadent chorizo, sausage, longanisa, that what they’re savoring is often intestine-encased ground meat.

I guess I understand their concerns. While in private school, teachers have incessantly warned us that street foods may not be prepared in hygienic conditions. I’ve thought that it was partly a ploy to get us to buy only from the school cafeteria and other food concessionaires. In all my stay, I’ve never heard of anyone who got food poisoned after eating food sold right outside school premises. But recently, a friend who teaches in a public school got typhoid fever. I have to admit that that made me less adventurous for a while.

Still, how sure are you that the food being served at diners are safe? I once had to tell a cashier at a local fastfood that something is dripping from their ceiling right into the container where they get ice for their drinks.

chicken isaw

Turns out that the person that set off the dogs earlier was sister. And wouldn’t you know, she also brought home a package of isaw. They’re from another vendor. The intestines coiled closely to the stick. What seems to be splatters of blood is actually tomato sauce added to the basting sauce. Now excuse me while I set to work on these.