One Fine Lunch at La Cocina de Consuelo

Casa de Consuelo's infinity pool
It was our second time in Pagudpud (a first for my mom, aunt, and daughter) and I must say this destination is one of those that I would never get tired of. Besides spectacular views, the food here is something that will haunt you in your dreams. The land of bagnet (crispy pork belly), garlicky longganisa (local sausage), dinakdakan (another local pork dish equivalent to sisig), dinardaraan (Ilocano version of dinuguan or pork blood stew), and a lot more, is indeed, a foodie's haven.

During our first visit, we had lunch at a place called Blue Lagoon Palutuan (see post here), where we had grilled fish, rice, and soda, and our bill amounted to almost Php 400. We find it a bit expensive for the kind of food that we had, so this time, we tried another place for lunch. I read somewhere that the lone restaurant of Casa Consuelo Island Reef Resort serves good food, so I asked our ever reliable guide, Kuya Lenzer, to take us there this time.The place might not be popular for lunches during the standard tour, but we insisted that we try it out.

Casa Consuelo Island Reef resort sits pretty at the far end of Maira-ira Beach (Blue Lagoon) just in front of Dos Hermanos Island. The resort is quite popular for its nice vistas and fairly priced rooms on this side of Pagudpud.

The restaurant, La Cocina de Consuelo, is just a small space with about six tables. It was already 1:00 pm when we arrived there from our South Pagudpud tour and so we wasted no time and ordered food good for seven people. We had french fries for Akisha, which was made of thick-cut potatoes seasoned just enough (not the usual frozen french fries), pork sinigang, grilled tanigue (I like the way this was seasoned ang grilled--not too dry, not overcooked), Pancit Parade (a combination of bihon and canton), buttered vegetables, calamares, and of course, bagnet, which I requested that they cut into bite-size.

Grilled tanigue
The overall star of our lunch was the bagnet. While the bagnet at Saramsam in Laoag was my first love, I think I found my new love at Casa Consuelo. The skin was sinfully crisp that it would definitely give you a foodgasm in every bite. If not for fear of having a heart attack or hypertension, I would have finished the entire plate. Warning: you are in for an indulgent meal worthy of the extra carbs.

The servings are good enough to share for two-three people, depending on how many dishes you are getting. Everything on the menu is modestly priced and in fact, our total bill for seven people amounted to Php 1,335 (less than Php 200 per person). Taking in consideration the quality, taste, price, serving size, and service, I find the food here worth it than then one at the paluto. They also have seafood bilao at a fair price.

Pancit Parade
Thick-cut fries

The ambience is very tropical with a Filipino feel. An interesting feature of the al fresco restaurant is a collection of bills with handwritten notes displayed on the ceiling. These are souvenir bills of various currencies with notes from their previous guests.

Dos Hermanos Island
A sneak peek of one of the rooms
We were also able to have a glimpse of one of the rooms. It is clean and well-maintained, complete with inabel fabrics for that authentic Ilocano touch. Inabel is a kind of fabric handwoven painstakingly through a wooden loom.

Given a chance to go back to Pagudpud, I would love to spend a night at Casa Consuelo to experience even 24 hours of genuine, laidback Ilocano hospitality. I also read that snorkeling is good at Dos Hermanos Island during the southwest monsoon season. Definitely goimg back for this...and the bagnet, of course.


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