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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Mo' pork, mo' problems (Sinulog edition)

CEBU is known all around the country and the world for how it handles its pork. If you’re in town for the first time or playing tour guide for your friends who just arrived from out of town, worry not. Here’s a quick list where you can get Cebu’s best pork dishes.

Of course, we’re not telling you to try all these dishes in one go. Not unless you are physically and mentally prepared for it (*Wink). That’s the problem with pork. It’s so good but you’ll have to pace yourself. But you’re good with whatever you try from this list, since these suggestions are taken from the Best of Cebu 2017 list of winners. Eat away!

Mr. Liempo (Best Liempo)

What is liempo? It is basically a huge cut of pork belly that’s usually roasted to perfection. Granting one’s a meat-eater, every local has probably had his share of liempo. There are tens of brands out there that claim to serve the best version of liempo. However, Mr. Liempo tops our list. The price is affordable, the meat is succulent, the flavors are just right and the pork skin remains crispy after several minutes off the roaster. Mr. Liempo has several stalls around Cebu City.

Alejandro’s (Best Crispy Pata)

Here’s another dish that’s known all over the country. But Alejandro’s, located at the Century Plaza arcade located along Juana Osmeña St., is Cebu’s favorite place to have this Filipino specialty. This dish takes “succulent” and “crispy” a notch higher. Usually, crispy pata makes for a great beer match. But with the liquor ban set near the Grand Parade route, you’ll have to wait until the ban is lifted if you want to have it with your favorite drink. But plain rice and iced tea would do just fine.

Tatang’s Lechon Belly (Best Lechon Belly)

The lechon belly just makes so much sense. Why battle for a whole lechon when there’s a chance of you getting parts of it that are seasoned right or are not soft enough, when you can have all the best things about the lechon in one serving? Tatang’s Lechon Belly perfects the concept and puts its own twist to it—a hefty serving of herbs stuffed inside a juicy pork belly before being roasted. This is like liempo’s more liberal cousin.

Pungko Pungko sa Fuente (Best Pungko Pungko Place)

It can’t get any more local than this. You and your friends drop by the little food arcade near the Fuente Osmeña Circle, sit down on a makeshift bench (pungko), and just pick your deep-fried food items in a box in the middle of the table. The superstar food item you should try is called the “ginabot,” which is basically deep-fried pork intestines. Have this with vinegar, soy sauce and chili to further hype the flavors. Pair it with puso (hanging rice) for a complete meal. Last, down the meal with some lemon-flavored soda called Sparkle. You just ate your way at becoming an honorary Cebuano.
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