Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Legazpi Layover

We got stranded for a few hours in Legazpi last December, because our whale shark adventure in Donsol got canceled due to bad weather you can read all about it here, and our transfers to Misibis Bay (you can also read about our unhappy stay there here) were scheduled for the afternoon. 

We were hanging out at the lobby of Hotel Venezia, the partner hotel of
Misibis Bay, in Legazpi City.

Fortunately, I bumped into an office mate who is based in the area in the hotel lobby, and she was nice enough to volunteer to take us around for a few hours after she finished up her meeting in the office.

So here's a recommended itinerary of Must Eat places if you ever find yourself with a few hours layover in Legazpi City.

1. Gemma's Snack House for the best Bicol Express in Legazpi
Gemma's Snack House is literally just a house.
I didn't even see a sign, so just ask the locals for directions.
She has tables both inside the house, and in the garage as well.
Aside from her Christmas Village, a lot of her decor is London inspired.

Gemma's Snack House is a typical "Turo-Turo" (literally translated, it means point-point) place. They have a counter (refer to upper right photo abwhere you can see all the pre-cooked food and you point to the ones you want to order.
Their specialty is Bicol Express, a dish normally cooked with
Pork and coconut milk, but the way it's prepared here is
95% chili.
Are you ready for the Bicol Express No Water Challenge?
I loved it so much, I finished a dish all by myself,  but I wussed
out on the red chilis! It's really yummy with the spare ribs
Sof by the Christmas Tree and Christmas Village.
Two thumbs up for our first meal! Thanks tour guide Mel!

2. Albay Pilinut house for pasalubong
The most famous brand for Pili pastries has their main branch
in Legazpi.
They make it easy for you to choose because they have free taste available.
Look at all the different Pili pastries available.
Seems like a famous place, look at all the pictures of the
celebrities who've visited.
They also have different brands of bottled Laing and Bicol Express for sale.
Sofia at Albay Pilinut
Jem bought so much, she actually used her credit card!

3. DJC Halo Halo for Halo Halo with Cheese
Halo Halo (literally translates to Mix Mix) is a local Filipino dessert which is a mix of different ingredients eaten with milk and crushed ice. While the general idea is the same, and similar to Singaporean and Malay desserts like Ice Kachang or Bobo ChaCha, even in the Philippines, they have different kinds of Halo Halo depending on the region. In Bicol, Halo Halo is served with cheese, so if you love cheese like we do, eating Halo Halo should definitely be on your Bicol itinerary.
Halo Halo ingredients, bicol style.
You can opt to order Special Halo Halo which is served with Ube Ice Cream.
Or Regular Halo Halo which has the same ingredients minus the Ice Cream.
Call me weird but I normally eat my Ube on the side because I don't like
getting the milk dirty. I also like leaving the cheese and leche flan on top
so it doesn't get lost or diluted with the other ingredients.

4. Sili (or Red Chili) Ice Cream from 1st Colonial
We didn't get to try the Sili Ice Cream during our layover, but we did pass Metro Gaisano Supermarket at the same place (Pacific Mall) for some supplies. 
If you're going to Misibis Bay, despite reading my post,
make sure you stop by a supermarket for supplies.
Anyway, the next day, the group when back to Legazpi for the Mayon Volcano and City Tour so they got to try the Sili Ice Cream. I asked them to bring home some for me and it was so yummy. Creamy Ice Cream with a kick, and to think I only tried Level 1. Sili Ice Cream comes in different levels of sili intensity from Level 1 to Level 10. Their Pili Ice Cream also comes highly recommended.
Photo Credit: Jem Uy

So there you have it. Legazpi Layover must eats! Thanks Mel for taking us around. Definitely worth a visit. just saying.

Gemma's Snack House
*just ask the locals for directions

Albay Pilinut

873 Rizal Street

Old Albay District
Legaspi City, Albay
(052) 484 1161

DJC Halo Halo
Landco Business Park 
Legazpi City, 4500 Albay
(052) 480 6868

1st Colonial Grill
Ground Floor, Pacific Mall, 
Landco Business Park, Legazpi

(052) 481-1212 | 820-0985

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