Thursday, January 21, 2010

Everyday food i.e. Street food/Cheap Eats and Corned Beef Pan De Sal

Being Asian especially from South East Asia, I have to answer the question of cheap eats - the street foods, the food people eat everyday and a bargain. That is just who we are - We like cheap eats because some of the best foods we have are the cheap eats.

Firstly, there is no really street food in Philippines. This is because of building codes and sidewalk rules here where sale of food on the streets is actually a lost tradition. If you go through some literature, you will find that in the past, there were hawkers who moved around selling food but while you still see some on neigbourhoods streets, its actually rare to see them because the traffic of larger streets is really heavy with not a lot of room for pedestrians much less street vendors. You really don't have open air coffee shops or stalls can be seen only here and there and none at all in middle class or higher income neigbourhoods. Philippine building and street rules are very much like US and Europe where you don't see such things either. Even Chinatown (Binondo) here looks a lot like in Philadephia or Boston.

Having said that, there are stalls in malls, shops, and some markets. There is a lot of restaurants even chains that cater to demand for such food.

So what is my favourite?
1) Sinigang - vinegar and lime(calamansi actually) soup usually with seafood particularly fish but also with other meats too. There is a version with corned beef which strangely works.
2) Inasal
3) Bibingka
4) Pancit
5) Swarma

Other foods.

I will talk more about these foods in later post but you also find some unique surprises for example corned-beef Pan-de-sal sandwich with cheese. Its strangely reminds me of Philadephia Cheesesteaks. Pan-de-Sal is a local bread roll made from very lean dough and slightly salted. For some reason, the bread is very powdery.

Anyway, I came across this outlet that served it with Corned Beef and Cheese. It was surprising good. Generally, I think of New York makes the best sandwiches and no one outside of Philadephia can make a good Cheesesteak sandwich. The Pan-de-sal cheese corn-beef is no New York sandwich or Philly foot-long but it surprisingly is very good sandwich that I would appreciate similarly..

No comments: