Calle Crisologo was crowded. If we’re talking about vehicles, I’d describe it as bumper-to-bumper traffic.
We spent a good half hour walking around, taking photos and trying to find a restaurant with a vacant table. We finally found one (Tummy I-can’t-remember-the-rest-of-its-name), sat down and ordered.
The girls both ordered bagsilog, short for bagnet, sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg). Bagnet is boiled and deep fried pork belly, an icon of Ilocano cuisine, similar but not exactly the same as lechon kawali.
Speedy and I shared an order of adobado which turned out to be much like lechon macau but with bagnet instead of lechon kawali.
The dinner was okay but unspectacular; quite filling though so that we really couldn’t indulge in the array of street food sold by hawkers at Plaza Burgos.
The grilled pork and chicken looked enticing but much too heavy after our rice and pork dinner.
And there was steamed corn that would have made the perfect partner for grilled pork or chicken.
I was especially smitten with the grilled Vigan longganisa which, on another day when I didn’t feel too full, I would have tried without hesitation. But, you know, I only have one stomach and it was already full. Next time, perhaps.
There was Vigan empanada with its light-colored crust which distinguishes it from the orange-y (annatto tinted) empanada of Batac in the neighboring province of Ilocos Norte.
And there wasn’t just one empanada vendor at Plaza Burgos. It was the most popular food sold there.
I took photos of three stalls selling Vigan empanada but there were more.
I was full but I couldn’t, in conscience, not try Vigan empanada while in Vigan. We bought one which Speedy and I shared, and I loved the super thin and flaky crust, and the filling of vegetables, garlicky longganisa (sausage) and whole egg.
There were rice cakes that would have made a lovely meal-ender but, after the empanada, it was impossible.
Apart from the more traditional fare, there were the “modern” ones that, I was sure, was geared toward the younger set. And these were the food that said, “Vigan may be old, but it is also young.”
That youthfulness was evident in the humor of modern culture and today’s generation. For instance, a stall selling squid prepared in many different ways was called Push It Baby, a play on pusit, the Filipino name for squid.
Then, there was a drinks stall called Juice Ko Day! (literally, my juice, girl!), a play on Dios ko, ‘Day!, a common expression that translates to My God, girl! (‘Day being a contraction of Inday, a feminine name that’s often used in a generic sense — just like Jane).
Plaza Burgos was a never ending parade of aromas and colors, and I loved it.