|picture grabbed from Iris|
It was (I think) around 8am when we left Caramoan, and because of its distance and the road repairs, it was past lunch time when we reached the town of Pili. At first, the vans parked in front of Jollibee - which was a little cute thinking that our first meal in Bicol was at this Jollibee branch and that our last meal in the region would be there as well, but because our companions thought that they will eat Jollibee the day they come back to work, they decided to find somewhere else to eat. We didn't really wanted to eat at a very high end restaurant, eating at road side eateries (carinderia) would be okay for us because it would allow us to save money and have a taste of what the town has to offer.
We were only given an hour to eat lunch because traveling back home would sure take a lot of time and we were still going to do one more side trip to CWC, so when the carinderia hunting didn't give us results within 15 minutes, I suggested we go to Bigg's Diner instead. It would eat a lot of our time walking there, but from what I knew of, Bigg's Diner is proudly Bicolano... I am not sure if it branched out of the region, but when one say Bicolano restaurant, Bigg's Diner will be one of the very first ones to mention.
Not wanting to waste more time, we hailed a tricycle and my companions quickly ordered. As soon as I told my mom my choice, I quickly roamed around to take pictures. I really, really love diners - the ambiance, the decorations... it really satisfies the old soul in me. As if that wasn't enough, the diner also had good music in the background - modern songs sung the classic, jazzy way, which I learned (after getting home and checking YouTube for it) was a mix of songs from Postmodern Jukebox. Amazing music, I tell you!
Anyway, we came here to eat, and here are what we ate for lunch, our last meal in Bicolandia --
Fried Chicken, Spaghetti, and Pizza
Spaghetti, Fried Chicken, and Pork Barbecue
Fried Chicken and Macaroni Salad
Ms. Neri and Tita Cora's food (they ordered a plate each)
Fried Chicken and Potato Salad
Tita Lydia's food.
I wasn't able to taste the potato salad, but all else actually tasted good. The spaghetti had a very distinct liver spread taste, which made me miss this kind of flavor - when we were kids my mom would actually mix spaghetti sauce, ketchup, and liver spread in our spaghetti sauce and it was the first kind of Pinoy Spaghetti recipe I learned how to do. The pizza was okay, the pork barbecue had thick cuts, the macaroni salad - it reminded me of home during Christmas, and the fried chicken, so flavorful! It wasn't heavy on the breading, which allowed us to savor more of the chicken, and it was seasoned well that we (mom and I) actually didn't notice we weren't given a serving of gravy until our companion asked about it. Overall, the dining experience was so fun and memorable, should I travel back to Bicol, I would want to dine there again.
Two things to note before I wrap up this post, though....
... their condiments
and their placemat. So, so cute and very nostalgic! I loved spending my time answering this placemat, though not all I know of - I don't know that "G" group, the last three items on the leftmost part, the bird , the sword, the one below Pac Man, and that one-eyed portrait. Still, it was such a beautiful collage that I actually asked if I could take home three placemats. I will frame one and display it on my bedroom wall. :)
If ever you get to see a branch of Bigg's Diner when you travel to Bicol, please do check them out. Their food will not only make you fully satisfied, their place is also social media worthy - every picture you share on your sites will surely earn a lot of likes and comments.
And yes, they have WiFi connection.