Cebu City’s Larsian traces its roots to an eatery owned by Ret. Col. Alvino Mondarez back in the 1970s. The word ‘Larsian’ is a contraction of the names of his mother, Pilar and her mother’s twin sister, Siana. This eatery had the most prominent signange in the area back then, so people would collectively associate that block as ‘Larsian’ for easy reference.
The name caught on even if the original eatery was already closed. Decades later, it still does and the term is now synonymous with very affordable and delicious Cebuano-style barbeque.
At Larsian, you can find almost any food that could be grilled: fresh seafoods, pork cuts and various chicken parts (including the skin, intestines, liver, heart and gizzard). The grilled fares are then best paired with pusô (hanging rice). It is also recommended that you eat your meal with your bare hands, although the stalls provide disposable plastic wrappers as well.
Now there are many barbeque stalls at Larsian and most, if not all, have the same menu as well. But when you are at this smoky area, you would notice how each vendor tries to differentiate itself from everyone else. Some have flamboyant crews, others would serve soup dishes while there are those who put up colorful lights, curtains and plastic ornaments. With this kind of creative competition, I would not be surprise if there would be an artificial pond or WiFi that would be set-up in the area very soon. I just settle though for Hagad Barbeque which is located at the left wing. This was also a random choice by a good friend who then recommended the stall to me.
My usual comfort meal at Larsian consists of sticks of chicken skin, gizzard, pork fat, 3 pieces of pusô and a cold Sparkle softdrink. I am already full with that and best of all, for just under Php100.00 or less. Well that is not a healthy meal but I found myself giving in to this concession every now and then. It must be the sweet barbeque sauce or the simple grilled foods that has endeared me to the place.
It is interesting to note that not many know the story behind Larsian’s name. But despite that, many generations of Cebuanos and countless number of tourists still troop to what could be the most unimposing among Cebu City’s growing food trip destinations.