The usual main aim of an out of town adventure is to see and experience for yourself the scenic view of your planned destination. While the food in your destination would usually come in as an additional perk to an already awesome adventure.
But this is not the case with my recent out of town adventure in Tuguegarao, Cagayan province. I, MJ, JB and Willie (my officemates) went to Tuguegarao for a long weekend with two major aims in mind: to visit the majestic Callo Cave and to take a bite of Tuguegarao’s unique noodle dish.
Pancit Batil Patung on my first chomp was like an explosion of flavors in my palate. The delicious mixture of ingredients was so awesome it will make your taste buds wanna grow hands for it to give a good round of applause.
But let me digress from the as-expected delicious taste of this dish to that of the surprising and unique experience we had when we went and ordered our Pancit Batil Patung at Jomar’s Panceteria (panceteria: English translation, noodle house).
Jomar’s Panceteria only serves Pancit Batil Patung and there’s nothing else in the menu. Thus, you would really conclude that their noodle dish is one of the best since it’s the only dish that keeps their store alive. Nevertheless, their pancit are of three varieties, i.e. regular, special and super special. All four of us of course did not settle for less and opted for the Super Special which only costs eighty pesos (or less than US$ 2).
Our astonishment in the restaurant was further driven when we noticed at one corner of the dining area was the presence of a ginormous chopping board, several knives and a huge sack full of pungent shallots.
While we were having the first bite of the pancit (egg noodle), we noticed people were actually proceeding to the monster chopping board and were actually peeling off and mincing the shallots. After which they would place it on a small saucer and bring to their table. We then saw them pour soy sauce and scooped a generous amount so as to top it on their Pancit Batil Patung.
We then asked our companion Willie to peel and chop red onions for us. And when he could no longer take it he went back to our table serving a meager amount of minced shallots with uncontrollable tears in his eyes. We on the other hand were laughing so hard!
That’s when we realized that Jomar’s Pancit Batil Patung was a shallots-all-you-can panciteria! I was actually telling my companions that Jomar’s should replace the knives and chopping board with a food processor so that it would be “no-more-tears” and would be easier for their guests. But then again, I realized that if electric food processor would be installed, the odd extra-challenge, fun and uniqueness of the whole experience would be expunged.
Where in the world would you find a restaurant that has this kind of an offering? Pancit Batil Patung at Jomar’s was definitely one unique, enjoyable and tummy-filling part of our adventure in Tuguegarao.
Sibuyas pa mor!