There are fast food chains that most of us frequent because of their food items, akin to our favorite blankets when we sleep in on lazy days. They are nothing surprising and are everything we expect them to be, and more.

There are the sophisticated culinary stopovers that may be intimidating for the uninitiated but appealing to those whose eyes, palates and wallets are open and equally prepared to be astounded. The plates served here are the best ones for Instagram.

There are Filipino restaurants, where signs of deep-fried dishes, gigantic grilled meats and hot steaming soups draw everyone in hopes that these family-style recipes will spark a reminder of what it’s like to have a home-cooked meal.

Then there are the offbeats — the brave, the bold, the blissfully afloat — who stick to their guns in providing the local food community with the food it doesn’t necessarily need, but the one it deserves.

This here is quite an introduction for Cebu-based culinary mainstay, Banana Pancake Trail. Since its inception in 2014, it has risen above the waves of brunch date inquiries (no, it doesn’t serve banana pancakes) and has powered through the ups and downs of starting a business, thanks to its popular take on the classic pad thai (awarded SunStar Best of Cebu awardee 2018 and 2019).

Starting out as a small food stall in a food market, it has now blossomed with its own restaurant on Escario St., Cebu City, open daily from 10 a.m. to — great news for late-nighters — 12 midnight daily.

It’s a great option for dinners, actually. It’s tucked away from the usual crowds. It’s got delightful interiors to go with its spacious dining area. And the food (it specializes in Southeast Asian street food) is good. It takes a little navigating through the menu at first, to find out what you really want, and it may take a couple of visits before you zero in on a five-course favorite, but this very experience stays true to its name; the restaurant is named after the trail that backpackers and other tourists frequent throughout Southeast Asia.

On a side-note, order its buttery Roti Canai (it’s on its secret menu).

So if you want a little break from the usual, round up the friends and take that savory side trip and revel in the unusual. Your tummy will thank you for it.