Herencia Cafe | Paoay, Ilocos Norte
It is impossible to miss Herencia Cafe in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. For one, it is the only restaurant right across the Church of San Agustin (or more popularly known as the Paoay Church), which is one of the four Baroque Philippine Churches identified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Because this edible landmark has given Ilocos the Pinakbet Pizza and many other fusion recipes, it has also become an Ilocano establishment synonymous with good food. You can ask anyone from or who has been to Ilocos, and the restaurant would almost always be suggested as an important destination.
This became our first stopover in Day 2 of Project Windmills. We were supposed to head first for Batac after Vigan. But since we took extra time in shopping for pasalubongs at Calle Crisologo, we arrived at the highway intersection an hour behind our schedule. The Marcos Mausoleum closes during lunchtime that is why our itinerary was adjusted accordingly.
The Bagnet (deep fried pork belly cuts) could be a worthy challenger to my mom’s version at home. It was cooked quite well – crispy on the outside yet the juices are kept intact. It came with Kamatis (tomatoes), Bagoong (fish sauce) and Lasona (onions).
This is the famous Poque-Poque or essentially an eggplant salad. It is said that the dish was not named after a body organ or our cute duckling for that matter. Its taste could create good controversy compared to its nomenclature.
We had the Pinakbet Pizza and the Dinuguan Pizza in one crust. They actually allow that albeit at an extra cost. That way, we would be able to enjoy two unique pizza flavors without bursting both our stomachs and wallets. This was one helpful tip we got from our host at Villa Angela back in Vigan.
The dinuguan (a dish composed of pig entrails and blood) pizza was a shocking revelation for me. I was never a fan of the dish but perhaps the cheese and tomato sauce transformed the fiesta staple into a higher gastronomy level. The combination worked quite well.
We actually went beyond our projected budget for this lunch. But at Php800++ for 4 hungry Cebuanos, I think that our sumptuous meal was worth every extra peso we have shelled out. It provided us the much-needed energy we need for the sandboarding and 4×4 activities we did later in the afternoon. It also gave us a terrible longing to fly all the way to Paoay someday to come back for more.
McArthur Street, Brgy 14, Sangladan
Paoay, Ilocos Norte
+63 77 614 0214