Saturday, July 25, 2015

Balajadia Restaurant (Baguio City)

Though I travel to Baguio City at least once a year since my father passed away in 2007 (Baguio is our usual place to do side trips, as it is near to our place in La Union), I admit I still haven't fully explored the city as far as food is concerned. Call it a habit, but there were times that even if I am miles away from Metro Manila, my choice of food would often be those from fast food chains or those that I have already tried from previous food trips.

For our After Summer Group Getaway organized by Azalea Residences Baguio, I had no idea where we will eat for lunch. I heard someone said "Slaughter House," and some crazy thoughts run through my head, but when I saw the rows of eateries, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Of the many eateries in the area, the Balajadia Restaurant seemed to be the most popular. People seem to check this place first before checking the other eateries. From what I gather, this area is used to be where the Slaughter House of Baguio City is located, hence the name of the place.

{More after the jump...}

From the outside, the restaurant looked small. Inside, there are a lot of tables to accommodate big groups. I shared the table with Jing, Angie, Marco, and Omar. We were served...

The nearby town of La Trinidad (Banguet) is known for vegetables, so it was just right that we were served this. The vegetables were cooked the way we all want our chopseuy to be - cooked, but still crunchy. Unfortunately, they only used liver as their meat for this dish... but that was just fine, the veggies were already enough, for I know there were still more dishes to eat.

Pinapaitan (Goat)
People from the north of the country is known to be frugal. One proof to this is their food. If it is edible, they will definitely cook and eat it. Pinapaitan is soup dish - made of animal innards, seasoned with the animal's bile (the root word "pait" meant bitter). This soup is usually served to men during drinking sessions, but it has now gone through different modifications to suit one's taste. Personally, I prefer it with lots of ginger.

This bowl of Pinapaitan was a good way to warm and calm the tummy. I loved that it didn't have that distinct goat smell and taste, and although it was bitter, it still had a good balance of other flavor.

Pinapaitan (Beef)
When we were served another bowl of Pinapaitan, we were quick to say we already had our share, but we were told this one was made of beef. I do loved that this had beef meat and not pure innards. For one, the chopped onion leaves added more flavor to the dish, but while this tasted good, our group preferred the goat dish. It was more flavorful.

Grilled Liempo with Dinuguan Dip
In our house, we call this dish Sinarabasab or Intuno ("tuno" means grill). I first learned about the Dinuguan Dip when my brother was still based in La Union. The Dinuguan Dip is simply pork's blood mixed with vinegar and salt and cooked until it is super thick and has curdled a bit. Eating this is like eating Dinuguan, only that the meat and the sauce were separated. This is a good dish to serve to foodies who are still queasy about eating cooked blood because they have the choice to either eat just the meat or at least try the Dinuguan dip.

Hooray for another piping hot soupy dish! Although Bulalo originated in Southern Luzon, the dish has traveled all around the country and is enjoyed by everyone especially during chilly, cold days. I appreciated that this dish has a lot of beef meat, which our group gladly shared. I decided to eat the marrow, because... oh you know why. Marrow is heaven!

Beef Butt and Balls
BandB for short. Yep. I didn't make a mistake, this is made of beef butt and balls. But!!!! Before you make all those weird faces, I just wanna say that this dish is actually delicious, though the butt (that meat in the middle, the one with the rainbow curve) was actually chewy and the balls (the one on the lower right - just above the image's watermark) was actually hard and soft, kinda like the white stone-like part of the balut. The dish is a cross between adobo and bistek - minus the souring agent (vinegar in adobo, calamansi in bistek). It felt weird eating this, so partly, we were grateful that this dish was served last - we were already full from the other dishes we tried. Despite the weird feeling, I was glad to have tasted this dish at least one in my lifetime.

If you want to have a hearty, home cooked meals to share with family and friends, I highly recommend this place. It was my first time to eat here so I am not familiar with the directions, but you can try asking the taxi driver if they know this place. The restaurant is located in Brgy. Sto. Nino.

*** 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}