Sunday, February 9, 2014

Our Brief Affair with Baguio's Food

A sensory overload salad in Cafe by the Ruins

I have this high expectation set for the food scene in Baguio. The excitement I have for their local dishes. Ingredients, fresh as they can be. Baguio is near the source after all. If I can find Baguio's produce in Cebu's markets quite decent enough. How much more there? For vegetables that can only survive in cold places, the rest of the country mainly rely on the farms in the highlands. Don't get me started with fruits! Strawberries and oranges anyone?

But when I was actually there, it didn't exactly pan out the way I have imagined. It was like there's this needle pinching my bubble of ideal fantasies. But hey, nothing works out perfectly all the time right? Fantasies are in fact, only fantasies to begin with.

What am I talking about, really? The above salad is a total disconnect from this feeble issue.

Street Food

Because the rain can only make things more enjoyable. One corn on a cob please.

Let me start with the street food. The readily available food for the hungry. But not for the squeamish because I know, they also exist in the world. I even personally know one. Anyway, I was astounded (huge word, yes) with the street food spectacle in Baguio. The city has this abundance of food stalls, in its busy areas. The number of which reminds me of the street food scene in Seoul. It is true then, that when it's cold, you get to eat more and more. It may even include pork intestine rinds that come in open pans sold in Baguio's sidewalks. That crazy.


After loading these pictures in this post, I realized that I didn't buy some of these fruits! How could such thing happen?! I can only wonder now. The things I'm willing to give to have these photos turn into real. Sigh. The strawberries I can forgo but the avocados! The avocados that are insanely expensive in this place where I live now. Sigh again.

Okay I'm done sighing. Let me then expound a little on my slight disappointment of my failed imagination with regards to my expectations. Though they are not the great expectations, as told by Charles Dickens. (Kung maka-insert lang? lol) On the first photo of the fruits, they are not obviously local. That I can understand. But at least they could have a greater number of local produce sold in the streets. Such was not the case because the rest of the photos are from the market itself.

Well, I have this funny experience with a street vendor. While walking along Session Road, my eyes lit up when I saw lychees among the myriad of fruits sold by this vendor. I thought that it was locally produced but heck, it was not. The lychees were from Taiwan! The vendor sounded ecstatic when she told me about it. She had no idea. I shouldn't have asked the question but I still bought a quarter of a kilo anyway. I only find them already in cans in Cebu so, can you blame me?

Cafe by the Ruins

To show you the realness of the ruins effect

Gado-Gado salad, Ruins Tea in a pot, Cinnamon bread, Mango Lassi drink

My strawberry drink

Chicken Sotanghon

Longlife Tofu Pouches

The Olympia's Fresh Lumpia


Veering away from fast food, my family and I managed to eat at this idyllic sit-down restaurant, to celebrate my brother's birthday. It was twice for my siblings and I, because we had our very healthy dinner here the night before. (Second photo of this group) 

I guess I don't need to explain anything anymore on why we had to come back. That bowl of soup alone. It suited perfectly with Baguio's weather. I liked it even more for it had that distinct taste (in a good way), which I haven't tried before. From the menu, the soup is said to be a Cordilleria ritual chicken soup with etag (salted pork). 


With all these mouth-watering photos, it goes without saying that Baguio deserves a visit of more than a weekend, in order to fully experience the local food flair. It will be one epic and delectable time, I can assume. Even a bite has already provided me of long-lasting pleasant memories. I hope though they can go more local in the streets.

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