|The Arco Real, the historic town gate of Pagsanjan |
built from 1878 to 1880
Many years ago, I went to Pagsanjan, Laguna to participate in a writing workshop. This time, I return to this small town dubbed as the "Tourist Capital of Laguna" to speak at a college spritual retreat. While we had the chance to shoot the rapids at the river and reach the famous Pagsanjan Falls during my first visit, we didn't have the same chance this time. But during break time, my husband and I had several occasion to go around the town plaza and go on a food trip.
|Aling Taleng's halo-halo|
We were delightfully surprised that Aling Taleng's also sells puto bungbong even if it's not Christmas season. You can also buy pasalubong or goodies to take home from the restaurant like uraro, pilipit, broas, pastillas, sampaloc champoy, and chicharon.
|Puto bungbong topped with grated coconut and tubo|
After sharing a tall glass of Aling Taleng's halo-halo and all-beef burger, we stepped outside and asked a young girl in uniform passing by for the best pansitan in town, and we were told to go to Emin and Mila's Canteen along J.P. Rizal St. I like their pansit canton because it has lots of vegetables and crunchy fried pork slices.
|Pancit canton at Emin and Mia's Canteen|
The following afternoon, we headed to El Panchito's Fil-Mexicano Resto along Mabini St. for a serving of Mexican and Filipino street food favorites. The place is near the Arco Real, the historic town gate of Pagsanjan. You can't miss the place because a green guitar-playing mascot with a sombrero stands conspicuously outside the restaurant. I love their fresh garden salad and nachos bravas, but I prefer the traditional halo-halo over their fried halo-halo. Fried halo-halo is so-called because the ingredients are wrapped in lumpia wrapper, fried, and served with ice cream and sweetened tubo. By the way, they serve Lola Taleng's Halo-Halo, in honor of the owner's grandmother who is Aling Taleng.
|Amigos dining at El Panchito's|
|Kesodilla, nachos bravas, churros, and fried halo-halo at El Panchito's|
Photo courtesy of Sarina Ginn Reyes