I didn't used to eat isaw*. Actually, I still don't from anywhere except the Merly's BBQ stall in Boracay. There are many similar stalls, but trust me, Merly's is the best. The secret is in her sweet-spicy sauce. Delish on the only isaw manok* I eat, but also on her BBQ and choriburger.**
The other street food I love is fishballs. I only eat this in UP because they've always had a no-double-dipping rule.
In fact, nowadays, double-dipping is not even possible because the sauces aren't in the old bottles with big screw-caps. They're now in containers with small openings, meant to be poured on your paper tray of fishballs. The few times we would drive all the way to Quezon City, we always make it a point to pass UP. We ask to buy a bag of uncooked fishballs and request for bags of the sweet and spicy sauces. It's really the sauce I'm after. The ones from the grocery just don't taste the same. And Manang will only give you sauce if you buy the actual fishballs - cooked or not.***
I had been craving for fishballs for months, but hadn't gotten around to scheduling a trip to UP. Then, the other day, on my way home from bringing the kids to school, around 8am, I chanced upon a fishball vendor pushing his cart along the side of the road. I stopped him and bought a bag of uncooked fishballs. I was wary at first because I didn't know if Pasig also had the no-double-dipping rule. But after noticing it was only 8am, that Manong hadn't even started up his kalan [stove] and the sauce containers were still filled to the brim, I was confident I was the very first customer that day.
And so I got to have the fishballs I had been craving for for months for breakfast that day! Plus, my fishballs were deep-fried in our healthier oil and I got to enjoy it in a much prettier bowl than the usual paper tray.
Street food in the comfort of my home (or on Boracay sand). For me, the best way to enjoy street food is off the street.
What about you? What's your favorite street food?
*Isaw is chicken [manok] or pork intestine. ;p
**Merly's BBQ stall/s come out at night and can be found either on the street side or the beachfront side of the Cocomangas area in Station 1. Over the years, the establishment on the beach side of that area has changed a couple of times. So just look for the old Cocomangas bar on the street side and if Merly's isn't across the street from the bar, just walk towards the beach. You should find the stall in that area.
***A bag of uncooked fishballs costs anywhere from P100-200.
Photos are my own.