I can't believe that I will be doing a back-to-back post on panciterias. But this time it was not planned at all. A happy chance it is. Me and a friend (inside a jeepney) were about to go somewhere for lunch when we saw this quaint panciteria along Pedro Gil street in the heart of Paco, Manila (near the Paco Catholic School and Paco Market). We hurriedly asked manong driver to hand us back our fare for we've only been inside the jeepney for 20 seconds when we saw the panciteria.
A few hops after and then we reached the Lennie Santiago Panciteria or simply Lennie's Panciteria. It felt like we were transported in a 70's diner. Everything felt the real thing - well except for the flooring which seemed to be not the original one. It was noontime and no one was inside except for us. We were hungry, happy and excited.
Lennie's panciteria have pancits of all sorts and some cooked food on their counter. We wanted to have their bestseller pancit so an old lady came to us and suggested for us to have Miki Bihon Guisado. And so we did!
I, being so impatient, was led by my feet into the panciteria's kitchen. I asked some staff there if I could take some snapshots of them prepping and cooking and they gladly allowed me. So there I was, looking at how our pancit was being made. Felt like home.
|Good for 1 to 2 persons|
|tss... hot! (not him but it...)|
And then our Miki Bihon (70 pesos) and Lechon Kawali (45 pesos) were served. The Miki Bihon was so great that from the first bite up to the last strand we were raving over it. There's this oriental distinct taste to it that you would normally get in some Asian restaurants. I could've finished the whole thing if it weren't meant for sharing. The lechon kawali was forgettable. It's not that crunchy enough for it to qualify to be a happy lechon kawali.
|happy miki bihon|
|forgettable lechon kawali|
I was so tempted to order another pancit dish but then lotsa people came in and the whole place became packed with hungry souls. I also planned to chat with the old lady who suggested the pancit we just had (which looked like the owner) but it seemed like she was gone for her afternoon's siesta.
Funny how we ended up into this quaint and unpretentious happy pancit place when we could've been into one of our comfort zones - fast food. Accidental discovery. Spontaneity. It sure pays.
Lennie Santiago Panciteria
Pedro Gil, Paco, Manila