Everybody Loves Victor’s
Driving northbound past Luisita complex, one gets a sight of a grill station whose smoke permeates through the roadside air. Move further and you see a restaurant enclosed in blue
plywood walls and metal screen. And as you walk, you start to hear the quiet fizzing and hissing of the orange and gray embers – slowly cooking the proteins of the day. You have arrived at Victor’s.
A hole-in-the-wall type of restaurant, this is the kind of place that does not pretend to be anything than what it is and being that, gives way to more surprises. No frills at all, Victor’s is all about cheap and good food.
Over the coal goodness
The moment you sit down, you are presented with a set of condiments: sili, calamansi, chopped onions, soy sauce, and bagoong.
The waiter soon arrives at your table and distributes a cup of warm soup. It’s a common practice to add the soy sauce and squeeze in the slices of calamansi to really bring out the flavor.
So what does one order in a place like this? We at VisitTarlac suggest you start off by ordering their lechon manok. Only costing 200 pesos, this roasted classic is a simple gastronomic delight for a group of 5 people. Also try out their sisig (130 pesos) which is prepared authentically –fresh-off-the-grill pork that’s lightly cooked in onions, chili, and vinegar. If you’re going solo, we recommend you their chicken barbecue (50 pesos) served with the classic Pinoy barbecue sauce:
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red and sweet, just how we like it. And if you’re into lighter type of meat, the restaurant also features a selection of grilled fish from bangus and tilapia to our favorite, grilled hito.
For exotic barbecue skeptics, we suggest you try the chicken heart. The taste is akin to a traditional Pinoy isaw devoid of the nasty bitter substance one sometimes gets with the chicken intestines. But if you’re really into the whole Fear-Factor type of eating, indulge on Victor’s array of pinoy ihaw specialties: tenga, balunbalunan and atay.
A family tradition is to pair the grilled goodies with a cool bottle of Coca-Cola (to share of course!).
More than just a Grill place
If you’re stopping over for something else besides the grilled stuff, Victor’s is also a good place to get a hearty Bulalo. Further, it also features one of the famed northerner’s dish: the Papaitan, an Ilocano delicacy made out of goat’s innards cooked in its bile. The latter is more of their specialty, cooked well with a clean soupy taste (none of that strong bitter bile flavor).
Veggie lovers might find it disappointing that the only vegetarian dish on the menu is grilled talong served with chopped onions and tomatoes. Then again, Filipinos are not very known for a vegetarian diet.
The place is usually packed during meal times (lunch and dinner), with numerous cars lined in front of it: a telling sign that this is a restaurant that has a definite following among the locals. Despite the crowding, the service is pretty fast and efficient. The servers have a pretty good memory too, aware of new faces and old patrons arriving at their door.
Victor’s is a place of significance for many of the locals. Ask a true blue Tarlaqueño and they would probably have a good memory of Victor’s; from after hike binging with friends or quick family dinner on the way home. Through a random late night excursion or an after mass meal, Victor’s continues to be a setting for casual memories.
How to get there?
Click this link to view Google Maps of Victor’s.