As promised last night, here’s now a post dedicated to Albay’s best eats. For me, a journey to a certain place will never be complete without food, food, and food. Food is what makes a place be made known aside from its innate beauty and good people. Food is what gives a place its identity and food is what imparts a place its rich culture to their visitors. With that, food is what makes Albay even more special.
Albay cuisine is far too different from the others. It has its base on gata or coconut milk and sili or chili. Albayanons are gifted individuals when it comes to cooking. In fact, if you can get inside an ancestral house in Albay, you will see that it has a big kitchen in the ground floor where traditional cooking is being done. It also has an adjacent storehouse for spices, herbs, preserved foods, and harvests from the farm. If you had watched the film, Kailangan Kita of Aga Muhlach and Claudine Barreto, then you’ll see it all.
So when I was given the chance for a sojourn to Albay, food tripping was also a part of the list aside from sightseeing. Now here are my Albay best eats:
Bigg’s Diner is the biggest fast food chain in Bicol Region. When we say fast food, we say that it’s of no good ‘coz it’s only junk food. But Bigg’s is not the burger-fries-only kind of thing fast food. It is a home-cooked kind of thing fast food that is actually a fusion of American retro dining and Filipino native cooking. This is evident with Bigg’s all-time faves: buffalo wings, baby back ribs, beef salpicao, and laing.
2. 1st Colonial Grill
1st Colonial Grill is the most visited restaurant in Albay for its ingenious invention of the sili ice cream. This unique ice cream flavor is so good for its milky and buttery taste with a hint of spiciness by the sideline. For those who are not fond of spicy foods, this is a must-try. Who knows, you’ll get a liking to chili once you had tried this one. And together with the sili ice cream, other Albay flavors are also available like tinutung na ice cream made from scorched niyog (matured coconut meat), pili ice cream from pili nuts, and malunggay ice cream from moringga leaves.
3. Pares King
Pares King serves the most affordable Bicolano home-cooked meals. Their specialty is pares, meaning “pair” which is a combination of beef stew viand and soup served with garlic rice. This is a perfect nightcap for tourists who are tired touring the whole day.
Again, this is not yet the whole thing of Albay for I will be featuring where we stayed there tomorrow so stay tuned. 🙂