VIDEO | Vlog #035 – The Best Crispy Pata Ever. Period. No Erase.

VIDEO | Vlog #035 – The Best Crispy Pata Ever. Period. No Erase.

My facebook saved tab is a graveyard of english bulldog pictures, motivational quotes that stuck a nerve or two and listicles upon listicles about food. There is a healthy array on articles proclaiming the ‘top 10 of something’ in Metro Manila that sits there waiting for my short-term attention. In the rare times that I actually remember I have unopened articles on that tab (or when facebook relentlessly reminds me), I would carefully examine each one and make a quick mental note of which to try next. Then, when more time permit, I go about confirming the article. There’s nothing scientific about the way I conduct my fact checking. I don’t go thru it in order as stated on the listicle, rather, I tick off the items one by one based on my current geographical location. Whatever is near me gets judged first.

Because as with everything you read off the internet, you always need to fact check.

But as much as I want to confirm every listicle I’ve encountered in social media, I’ll admit it’s more for discovering a new restaurant rather than a serious journalism pursuit. These listicles I take with a grain of salt. These websites whose advertising revenues depend on traffic know it’s a cheap but effective click bait more for easy targets like me. Also, I don’t take it for gospel truth when the author forgets to recognize that there are restaurants worth considering outside the familiar QC, BGC, and Makati.

Especially when it come to comfort food, like crispy pata.

There is not one listicle in the internet I trust who preaches they’ve found the no. 1 Crispy Pata in Metro Manila when in fact they have not listed Baby’s Crispy Pata of Navotas on the top spot. I am aware we are now living in a world where people don’t give a flying fuck about the proliferation of alternative facts, but the things I actually care about come few and far in between, and this one — crispy pata — is something I take very seriously. I am sorry, but whatever it is you’re saying is the best crispy pata, I am calling you out — it’s a lie. Actually, if you’re a card-carrying carnivore, if you haven’t tasted a bite of the crispy skin and juicy soft meat of Baby’s Crispy Pata, you are living a lie.

Watch the video here:


Baby’s Crispy Pata
10th Avenue Caloocan branch
in front of Caloocan Judicial Complex

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CHEAP CHOWS | Pia’s Boodle Fight in Navotas

CHEAP CHOWS | Pia’s Boodle Fight in Navotas

I was sitting on the backseat of an Uber going from BGC to Pioneer with my fellow Malabonian (Malabon-er? Malabon-ites?) Regina when we went from talking about random events to food.

Me: Uy may bagong boodle fight sa Navotas ah. Dinala kami nina Kulet nung anniversary nina Mama dun sa Pia’s. Masarap.

Uber Driver: Taga Navotas kayo ma’am? Taga Navotas din ako eh. Kumakain kami dun sa Pia’s. Masarap dun.

Kuya uber driver knows it. In other words, alam mo yan kuya!

You see, Navotas and Malabon are small ponds compared to BGC or QC. Recently, there have been a good sprouting of small restaurants in the area and if it’s any good — and cheap — word spreads quickly.

On my parents’ 37th(!) anniversary, Mark and Kulet, my youngest sister, treated them, and us, to Pia’s, a boodle fight concept restaurant in Navotas. Just like any restaurant in Navotas, Pia’s is easy to find. Navotas has 3 main roads that go up and down along the Manila bay coast. Pia’s is on M. Naval, the biggest (2 lanes!) one.

The restaurant is charming. It sits under a nipa structure with gravel flooring and pine tables and chairs. There’s a decent crowd on a week night and as my sister, the frequent patron, says, in spite of its spacious dining area, it gets crowded during weekends. As with any restaurant where you can find good, cheap food, there’s no airconditioning.

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There are good boodle options on the menu suitable for any budget. We got the Sama-Sama A: Fried Rice, Grilled Liempo, Binagoongang Baboy, Pinaputok na Tilapia, Chicken Inasal, Ensaladang Talong, Itlog na Pula, Atchara and One Pitcher of Iced Tea. At 590, it’s good for 4 persons. Everything is good, even the fried rice, which I have a sneaking suspicion that it had MSG, because it’s that good. Very umami.

Back in the uber, where kuya uber driver and I already bonded over food…

Me: Masarap nga dun sa Pia’s, kuya. Masarap yung bagoong. Tsaka hindi nakakastress kumain kaysa sa Mikay’s. Grabe kasi sa Mikay’s, di ka pa natatapos may nagaabang na. Di ka makakain ng maayos.

Uber Driver: Oo nga. Nakakain na rin ako dun. Dami ngang tao.

Kuya Uber Driver is my people.


Pia’s
786 M. Naval St
Navotas, Metro Manila

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Baby’s Crispy Pata | Best Crispy Pata Ever. Ever.

Baby’s Crispy Pata | Best Crispy Pata Ever. Ever.

 

I lived most of my growing up years in the Malabon-Navotas area, and we had very limited fine dining options. But what we lack in restaurants with ambiance to the tee, we made up in real people food. I am talking about the best lugaw joints, the stalls in Bayan (Malabon Public market) where you can get best kakanin, and the best pancit malabon, which can be pretty debatable depending on who you ask. Also, I would like to point out to the uninitiated that pancit palabok is not pancit Malabon. But that discussion deserves a whole other entry.

You know what else is good in hightide country? Crispy Pata.

If you ask locals in the area what’s the best Crispy Pata in the area, Judy Ann’s would probably at the top of their mind. And rightfully so. Judy Ann’s has been there since the 70s and has continually dished out its famous fried deep fried pig trotters. The meat is tender and sweet, close to pineapple-ly. It’s practically mentioned everytime food in Malabon is discussed and prolly appeared in every lists that involves the phrase “Best in Crispy Pata”. For people not from Malabon, it can be all sorts of amazing.

But I tell you, if ever you got lost and find your way in my old hood — and I mean lost, because seriously, what are you doing there? — and in dire need of some deep fried pork, go to that one main road in Navotas (M.Naval St.)  and look for Baby’s Crispy Pata. Just go straight from C-4 until you think you’re really getting lost, then head straight some more. To your left, inside some compound that you think is a carwash, where for 430 pesos, you can find the best crispy pata I’ve had and you probably every will in our lives.

Baby’s Crispy Pata has a skin so crispy, meat so soft without any part dried out and not bordering on sickly sweet like Judy Ann’s. It does not have a reputation to live up to, nor does it need the press. It is so unassuming it shares a sign with a carwash.  You can have your car washed in the time you order the crispy pata and eat it, hopefully with company. Because eating it alone without sharing the joy of finding the best crispy pata in town is sad. Impressive, but sad. It’s really good. I may say a lot of bull, and you may occasionally disagree with my opinions on this blog, but on this, you just have to believe me. Trust me.

 

 

 


Baby’s Crispy Pata (and Carwash)
Somewhere in M.Naval St.
Navotas City
Tel No. (02) 709 88 37

 

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