|Lumpia up front!|
As I was planning my trip to the Philippines I kept saying “I can’t wait to have the lumpia!” For those of you who don’t know, lumpia is a Filipino spring roll and of all the types of spring rolls or even egg rolls, lumpia tops my list for flavor and texture. So naturally, my first meal in Manila was lumpia and rice and it cost me a whole dollar. The rolls at this little tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant were great, as was the adobo (a dish with chicken, pork or beef stewed in vinegar, garlic and other spices – yummy). Frankly, these was one of best meals Vanessa and I shared in the Philippines. I finally had lumpia again today, my last day in the Philippines, at a chain called Gerry’s in the mall. It was good, but I’ve been searching for lumpia for nearly a month and only managed it twice.
|International buffet at Uno's in the Waterfront Hotel.|
We’ve had some wonderful meals here, especially at Café in the Ruins in Baguio and Uno, an international buffet in Cebu, but we’ve also resorted to McDonald’s once, Jollibee’s (the Filipino equivalent of McDonald’s with terrific fried chicken) and I’ve even visited Dunkin Donuts a time or two in Alona Beach.
I found a consistently good café in Alona Beach called Trudi’s Place and had six meals there in eight days. Most of what was available in this little resort town was disappointing. I even tried a pizzeria owned by a European (I thought Italian at first but listened a little harder and realized he was from a region I couldn’t identify). The pizza was unrecognizable so I opted for spaghetti. Big mistake.
|Jollibee's delivers! So does McDonald's!|
My advice to anyone traveling to the Philippines is rely on guidebooks for the better places to eat, stick with traditional Filipino when you can and don’t expect American dishes to taste like you’re used to. It’s hard to beat pancit (a noodle dish that varies a lot but is always quite good), adobo and lumpia if you can find it. Vanessa and I also noticed that the eggs here are delish and always cooked well. In Cebu, the Lonely Planet guidebook led us to Rico’s, a place our taxi driver said was famous, where we tried lechon - roast pig, the national dish. I think one of the great pleasures of traveling is trying new and different foods.
|Fabulous chicken curry at Trudi's Place.|