What part of Dagupan is this Mica?
It isn’t Dagupan anymore, it’s the town of Calasiao.
Our gastronomic adventure carried on to the town of Calasiao which is actually just a tricycle or jeepney ride away from Hotel Le Duc – our home for two days. Mica led us to one of her favorite restaurants in Calasiao, the Panaderio Antonio.
Panaderia Antonio Restaurant
And so we thought that we’re off to a yummy merienda treat because of its name. And then we got so thrilled when we entered this lavish restaurant and saw some diners having their late lunch/early dinner. The mood was very laidback, that feeling when you’re having your weekly family lunch somewhere – very homey.
The friendly attendants ushered us to our seats and immediately offered us the menu list. We asked about the specialties and she shared some of the guests’ favorites on the menu. The restaurant’s dishes are a mix of local/Pinoy, American and Italian favorites. I was confused on what to order and checked out what they got and decided to complete the entire package.
As we were waiting for our food to be served, we checked out the adjoined bakery/bakeshop. The bread selection looks promising and this surely is a haven for bread lovers out there. It has an ‘open bakery’ set-up that lets you see how they prepare and bake the yummy goodies. Too bad we all forgot to take away some after the nice meal we had.
We were served some complimentary chicken skin (with vinegar dip) when we got back to our table. And it was delish!
For our meals, Mica had some Boneless Bangus with Java Rice (175 pesos) which was really yummy. A Dagupeña truly knows how to set the bar for the nicest fried bangus.
Julius had some Sizzling T-Bone Steak (310 pesos) which also was good. The tender meat and the tasty gravy complimented each other.
I had the Luisito Pizza (375 pesos/Supremo size/12-inch) for myself and intended to share it with everyone. The thin crust was cooked perfectly. You could hear it as it pops into your mouth and then the oozing cheese and all other toppings will follow next. I’m really not a ‘pizza person’ but this one’s truly remarkable.
Lastly, and my favorite (which I almost finished) was Christian’s meal, Beek Kare-Kare (250 pesos). I dunno where to start here. Well, imagine yourselves forgetting about all other kare-kares you’ve tasted before.
|the best kare-kare!|
On the first taste, I was totally focused on lingering the taste in my mouth, and that’s just the rich and yummy sauce I’m talking about. When I dug into the meat and veggies, I was totally nodding with no particular reason. This is the best kare-kare I’ve tasted so far, with or without the bagoong side dish.
The next day, Mica brought us, again, to one of her favorite restaurants which was actually situated at Dagupan for the longest time before it found its new home in Calasiao. She mentioned the house specialty, Binagoongang Crispy Pata, and made us drool in no time.
Just a tricycle ride away from Dagupan, the Dagupeña Restaurant traces its history back in 1928 when Ignacia Cahoha Bernal opened a small eatery that serves Ilocano and Dagupan favorites. Since then, the restaurant has become one of the restaurants to go-to when in Dagupan.
It was around lunchtime and we all had one thing in mind, the Binagoongang Crispy Pata.
For starters, we tried some Bai Inacia’s Tsokolate (48 pesos). The tiny cups were filled with thick, dark chocolate. It was nice when it’s really hot.
And then one by one, the food arrived.
The Boneless Bangus Al-Ajilo (230 pesos) was crispy and yummy while the Pinapaintan (80 pesos) was ordinary. My homies in Zambales has a better version of this dish.
And then the main event. The Binagoongang Crispy Pata (450 pesos) came into our table and the bagoong sauce was oozing on the surface of the Crispy Pata. I really wanted it to be my first dish that time and as I was getting my share, I couldn’t contain my happiness.
The first bite told me that the meat was crispy and tender at the same time. The second one told me that the bagoong was too salty for my taste which ruined everything. I love the ingenuity but it failed to deliver, I’ve tasted the best Crispy Pata and Binagoongan separately and I could probably just mix it to make the perfect combination.
Calasiao Church and the famous puto
Calasiao is famed for its yummy puto and kutsinta. This cute, bite-sized, rice-based goodies have one long dedicated alley of small stalls along the National Road. For 80 pesos/kilo (yes, they sell it in kilos), you could take home one of the best putos in the country.
Nearby the puto stalls is the Old Calasiao Church which (I heard from a church enthusiast) was made in Baroque style. Too bad we didn’t see what’s inside the church. After taking some photos of the church, we decided to go back to the puto stalls to grab some for our merienda.
We had a fun gastronomic adventure in Calasiao with just a few hours. Probably next time, we could walk around this town and check out what it has to offer, aside from the puto and kutsinta.
Panaderia Antonio Bakery and Restaurant
De Venecia Highway, Calasiao, Pangasinan
Contact Numbers: (+63) 75.522.0007 | (+63) 75.523.1902
Open Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Diversion Road, San Miguel,
Contact Numbers: (+63) 75.522.2752 | (+63) 75.517.3938
Open Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.