Browse Tag by Norte Bloggers
Business, Food, tourism, Travel

There’s always something new at Hilaria’s

I love Hilaria’s, its a fact. I always find something new in there. To me, its where you commune with friends, people and have a grand time enjoying food and drinks. The last time Norte Bloggers visited last March, it just barely opened. Going back after a few months, we were wowed.

Hilaria‘ is the name of the owner of the house. She is the grandmother. Now his grandson has transformed her house into a hub where young and old converge, commune and have clean fun.

Big Craving Big Serving
Big Craving Big Serving at Hilaria’s

Whats new?

  1. Its wider or so we thought and the bar chairs are  “exclusive” to regulars.  

When we visited Hilaria’s to check out their holiday packages, we saw Dr. D – the mysterious regular who has his own chair at the bar named after him. There was nothing like that before. According to Aldrin Cu the owner, Dr. D is a vegetarian who happens to love the secret menu. Gee, this physician is mysterious. Although he was there that time, we never bothered to disturb his peace. He was like a permanent fixture in the bar.

Wider with an exclusive chair
Wider with an exclusive chair

   2. It has mini-meeting rooms and conference room for a handful of people. 

Whether your idea of fun is a boardgame night with your friends, a movie marathon, documentary or GoT screening or  a mini company event away from other customers, they have a place for you.

We love this space at Hilaria's
We love this space at Hilaria’s

Upstairs, check out the Green Room and see what fun activities can you do there with your friends or family.

3. It has DJ Live sets that spikes up the party mode every Friday and Saturday 

Get the party going and the let out the groove with DJ Maj and DJ Marty thru Hype Beats

Hype Beats at Hilarias
Hype Beats at Hilarias

4. You can rent a mobile bar 

Partying at your place has never been so much easy. Just call Hilaria’s and they bring the house down. Haha. Complete mobile bar experience within budget.

Hilaria's Mobile Bar
Hilaria’s Mobile Bar

5. More good food.

Need I say more?  Meallenial rice meals are affordable rice toppings catering to those who have, yes money to spend- millennials. They try to capture the market that malls turn away during meal time because of academic restrictions.

Meallenial Rice Meals
Meallenial Rice Meals

Insider tip  

  1. Try the Nachos Basket.
  2. Buy and take home a chili sauce there.
  3. Ask for the secret menu. 
  4. Get your own chair too and join Dr. D at the bar
  5. Check out their collections upstairs 

Where to find Hilaria’s

Hilaria’s is all over the social media. Check them ou, their username is @hilariashome 

Here’s the location:

Food, tourism, Travel

On a weather like this, Im craving for Captain Sausage

This blogger is not from Tuguegarao. But apparently, I love hotdogs and sausages. Because versus burgers, I think it is easier to consume a sausage than a burger. But that is just me. Then, there’s Captain Sausage a place where comfort food is just an order away. Are we serious?

Captain Sausage
Captain Sausage

Owned and managed by  Jerome Tumolva and his wife, Captain Sausage started in their kitchen garage. It originated out of the family’s love for food and their quest to find interesting dishes outside of Tuguegarao.

When Norte Bloggers reviewed the bestsellers, we were greeted with the aroma of cooked tapa and german sausages. It made us hungry immediately.

What’s on the menu, Captain Sausage?

Our eyes feasted on what was served in front of us. A platter of sausages in a bed of fries! I can’t count how many varieties of sausages were thrown into this plate but its definitely a must-try. Two of your favorite things in one single platter, how cool is that?

The sausages were great, though coming from Manila, the are regularly delivered fresh and stable. No need to worry if you run out of  sausages. Argh, that would be a disaster.

Sausage platter in a bed of fries
Sausage platter in a bed of fries

 

Then Sir Jerome said it was time to taste the Potato Fiesta, a tray of mashed potato balls, wedges and fries. How come this captain offers two of my favorite things? Its potato and sausages.  The potatoes are good but the dip is even better. Haha. Its a house blended dip perfect for the dish.


Next on the menu is the Overload Meal. It has the best of both worlds. Beef tapa and sausage.  Woah! You’re lucky to have it at only P148.00. The tapa is chewy and easy to chew, no need to fight with just like tapas from other sources.

Overload Meal
Overload Meal

If you crave for the bestsellers then you can either choose the tapa or the sausage . It already has a sunny side up egg with it making it an all-day, all-weather breakfast.

Beef Tapa
Beef Tapa with Rice and Egg

But, on second thought, I’d still go for the Sausage with rice and egg. Will stamp my loyalty on this one this season 🙂

Sausage and egg
Sausage and egg

A full stomach  means a great day. And the  December weather in Tuguegarao which is unpredictable- sometimes windy, sometimes hot and sometimes rainy but definitely cold gives you a reason to indulge in a comfort food at Captain Sausage.

where to find the Captain?

Now I can’t concentrate blogging, wait. We’re going to see the Captain and say Aye Aye, Sir!

The Norte Bloggers with the Captain and his wife posing in pirate hats in tiny space at the second floor

See you there, pirates.. Here’s the map to their second branch. Find them on Facebook too. 

tourism, Travel

A memorable stay at Hotel Juliana

It was a rainy and muddy morning in Tuguegarao when we had the second leg of Cagayan Food Crawl. After a day of intense food tasting, the members of the Norte Bloggers need a place to cocoon, rest and get settled for another food-filled day.  Good thing there is Hotel Juliana, a cozy little hotel located at Blumentritt St. Centro 4, Tuguegarao City.

Hotel Juliana
Hotel Juliana is located at Centro 4 Tuguegarao City

Don’t be intimidated by the looks outside, just enter the lobby and you will be welcomed by the friendly staff.  Look for Katherine, the supervisor. She’s friendly and accommodating.  There are three room categories here.

The De Luxe room will only cost P1,750. It has a queen sized bed and major amenities being offered. You get an air-conditioned room, with flat screen TV, hot and cold shower with toiletries, free airport and bus terminal transfer if you need it. You also get free breakfast and coffee with 24 hour housekeeping services.

For those who want to share a room but not a bed, there’s the Executive De Luxe. Its priced at P1,900. You get the same amenities as above except for the bed. This room has two single beds.

For groups or families, the Suite Room is perfect for you. It has 1 king sized and 1 queen sized bed. For as low as P2,800 you can enjoy the comfort of a hotel situated in the central business district while peacefully and nicely tucked in the hotel.

Hotel Juliana room
Norte Bloggers stayed in this room

Hotel Juliana

 

Executive De Luxe Room
Executive De Luxe Room

Looking for a nice hotel in Tuguegarao is a challenge especially in the center. Hotel Juliana has a parking area in their other building near the hotel. There is a guard that watches over your vehicle.

The wifi is strong in the lobby and the third floor. You just need to ask the attendants the best spot. We were not able to connect in our rooms that time so we went out in the breakfast area to connect to the internet.

Hotel Juliana lobby
Hotel Juliana lobby

Check in time is 2:00 pm and check out time is 12:00 noon.  Hotel Juliana also offers 12 hour rates at half the price and Wash Up rates for three hours at only P500. For reservations, dial (078) 396.9658. Call or text them at 0917.598.8089/0998.972.0747.

How to get there

Food, tourism

Cagayan Food Crawl tastes Lokal-Kanan+ Pasalubong

Lokal owner Eric Lim worked in the States for 13 years, then went back home in Tuguegarao to help with his mom’s business selling blinds for windows.

Lokal Owner Eric Lim
Lokal Owner Eric Lim

“On my 3rd year, my brother opened Billy Jack’s Panciteria and then we got inspired and me and my sister Angel opened Lokal-Kanan+ Pasalubong, my sister and I designed it.

The place used to be a spa, then it was abandoned, since we were close to the airport, and Tuguegarao is a hub, so we thought of catering to the tourists. To highlight what people love to eat, we also serve food coming from other parts of the province such as Solana, Piat and other areas”, narrates Eric Lim.

So on July 15, 2015, Lokal opened its doors to the dining public. It faced challenges too, but because the siblings are in the food industry, Billy having owned a unique panciteria under his name Billy Jack’s, Lokal managed to get through the market.

Lokal Kanan+ Pasalubong facade

Its main customers are families and groups. Its a good place to meet and commune, converge and savor the flavors of Cagayan. The Norte Bloggers are fortunate to have caught up with him and we were served a delectable feast that we also promote for our readers’ holiday food packages.

Sinanta- is a native Cagayan rich noodle soup dish. It has vermicelli or rice and flat noodles in thick anatto and pork broth soup. Sinanta is best shared with family or friends while reminiscing the good times.

Lokal's sinanta, comfort food in a gloomy weather
Lokal’s sinanta, comfort food in a gloomy weather

Try the Kammo ( Boodle meals in a Bilao), no need for words, the photo says it all. The combination meal is composed of a generous serving of Java Rice, deep-fried native catfish, calamares, barbecue liempo, ensalada, salted egg, fried dumplings, carajay. The bilaos, or boodle sets will feed 4-10.

Lokal Kammo group meals
Lokal Kammo group meals

Alugbati salad. This salad is so healthy. You can tell by just looking at it. Your body will say, you need this food to cleanse your blood, rich in iron and other vitamins and the chlorophyll…. yum. It has an aftertaste though it tastes like vine (haha) , but you must try this.

Alugbati salad won the day
Alugbati salad won the day

Lokal also served appetizer, a plate of street food, called Tusok- Tusok Platter.

Tusok Platter
Tusok Platter

Lokal also offers deep-fried birut small freshwater fish, from Penablanca.

Bestsellers include Sinanta and Igado– staple in Cagayan, Pinakbet coz instead of the usual pork, Lokal uses tinapa. Ibanag pinakbet differs from Ilocos pinakbet because of squash. Sarabasab– Ilocano dish of grilled pork, then chopped into small pieces then mixed with vinegar and onions. Dinakdakan too, but they adopted the downstream version with mayonnaise.

“We’ll add more marketing and we’ll see the trend”, the Lokal owner said

Try one of each item in the menu. Birut is also a must try but usually there is no birut in December. Ludong, the most expensive fish is not legal to sell. It is also called El Presidente fish because only politicians get to taste that. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile used to give it to Presidents as gifts.

“We’re open till 8:30 am to 9:00 pm. We are a family-focused restaurant. We serve beer but we want to keep it as a family restaurant. We cater to up to 70 pax, we haven‘t started yet”, said Eric

In the future, we plan to open another restaurant with Billy Jack and Lokal+Kanan food park style. There will be more restaurants in one place.” Lim told the Norte Bloggers

It was a sumptuous brunch at Lokal. Their Silam vinegar sold in the store is an upgraded authentic Ibanag vinegar with spices. Its a good dip for anything fried.

Silam, Ibanag vinegar
Silam, Ibanag vinegar

You may contact Lokal at (078)-304-2037/ 0917.724.6636 for advance holiday party food package orders. Don’t forget to check their Instagram and Facebook page Lokal.

Have fun, everyone! Don’t forget to share 🙂

Some Norte Bloggers with Sir Eric Lim
Food, tourism, Travel, vanj padilla

Cagayan Food Crawl: Promoting the Philippines, One Flavor at a Time

20 restaurants. 10 bloggers. 2 days. 

In two days, close to 20 restaurants in Tuguegarao have hosted the bloggers and social media influencers and allowed them to review their best-sellers and must-try dishes. Authentic local cuisines were served, heirloom recipes, the flavors of Cagayan was put to test. 

Will the bloggers like it? Will it pass their discriminating palates, will they share the local food stories in the region? 

The first-ever Cagayan Food Crawl is a food appreciation tour for bloggers and digital influencers in Northern Luzon. It aims to promote and help the F&B industry in Region 2, Cagayan Valley. 

It was held last April 8 and 9, in line with the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) theme – Flavors of The Philippines. The DOT Cagayan Valley Region  supported the said momentous event. 

 The most exciting part was the warmth of restaurateurs in the area. A total of 60 dishes were served for review. Each has its own characteristic, each has its own story to tell. 
There was fusion. Asian. Filipino. Western. Italian. It was food tourism at its best. 

Pan De Cagayan Pizza

We started the food crawl at exactly 9am. The first participant was the Pan De Cagayan. Pizza, pasta, breads and more on a premium. Cagayanos are lucky to have this kind or concept in Tuguegarao. What stood out to the bloggers is the 5 cheese pizza- a combination of five kinds of cheese that is ultimately gooey. 

Manio’s Pampaguenos Kare- kare

Manio’s Pampanguena came next and their palabok and kare-kare is a must-try among other dishes. Lechon cannot be left out in important occasions and Cris’ Lechon has perfectly captured lechon’s flavor the way it should be. 

Cris’ Lechon

Then comes a Filipino buffet, Kainang Pilipino, an icon in Cagayan food industry. Bloggers were immersed in an actual cooking demo by the owner. You should try their pinaupong manok, a local favorite. 

Lumping Gulay at Kainang Pilipino

Must try Baked Caggu

Ice Craze surprised the bloggers with humongous slabs of pork baby back ribs cooked to perfection, it almost melts in your mouth. Sold at a very affordable price, customers can just take it home and feed the entire family.  

Humongous slab of tangy melts-in-your mouth baby back ribs

Ice Craze specialties for Cagayanos

Hap Chan’s bestseller Beef Broccoli

Hap Chan also served Asian and Chinese dishes. We loved the dimsum and the beef broccoli no questions asked. It is a runaway winner.  

Xanjero’s Pinoy Big Burger

Xanjeros’ pasta creation

Xanjero’s served the biggest burgers in Tuguegarao. If you wanna join the Guinness Record’s biggest burger. If you are hungry for days, you will never complain at the enormous size of its burgers.  

Hilaria’s cocktails

Hilaria’s bestsellers

Get these heavenly baked goodies at 8th Avenue

Indulge in 8th Avenue coffee

Leonardo’s steaks are very palatable. Good steak at very friendly price. Again, big servings. 

Leonardo’s steaks, perfectly big and affordable

Steak, just the way you like it

Billy Jack’s  Pancit Batil Patong serves the best-tasting and most unique pancit in town having balut as topping.  

Billy Jack’s Pancit Batil Patung with Balut

Barako Boy Coffee set up

Bark Boy pasta selection featuring Tuguegarao Longganisa

Get artisanal coffee from Barako Boy . La Luna Grill serves good food, also kare-kare and their sizzling plates.  

La Luna Grill’s crispy Kare-kare

Not to be left out, Hotel Carmelita also let bloggers review their pancit batil patong and the Culinare Pizza , a thin crust pizza filled with all the goodies on top. 

 

 

 

 Charlie’s Kitchen Savory has the uniquely different crispy path version. Get their fish rolls and you will never regret. 

Kitchen Savory Crispy Pata

Food is undeniably the second reason for traveling. It is next to tourism and destinations. Tourists travel for food, too. Tourist explore flavors different from their point of origin.

Our last was Fracasso, the giant pizza store in Tuguegarao. Margin four pizza flavors in one massive 30-inch pizza served hot and fresh from the oven.  

Fracasso’s massive 30-inch pizza

With the success and positive feedback the Cagayan Food Crawl has generated from the event, and most importantly the online content it created for the F&B industry, participating restaurants are thankful to DOT Region 2 for bringing in events like this one. 

More of these, please DOT,” stated the owner of Crown Restaurant who boasts of the best Yang Chow rice in Tuguegarao. 

Crown Restaurant’s Pork Asado

Crown Restaurant’s famous Yema cake

And because the Philippines is a bountiful archipelago, each locality, each town has its own unique food to offer for its visitors. 

Note: 

This post also appears at MomFluencer Blog

Food, tourism, Travel

Best Places to Eat in Pangasinan: Matutinas – Gerry’s Seafoods

The bangus at the facade of the restaurant represent Dagupan’s pride, the tastiest milkfish

Matutina’s is an icon in Pangasinan dining experience. As it grows, it also evolves. We were able to taste Matutina’s – Gerry’s Seafoods thru the owner Mam Meng Pasion Austria. You will love her the first time you see her. She is like your best Tita ever or the best Ninang. Kindhearted, down-to-earth, very accommodating  and a good conversationalist.

Mam Meng Pasion Austria and husband Gerry own the restaurant

She accommodated us very well. Telling stories about how they started. It was her husband who thought of deviating from the original Matutina’s brand which belongs to their mom. Then his sisters eventually continued the Matutina’s branches in Bonuan where it began.

Sampler crab-a dab-dab in buttered garlic

Gerry, Meng’s husband and the heir to the Matutina brand put up his own, Gerry’s Seafood but still attached to the original name from the mom for goodwill.

The Austria couple strengthened their brand with seafood. Filipino dishes and seafood, Pangasinan seafood.

“Actually, Pangasinan seafood is the best, we have the best-tasting bangus, oyster, crab and other sea bounties” shares Mam Meng to the Norte Bloggers. True enough, we were served one of the best tasting seafood dishes in Pangasinan.

How can you say no to this big fat crabbie crustacean?

Can you ever say no to a King Crab? He will punish you with thick, hard crabby fat but drool. This is soo good. No, good is an understatement. This is fit for a queen. And kings and little royalties. A good amount of crab once in a while is also good for your sanity. Haha.

So go and indulge. Reward your palate.

Buttered oysters

Buttered Oysters are our second favorite. There are people from Manila that come over to Pangasinan just to eat buttered oysters from Matutina’s Gerry’s Seafood- and its not even a joke. If they are willing to do that, then their oysters must be that scrumptious.

We are Pangasinan, we live in Pangasinan where oysters are abundant, but for us to like the oysters at Gerry’s Seafood, it means ‘talagang masarap sya ha‘!

Pinakbet

Pinakbet is perhaps one of the most ordered veggie dish. It combines the abundant local vegetables cooked in fish sauce or bagoong, slices of pork and chicharon.

Hipon Crispy

You can talk all day and munch on this crispy-fried shrimp. Just dip it in the vinegar-garlic and spice sauce and you’re all good.

Pork Barbecue

No doubt, we are all barbecue lovers. I try to avoid red meat but when you see this pork barbecue in front of you with a piping hot bowl of rice, say goodbye to your diet plans. Its mouth-watering, I am honestly craving for barbecue while writing this post.  🙁

Singing na malaga

If you crave for that savory fish soup, order the Sinigang na Malaga. Malaga or samaral or siganid is a freshwater fish that has white meat and commands a premium price. It is usually served on special occasions. Their sinigang na malaga emphasizes the flavor and taste of the malaga, the savory, sour soup complements it.

Inihaw na Dagupan Bangus

You can find Inihaw na Dagupan Bangus anywhere in Dagupan but their bangus is definitely from a reliable Dagupan fishpond. So you actually taste its difference. Try also their Bangus sisig as well as the Kilawing Bangus. 

I will not forget to tell you to try their desserts which have stories of their own. Order the buko pandan, fruit salad, or the creamy leche flan.

Matutina’s – Gerry’s Seafoods can be found in De Venecia Extension, Dagupan City. Call them to reserve your table at 0977.826.0228 or 0932.853.9901. Look for Ms. Cherry, the ever-friendly manager.   Check out their Facebook page, too. They also have a branch in Urdaneta City along Mc Arthur Hi-way Nancayasan, San Fernando City, Pampanga and Tarlac. 

After the pleasant food experience, its time to take a photo of busog-faces.

Norte Bloggers pose with Mam Meng after the Food Crawl