So my family and I are in Region 2 at the mo. It's pretty cool out here: people are lovely, food's abundant and fresh, wifi is heaps quicker than Manila and traffic jams are non-existent. We're currently in Tuguegarao City and so far, I'm enjoying my stay.Tweet
There are a lot of panciterias in Tuguegarao as the city's most famous delicacy is a dish called Batil Patong. The most basic version of the dish involves pancit miki or egg noodles thickened by meat broth, minced carabao beef, liver, and the one thing on earth I really do not eat: egg. The name translates to 'beat, put on top', and by this we mean the chicken period.
Tuguegarao's Pansit Batil Patong
I still wanted to try the stuff knowing I can pick out the egg and toss it onto my brother's plate so our local friend Ate A took us to one of the popular panciterias called Eva's. Getting there can be quite tricky as the roads are narrow but people still go because their Batil Patong is one of the best in the city. It was already busy when we got in and five minutes after we were seated the place was packed with locals and foreigners alike.
They served us a bowlful of raw, chopped red onions first. Apparently, you have to mix this with thick soy sauce and a vinegar unique to the Northern Philippine region called sukang Iloko while you wait for your Batil Patong. You'll mix this into the dish once it arrives.
The egg is hidden under the minced carabao beef, so you have to make 'batil' before you see it.
They also serve it with soup. It's actually the broth of the carabao beef with a bit of seasoning. Some people mix the soup with their noodles, some pour it onto their bowls after they've finished the dish, some drink it separately.
After ditching the egg, I attacked my bowl and it was quite delicious. The noodles had this distinct flavour and the carabao beef was so tasty. Ate A pointed out that I forgot to mix everything together and that I should have done so to get the full flavour. So I added some of the onion concoction, a bit of chilli and mixed the noodles with the thick sauce sitting under my bowl. What difference! Such surprise was the boldness of flavour and I really couldn't stop saying 'This is soooo good.'
Even my sister likes it.
Sister: Mommy I want more! *big fat burp*
Mom: No baby you're full na o!
Sister: Gusto ko paaaaaa! (I still want mooooore!)
I really enjoyed the Batil Patong (sans egg). At PHP50 a bowl (which could feed two people for a light lunch/merienda or a really hungry person), it's absolutely spot on. Her panciteria is very unpretentious and very tidy and her staff, despite the hectic afternoon, are all so cheery and helpful. I'm sure this won't be the first Batil Patong I'll have here, but Ate Eva's definitely set the bar high.