Friday, October 8, 2010

La Union's Hidden Gem

Midway Grill
Brgy. Lingsat - San Fernando City, La Union
03 March 2010

Last Tuesday, I posted a query about a crossroad I am having regarding posting stories and images about me dining out. My friend Halie answered it would be better to post the whole story here rather than in my travel blog - Where My Feet Took Me, and since I was also thinking the same way, I decided to go with it. Starting today and every Thursdays (sorry I was out yesterday, so I was just able to blog now), I will share the whole story behind the "food trip" here. I just want to say that some of the pictures might be posted before, so I do apologize if I might re-post some pictures.


Whenever I am in La Union, I always pass by this restaurant, but I never really showed interest in eating here because of its location (its quite far from the heart of the city). What changed my mind was the invitation for a blog anniversary event happening at the surf site of San Juan, La Union. I turned down the invite (as I was just in La Union a few weeks before I received the invite), but I read in the itinerary that the bloggers will eat at the Midway Grill. Checking some blog articles about the restaurant, I have read the term "La Union's hidden gem" quite a few times, so it sparked a curiosity. Last March, after visiting the Church of San Nicolas of Tolentino and the Lourdes Grotto - both in the town of Balaoan, I took the bus going to this restaurant to eat lunch.


I arrived high noon. There was a little misunderstanding - the signage on the door said "closed," but asking the crew about the time the restaurant will open, she told me it was open already and that I could just come in. When I sat, another crew gave me the menu, but when I told what my order was, the crew went back after a few minutes to tell me the store was still closed. Hmm.... by then I was already waiting for them to say I was on Candid Camera. Hahahaha. Kidding aside, I didn't understand why they didn't open in time for lunch. Oh well, I guess they had more visitors later in the day. Still, I hope they'd open for lunch, because that's when people want to eat heavy meal. :)

I really had no place to go, and I didn't want to take a jeepney ride to the heart of the city and travel back, so I was actually about to just leave and go home. Good thing I saw an Internet Cafe nearby, which I stayed at to wind off time. Despite the misunderstanding, I still wanted to eat there.

Midway Grill had a retro feel. The place is spacious, and their menu is extensive. So many foods to choose from - sandwiches, rice meals, noodles, and pasta. However, I was a traveler on a budget, and I can only eat one meal. Their foods are right on the budget, and because this place had the word "grill" on their name, I decided to go for:

Grilled Porkchop

Grilled Pork Chops with Rice (p110). I liked that they trimmed off some of the fat and the skin. I am not a fan of pork chops as it tend to be rubbery, but this one was actually tender. It was juicy and it was marinated good. I also loved the cracked pepper that was rubbed in the meat, which blended well with the vinegar dip provided. The garlic rice was cooked good, too, there were no lumps, and it was seasoned good. Taking a bite of the meat and chewing on it, I scold myself for letting me wait that long to taste their food. It was really good, that I went to agree that this restaurant was indeed a hidden gem. Each table had a bottle of liquid seasoning, but I didn't need it because all the flavors were just right. I did use the Tabasco sauce, though, because I want my foods spicy.

Buco Pandan

Buco Pandan (p45). Nothing exceptional - it was just like halo halo on a shallow saucer with diced coconut meat and gelatin. I know my own buco pandan was much better than this, but for a dessert, it was okay. What I didn't like was that they served this before they served the main meal - making the ice shavings melt in no time. I had no choice but to eat desserts first before the main meal.

Given a very wide selection of foods, I still wanted to eat there again. I am about to travel back to La Union by the end of the month, and because our neighbor and her co-teacher will come with me, and that Halie might come, too... we can eat here so I could taste more of their foods. :)

If you're in La Union and you want to eat their food, the restaurant is located in Brgy. Lingsat, fronting Saint Louis College. If you're in San Fernando City (plaza), take a jeep going north - either Lingsat, San Juan, or Bacnotan. Their bestseller is the baby back ribs, which is something I will surely eat when I get back there.

By the way, this establishment doesn't serve service water, so you may want to bring your own, or get their bottled water.

*** Jenn ***

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}