Gensan food trip: Aweng’s Balbacuahan
My friends and I finally found Aweng’s Balbacuahan during our second trip to South Cotabato last year. This time we asked a friend of a friend to show us where exactly is this famous roadside eatery in General Santos City. Later we would find out that we missed it before because it has already transferred from its previous location in Brgy. Fatima to a spot in Calumpang along the National Highway.
It has the amenities of a typical karenderya: open air interiors, plastic chairs and largely bare walls except for some liquor and softdrink posters. If taken only at its face value, then Aweng’s would probably fail Anton Ego’s standards.
But despite the humble setting, this little eatery still attracts customers from all walks of life: students, drivers, bankers and everyone else in between. It makes you wonder as to why they come here in the first place, which we finally found out for ourselves at long last.
These loyal customers come to Aweng’s not for the fancy ambience but for their delicious balbacua (Php 25.00) and the bulalo (Php 35.00) which are certified ‘box office hits.’ These actually have the same broth and only differ on their beef cuts. To prevent the food servers from mixing up the orders, I learned that the balbacua is served on a slightly smaller bowl.
Some would prefer to toss in some chilis and a squeeze of lemon for an extra kick. But I liked mine without the additional spice to savor the broth as it is. My bulalo bowl that lunchtime was absolutely delicious. It had the right amount of saltiness and spiciness. The beef portions were tender as well. It now stands as among my favorite soups so far.
I remember that we only paid less than Php500.00 for a meal that amazingly fed 8 very hungry travelers. Aweng’s soups are indeed huge bargains in comparison to the otherwise bland versions served at the air-conditioned restaurants at the malls.
We then left for our next pitstop very full and satisfied. I said to myself that if I find myself in General Santos once again, I now know where to look for a delicious beef soup that is both extremely affordable and surprisingly tasty as well.