Thursday, June 21, 2012

Turo-turo series: Maginhawa pa rin

Diliman is where UP is, and therefore remains one of my favorite places. It has given rise to interesting eateries catering to students -- something which we must explore soon. However, there is also another area, exiting UP from the Stud Farm, in Maginhawa street, Teacher's Village, which is slightly more upscale, more "young new professional" and less "student budget." My only complaint is that it seems to be perpetually stuck in the up and coming stage, never quite becoming a Malate, Timog or even Cubao Expo. Turn over of the pricier restos there seem to be high, even with nearby Bayantel and UP providing a steady stream of customers. 

It is, however, hospitable to low scale eateries, many of which lack the sophistication of the legendary Pampanguena in Katipunan Road fronting Ateneo. Many of these places are filling, but nothing to write home about. 

Nanette's is like that, but still packed a surprise. 
It advertised burritos and bibingka, but had on display isaw and pork barbecue, so we ordered all four. The bibingka was real, meaning it was made the traditional way, but since we went there at 3 in the afternoon, the one we had seems to have sat in the styrofoam warmer for some time. My guess is that it would have been great, had we gotten to it freshly baked. Still, it was genuine and simple -- no red eggs or cheese, and came with the requisite niyog on the side. Nanette's provides sugar on the table, which I thought was a nice touch. Most sellers of bibinka don't go that far. 

The burrito was made fresh, the onions and lettuce were crisp but the tomatoes and beef were barely there. I suspect they were going for a local version of the shawarma. Though it was tasty, it was slim and didn't pack enough inside to satisfy a customer, so at P55, it doesn't seem worth it. Hmmm. Maybe we should tell Nanette. 

The pork barbecue was cold, tough and tasted ordinary. There was too much post-roasting barbecue sauce that made it look too red. I couldn't finish it. 

But the real surprise was the isaw bituka ng baka. Lightly crisp, served warm and bursting with flavor, it felt like we hit the jackpot. Unlike other isaw offerings in other places, this nearly had a gourmet taste, no rancidity or gamey taste, no tough chewing. Certainly worth the trip, if they keep up this kind of quality.
In all, Nanette's is typical of the area, it holds promise, but doesn't live up to it too much. If it tries harder, it could be the next big thing for bakang isaw. 

Final tab: P195 for two persons. Not bad. 

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