Saturday, October 13, 2018

Valenzuela City Hall's Backstreet: Savor A. Pablo's Local Food Fare

A. Pablo Street is the road at the back of Valenzuela City Hall.
Who would have known that the humble street behind Valenzuela City Hall would be a haven for hungry people in search of good food? Lined just across city hall's back gate are three small must try shops which you might want to check out: Bagnet Meals & Seapowet Bread, Anncel Pancit Cabagan, and Armored Chicken (this is how you will find them as you exit the City Hall Back Gate). Bearing the same address (No. 60 A. Pablo Street, Karuhatan, Valenzuela City), the food establishments in this area are easy to find for they are just a few meters away from McArthur Highway and are, as mentioned, just at the rear of  Valenzuela's major landmark.

Bagnet Meals & Seapowet Bread
Open hours: 7:00am to 7:00pm (Bagnet Meals)
                      1:30pm for the fresh oriental bread (Seapowet Bread)
Contact details: (0921)240-2525

Bagnet Meals is already on its second year while Seapowet Bread (pronounced as "Si-pah-we") is turning six at A. Pablo Street. The power couple behind these two adjacent local food stops is Kuya Anilo, who bakes the bread and makes the noodles, and Ate Fatima, who cooks the customers' meals. 

Bagnet Meals offers Brunei-inspired rice and noodle plates. Diners should try the Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng, and Chicken Samosa. The Nasi Goreng (P70.00, solo plate) has big chunks of bagnet which are marinated in Ate Fatima's homemade rice wine. The Mee Goreng's noodles are handmade by Kuya Anilo (P60.00 per serving). "Natutunan ko yung Nasi Goreng at Mee Goreng sa Brunei," Ate Fatima shares her story as a hardworking Overseas Filipino Worker. On the other hand, the Chicken Samosa (P55.00 per 2 pieces) is such a delight with its creamy dip.
Bagnet Meals and Seapowet Bread must-haves (L to R): Rice Goreng, various bread bestsellers from the bakery, and Mee Goreng
Mee Goreng (Big serving at P200; Solo order at P60). Kuya Anilo makes the egg noodles from scratch.
Party trays are also available for the Nasi Goreng or Mee Goreng (P300 for 8-10 persons; P500 for 15-20 persons; P900 for 30-35 persons; P1500 for 50 persons; You may also contact them for updated prices). These party trays come with free sweets  (like chocolate or lemon bar).
"My mom is from Baguio City. Mahilig sila sa rice wine dahil malamig," Ate Fatima recalled that her mother taught her how to make rice wine which she now uses in preparing bagnet.
Nasi Goreng (Big serving at P200; Solo order at P70)
On the other hand, Seapowet Bread got its name from the last ship that Kuya Anilo sailed in as a seaman. After working in ships for 12 years, he decided to come home already. "Yung karatula namin dati, barko na punung-puno ng tinapay," Ate Fatima mentions. Kuya Anilo then eventually resumed baking when he got home. 
In Focus: The Chicken Samosa comes with a creamy dip.
The bestsellers of Seapowet Bread is the Oriental line up. "Pizza, Chicken, at Sea ang mabili. Yung mga yan sarili naming gawa, sariling recipe," she further highlights. There was even a time when 1,300 boxes of oriental bread were ordered by a well-known television network station (Note: Each box has 12 pieces of oriental bread inside!). This was the largest bulk order that Seapowet Bread has received.
Pizza Oriental (P12 each), Samosa (P55/ 2 pieces), and Chicken Oriental (P12 each)
Riders on a break give their thumbs up on Bagnet Meals' Mee Goreng.
Anncel Pancit Cabagan
Open hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday (Dine in and Take out)
                     11:00am to 5:00pm, Saturdays and Sundays (Bulk orders only)
For updates, like Anncel Pancit Cabagan on Facebook here.

"Madalas, ang mga customer namin dito ang probinsya ay Isabela, tsaka Cagayan," sisters Maryann and Maricel Laggui relate their day-to-day routine at the shop. They initially wanted to put up a pasta and burger stall, the typical go-to place for people looking for snacks. Eventually, they thought of offering something different because they observed that, while looking for a place to set up their food business, such a menu is very common already. "Gusto po naming ipatikim yung pansit namin, ung authentic na pansit na galing sa Cabagan, Isabela." they added.

Anncel Pancit Cabagan makes use of egg noodles coming all the way from Isabela. Other than the noodles, they also use soy sauce and vinegar which are also from the said province. "Twelve hours po yang binabiyahe. Older brother po namin ang nagpapadala papunta dito," Maryann mentions. With this, the Pancit Cabagan that they offer is savory and not salty; the noodle is firm to the bite.
Pancit Cabagan Single (Para sa nag-iisa; P50). Anncel Pancit Cabagan also has other portion servings: Married (Good for 2 persons para sweet; P80); Separated (Good for 3 persons pero gustong mag-isa; P100); Squad Goals (Good for 6 persons para sa magtotropang maganda ang samahan; P250); and Happy Fiesta!!! (Good for 12-15 persons para sa pamilyang masaya)
This shop is known for Pancit Cabagan but you may also place big orders of baked macaroni (P500), lasagna (P700), chicken cordon bleu (P500) and creamy carbonara (P500) under their Happy Fiesta food line.   
Happy Fiesta!!! at P500. This serves 12-15 persons. Anncel Pancit Cabagan uses 20 to 30 kilos of noodles per day to serve customers.
Other than the famous Pancit Cabagan, you can also place bulk orders of viands for your gatherings and parties.
Anncel Pancit Cabagan also has rice bowls and fried rice meals which one may order for lunch or for merienda. They have buttered chicken, pork higado and chicken adobo at P45 per bowl (with rice). For the fried rice meal, they have a medley of siomai, egg, porkchop, chicken fillet, and shanghai per plate (P45-55). 
L to R: Buttered Chicken, Siomai, and Chicken Cordon Bleu samplers
When you read the tweets on the wall and not on your mobile phone: Sen. Win Gatchalian and Mayor Rex Gatchalian show support to the local food industry of the city.

Armored Chicken
Open hours: 11:00am to 11:00pm, daily
For updates, like Armored Chicken on Facebook here.

This local fried chicken stop recently joined A. Pablo Street's line up of dining shops. It just had its grand opening last September 21, 2018 where they gave samplers of chicken drummettes during lunchtime.  

The owners, Allan Bucu and Anthony Manalo, shared that Armored Chicken grew from the menu of their start-up restaurant in Cubao. "Bakit naging Armored? We call it Armored Chicken because the chicken is coated, like an armor." It is among the bestsellers from the menu. Because the chicken is highly favored by diners, they decided to develop and create its own line.
Armored Chicken: not your ordinary chix! 
Armored Chicken is covered with a thin breading, thus the chicken skin still becomes the highlight of your bite (and not the breading that comes with the coating). "Others kasi maharina (too much flour)." Observably, their chicken is also very juicy! Your chicken order also comes piping hot from the deep fryer as they only cook your meal just after it has been placed.
Select from their menu posted on the vibrant wall.
For big groups, get the buckets of Armored Chicken (Jumbo Chix Bucket or Armored Jr.). If you are going solo with a big appetite, the Giant Chix is really huge and is best partnered with their unli-rice option. Other chicken variants to choose from: there's the Armored Boneless Chicken Fillet Steak, Drumettes, Armored Mini Wings, and the Hot & Spicy Drumettes.
This big bucket of chicken will make you and your barkada satisfied. More flavors to come...soon!
Armored Chicken's Giant Chix (Php89.00) will fill your hunger.
Armored Chicken also offers rice toppings which include premium pork barbecue, bacon and egg, papel de liempo (thin and crunchy strips of liempo), bagnet, lechon kawali, and grilled liempo, ranging from P49 to P89 per meal.  
Armored Thick Premium Grilled Patty. These patties, 15 mm thick and 3 inches in diameter, are made of premium-quality chicken breast. No extenders! 
"Masarap!", happy diners at Armored Chicken.

These three food spots are the little gems of Valenzuela City Hall's backstreet. The next time you go visit People's Park or the City Hall, walk a bit and dine at these shops to sample the food fare that these locals have in store for everyone. Bet you are getting hungry now...see you on this street soon!

Extending our appreciation to Anncel Pancit Cabagan, Bagnet Meals & Seapowet Bread, and Armored Chicken for allowing One Valenzuela to share their food stories.

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