The food in Baler was surprisingly good. :) Here are the 10 that stood out:
1. Baler Suman
This is actually the perfect suman for me. It is a bit sweet already so no need to dip it in sugar. It is light, as big as a finger but a little longer, and wrapped artistically well.
It is made fresh everyday so you can only buy them in the morning. It costs P5 a piece and is sold in bunches of 10. It comes in two versions -- the basic white and the ube-colored one made with rice coming from Dilasag, Aurora.
This is the only suman that the kids love, and they eat it like a banana, one after another. I love it too. We just couldn't get enough of it (hindi nakakasuya). You can order it from Bahia de Baler, in the Rolling Stores or in the Baler Market every morning.
OAP | Baler, Aurora, Quezon Series:
2. Baler's Vegetable Dishes
Pako Salad is the staple vegetable dish in Baler. It is often served as ensalada with tomato, onions, and salted egg. It is always good every time we order it. Baler's Ginataan is also good -- its slight sweetness balanced with the creamy taste.
I heard one of Baler's specialties is Pako In Ginataan but I can't find it in the restaurant. (Would you know where to find it?)
3. Baler's Yellow Fin Tuna (Grilled or Kinilaw)
Yellow Fin Tuna is a staple fish and their galunggong in Baler. It is caught fresh everyday in Baler Bay, so it is always good. Sometimes they do run out of the dishes because a lot of people order them.
4. Gerry Shan's Comfort Chinese Food :)
I missed eating Chinese food that's somehow tailored already to the Pinoy taste. The last time I ate this type of food was when I worked in P&G's Tondo plant back in 1995-1997. We would often order from this little Chinese store called Aroma whenever we had milestones to celebrate or just wanted to have a really good comforting meal.
5. Baler Surfers' Home-Grilled Feast
I got the chance to crash an ihaw-ihaw dinner prepared by Baler's Top Surfers -- Okoy and Saddam -- in their little kubo at the back of Bay's Inn.
It was a simple inihaw of Yellow Fin Tuna with soy sauce, tomatoes and onions. I particularly liked their version of bagoong with inihaw na talong (grilled eggplant). For dessert, they served fresh fruits of the day. :)
Of course, the best part of the surfers' inihaw feast was the tagayan Baler-Style after eating and sharing stories of how they conquered the waves and other tsismis in Baler.
Maybe if you hang out a lot at the Mahdox Surf School, which they own, you'll get the pass to crash in this little kubo. Okoy is still building his own two-storey inn with a mini-garden at the back.
6. Shane's Eatery @ Rolling Store!
(Not sure why it is called a rolling store when it is in a fixed location. Would you know?)
The surfers recommend the beef steak and lechon paksiw. We did not like the beef steak because it was a bit chewy. But the lechon paksiw was good. (Just by looking at it though, you know it's shouting "Unhealthy!")
I personally like the dinuguan's taste and the adequate amount of meat in it.
7. Bay's Inn Home-Cooked Dishes
I love it dipped in Baler's Casiguran Vinegar (tuba-based). I heard Bay's Inn Chicken is really good too but I missed trying it out during our trip :)
Ever since the pizza place closed down in Baler, you can only get home-cooked pizza in Bay's Inn. It's the cookie-type of pizza, and the bestseller is Manager's Choice.
I actually didn't like the combination of flavors in the pizza and I won't rave about it. But having pizza just gives one a good feeling, especially after surfing or if you just want to have a simple merienda by the beach.
8. Bahia de Baler Bar & Grill's Kingkong Bundle
This is an interesting supersized meal combination only from Bahia de Baler Bar & Grill. You get 1 serving of Crispy Pata, 1 serving of Garlic Chicken (about 5 pieces), 1 pancit canton, 2 plain rice platters (only 1 is shown in the photo), 1.5 liter bottle of Coke/softdrink, and 5 pieces of bananas. The combination is truly Pinoy. :)
If you order Adobo and Kare Kare with it, this become a classic Filipino Fiesta meal. :)
9. Bahia de Baler's All Day Filipino Breakfast Meals
The complimentary breakfast that came with the Bahia de Baler accommodation was really good. I personally liked the beef tapa, which was actually served like pulled pork, and the suman-shaped longganisa. I loved the longganisa with Baler's unique vinegar. My wife did not like it because it was still a bit fatty.
10. Aurora's Peanut Butter
Aurora's Peanut Butter is a bit underrated and the taste is a bit polarizing. It is not too sweet and not too peanuty in taste. Some people rave about it despite its diluted taste. This is a unique pasalubong you can bring home to your loved ones.
You can get it from the Pasalubong Center at the back of the Baler Market.
Let me know if you have other food suggestions in Baler. :)
Live an Awesome Life,
Full Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for all our meals except for the surfers' inihaw feast and the lunch included in the tour. I'm not related to, connected with or compensated in any way by the Angaras or any of the establishments featured in this blog post.
P.S. Thanks to @alexangara for the foodie tips via Twitter! :)