Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Iloilo: One Day Food Trip & Photo Walk

The batchoy at Netong's in La Paz Public Market.
Being in Iloilo City for just one day gave me a unique timeline to follow. I wanted to get the most about what the city had to offer in terms of food and photos. So I decided to hit the restaurants that had a lot of foot traffic around the area to increase my chances of getting good photos with the human element present.

I decided on visiting Netong's Batchoy & Madge Cafe in the La Paz Public Market and Roberto's Food House in downtown Calle Real.

A flag vendor near downtown Iloilo.
More on Iloilo after the jump.

I arrived in Iloilo around lunch time and my stomach was grumbling! My objective was to go to the La Paz Public Market and find the place where batchoy was born. For those of you who are in Iloilo City for the first time, Iloilo is divided up into districts. La Paz is a nearby district and most taxis/trikes know how to take you there. 

For those of you who dont know what batchoy is, it is very flavorful pork broth mixed with miki egg noodles, chicharon (crispy pork skin), liver, chicken, pork and green onions. It is, as a good friend put it, 'heart attack soup' since it has so many artery clogging ingredients. 

Netong's La Paz Batchoy has the honor of calling itself the progenitor of batchoy since the owner created this tasty dish oh so many years ago. 

The bowl of 'Special Batchoy' I ordered pictured below cost me Php 80.00 with free broth refills. It was really good! As a tip for those of you eating batchoy for the first time, add a little soy sauce and a little pepper to your batchoy for an extra kick. If you're feeling really hungry, don't forget to order a side dish of puto (rice cakes) with your batchoy and soak the puto in the broth for extra sinfullness!

Netong's Original La Paz Batchoy:
Address: Inside La Paz Public Market
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/netongsbatchoy
Operating Hours: 7AM - 7PM
Phone: +63 33 396-2189

After getting topped up with batchoy, I headed to another Iloilo hometown favorite called Madge Cafe.

If you're in Iloilo, you have to grab a cup of joe here! They use native beans and filter your coffee using a sock! (They say that the sock is first worn to add extra flavor! Kidding!).

The staff are really friendly and are used to have a lot of VIPs have their coffee here. They also have individual mugs with the names of their owners on them for regular customers. I wonder what it takes to get your own mug? 

The cup of coffee I had cost me around Php 25.00 and it was pretty good and strong! and it didn't give me acid. 

Madge Cafe
Address: Inside La Paz Public Market
Operating Hours: 4AM - 7PM

After satisfying my belly on batchoy and my nerves on caffeine, I decided to do a photo walk along the alley ways of the La Paz Public Market and out into the streets. There were many stalls on the side of the road selling knickknacks and other things, perfect for some human interest

After exploring the streets of La Paz, I decided it was time to head to Calle Real in downtown Iloilo for another local favorite and more street scenes.

Calle Real (which means Royal Street in Spanish) is actually called J. M. Basa Street, but I think locals still use the name Calle Real when referring to this historical site located in the old downtown district of Iloilo.

It is one of the main arteries of the cities as a large number of people and business flows through here. It is an important street because a lot of the buildings are architectural marvels that owe their design to either Spanish or American influences.

Calle Real in downtown Iloilo
After walking along Calle Real, I was once again hungry in no time. I decided to try another local favorite called Roberto's Snack House. Roberto's is a house hold name in Iloilo and is famous for their affordable yet delectable snacks. It is also famed as one of the most popular siopao places in Iloilo. Sadly, I wasn't able to try their siopao during my visit, but I guess that means I need to go back to try it out!

What I mad in this picture below was their Roberto's Burger (Php 25), the 2pcs Meatballs, Lumpia and fried rice meal was Php 70. What I had was really good! I was really full and it only cost me Php 95!

Next time I will really try their famed Queen and King Siopao!

#61 J. M. Basa Street, Iloilo City
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Robertos-Iloilo-337880136285514/
Contact Number: 335 0484 or 337 1595

After that snack, I continued the afternoon walking around the Iloilo City Public Market to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Iloilo. It was a nice little day trip to Iloilo that resulted in experiencing more of the charm that the City of Love had to offer, and not to mention having a belly full of good food while I was at it.

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