Eating pigar-pigar in Dagupan should be on one’s list of must-dos when visiting this city in Pangasinan. Pigar-pigar is made from thinly-sliced and seasoned beef or carabeef deep-fried in vegetable oil. I was introduced to this delicacy by my sister’s officemate Kuya Chris (who is also from Pangasinan). Aside from meat, his pigar-pigar also includes a variety of Baguio vegetables like cabbage, white onions, sitsaro, cauliflower, and broccoli, among others. He would also have vinegar spiced with chili on the side to temper the fatty taste of the deep fried meat and vegetables.

During our family’s trip to Pangasinan when we visited Roheim Farm and Resort, having a taste of pigar-pigar at Dagupan was among the things I was truly excited about. For me, savoring a dish from where it originated makes the food experience extra special.

Where to eat pigar-pigar in Dagupan?

There are lots of places to have your pigar-pigar fix in Dagupan. Galvan and Rivera streets which are near the Dagupan City Hall and Dagupan public markets are filled with street stalls (carinderias) selling pigar-pigar along with other Ilokano favorites like kaleskes, dinakdakan, and inabraw. There are also vendors selling grilled bangus (milkfish), another product that Dagupan is famous for.

The Great Taste Pigar-Pigar experience

I was hoping to eat pigar-pigar from an ordinary carinderia. I got really excited when I caught a glimpse of numerous stalls lining Galvan street with diners eating on chairs and tables set up on the road. However, my siblings (who were in another van and arrived earlier than us) informed us that they’ve already reserved seats for our family at Great Taste Pigar-Pigar (located at Rivera St which is very near Galvan St).

So, our group of 20 had dinner at Great Taste Pigar-Pigar and Restaurant. Compared to other places serving pigar-pigar on Dagupan, the restaurant is air-conditioned and offers full-service which make dining more comfortable. We later learned that the restaurant also evolved from being a carinderia. They also offer a variety of Filipino dishes aside from pigar-pigar. Please, refer to this (blurred) photo of their menu below (as of end of 2016).

We ordered both carabeef and beef pigar-pigar, kaleskes, buttered garlic shrimps, adobong pusit, sisig, and lots of rice.

The food was OK but nothing to rave about. Maybe it was just me, but I could not tell the difference between the taste of beef and carabeef in their version (the beef was more expensive).  As with other carinderias in Dagupan, their version of pigar-pigar is beef/carabeef deep fried with cabbage and white onions (no other vegetables unlike the one I was used to). The meat that they used was a bit tough but overall, their pigar-pigar is quite tasty.

Then there’s this special Ilocano soup called kaleskes… Great Taste’s kaleskes is so much like the pinapaitan I grew up eating except that it has no pait (bitterness) and it is more fatty because of the addition of beef/carabeef skin. It is not as ma-umami as I would want to.

The restaurant staffs were kind to our group but their service was quite slow. Maybe because everybody was already tired (we ate there around 9PM) or because of our number (again, we were 20). It took them quite a while to serve our initial orders. Same thing when we asked for additional rice. The restaurant also has a comfort room but not well-maintained.

Overall, the experience was OK. But the next day was better…

Finally having a taste of pigar-pigar at a carinderia!

The next day, my mom and dad together with me and my husband travelled from Roheim Farma and Resort back to Dagupan to shop for seafood at the fish market. After shopping, we decided to have breakfast at a carinderia in Galvan St called EB Pigar-Pigar.

We had inabraw, kaleskes, coffee, and rice. Interestingly, the kaleskes tasted better than the one we had the other night. It tasted more beefy and you can ask for free sabaw refill. And it’s just Ps25!

 

My mom also ordered pigar-pigar (Ps380 per kilo which is cheaper vs Great Taste), kaleskes, and dinakdakan to take to Roheim for my siblings (despite having pigar-pigar for two consecutive meals, they were too hungry to complain). The pigar-pigar at EB is definitely more flavorful than Great Taste. It has the same vegetables so I guess this is how they really cook pigar-pigar in Dagupan, hehe.

Given another chance to be at Dagupan again, I will be eating at smaller carinderias and will consume steaming hot bowls of kaleskes. 🙂 Since Dagupan is also known for its delicious bangus, buying grilled bangus from street vendors and eating this at carinderias which serve pigar-pigar seems to be a good idea. This will work well if you have someone in the group who does not consume meat for any reason.

As for me, nothing would still beat Kuya Chris’ version of pigar-pigar. 🙂

 

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