'Dampa' in the city

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Friday, January 10, 2014


IF YOU know where Wisons Shopping Center is, you're most likely aware that there's strip of small eateries on the right entrance while on the left side are the "ukay-ukay" vendors.

There, I tried dining twice with friends when they tagged me along for a dinner. Surpisingly, they've got several options of fresh meat, vegetables, and seafoods, which can be served either deep-fried, grilled, or with soup, or just any dishes that the customers' palate desires to eat.

I hadn't known what these type of eateries were called, until I had a chance interview with the restaurant owners who took the concept of their business from "dampa," a popular strip of food stalls common in Manila and few cities in the Philippines.

"Dampa," as what the place is called, you can choose from the fresh selections of seafoods and meat and tell the cook how you want them served. In no time, you can have your fill of the tasty dishes that taste more like the foods prepared at home. However, only they are offered in the evening because during the day regular dishes like pinakbet, chopsuey, fried chicken, etc. are served where the usual afternoon crowd is always seen enjoying their meals.

There are also stalls that offer barbecues, from chicken, chicken and pork liver, to pork barbecue.

There's even a grilled chorizo, perfect with a spicy vinegar for its dip on the side.

Stripped of anything classy, this place is popular among the drivers and workers nearby, which reminds me what our editor told us that if a carenderia draws a considerable number of drivers dining, it must have been a very good place that's worth a visit.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 10, 2014.

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