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Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Featured, Food to eat |

Hidden Gastronomic Gems: The First Tarlac Food Exploration

Hidden Gastronomic Gems: The First Tarlac Food Exploration

Food bloggers from Manila take on the Tarlac food experience.

A food exploration tour was initiated by the Sustainable Tourism Development Project (STDP) under the Tarlac EcoTourism campaign. When the visittarlac.com team heard about it, there were no questions from anyone of us. We had to be there.

The Hidden Gastronomic Gems: First Tarlac Food Exploration was an invitational food tour aiming to discover what the province can offer to the country”s culinary scene. People from the STDP invited seasoned Manila-based bloggers to experience and provided us insights. These top-notch bloggers included Arpee Lazaro, Dante Ward, Josephine Bonsol, and Mercedes Maata.

Prepare your stomach and start the journey of the food path of Tarlac”s Hidden Gastronomic Gems.

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First Stop: Mary Ann”s Kitchen

Mary Ann”s passion for food led her to pursue a food business, even with her backround in. With a little push from friends, her small kitchen now caters to different events and occasions.

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Mary Ann, owner and chef, blew us away with her simple yet tasty dishes.

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(L-R): Spicy Chicken, Chami, Tapsilog, Burger Steak

Must try: Spicy Chicken, Chami, Burger Steak, Tapsilog.
Location: 7044 Fairlane Subd. Tarlac City
Contact Info: 0905 3934 234

Second Stop: Dina”s Tupig

What separates Dina”s Tupig from the rest is its fourth generation recipe and traditional cooking method. With generous amounts of ingredients grilled on a clay oven, their tupig”s distinct taste is a must balikbayan pasalubong.

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Dina”s Tupig sits along the Romulo Highway.

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Dina”s Tupig is run by a family. Now on it”s fourth generation, the recipe remains the same.

Location: Romulo Highway Tuec Camiling, Tarlac
Contact Info: 0939 6315 405

Third Stop: Dan”s Place

The main food provider of Sto. Nino Hospital, Dan”s Place offers a wide variety of dishes perfect for feasting throughout the day. Pre-ordered, the town”s famous Chicharong Camiling can also be served here.

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Must try: Crispy Pata, Chicharon Camiling, Pancit Canton
Location: Burgos St. Camiling, Tarlac
Contact Info: (045) 491 2120, 0917 574 7343

Fourth Stop: Good Earth Foods and Farms

Health conscious or not, Good Earth Foods and Farms is sure to serve you great organic dishes. They also offer bottled goodies so you can extend your healthy diet at home.

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Must try: Lemongrass Juice, Chicken Tanglad, Tomato Tuyo Pasta, Smoothies
Location: 38 Romulo Highway, Carangian Tarlac City
Contact Info: 0917 278 9237

Fifth Stop: Urdu Restaurant & Cakehouse

If you want a chocolate cake that can compete with Manila”s top grade pastry shops, Urdu is definitely the place go. Make sure to take time and dine in their homey interiors where they also serve some of their more savory dishes.

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Must try: Chocolate Cake, Cheesecake, Chicken Barbecue
Location: P. Burgos St. Cut Cut 1st, San Vicente, Tarlac City
Contact Info: 0917 5113 835

Sixth Stop: Abuelo”s Cafe

Run by two good friends, Paeng and Mark, Abuelo”s Cafe is a fun place for barkadas to chill and hangout. They offer frappes and a good variety of gourmet burgers so make sure you get there hungry.

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Abuelo”s Cafe”s facade.

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(Clockwise): Gourmet burgers, Adobo Sisig Pasta, Pizza Fries

Must Try: Adobo Sisig Pasta, Burgers, Pizza Fries
Location: Tarlac City Plazuela, in front of Tarlac City Hall
Contact Info: 0917 7173 238

Seventh Stop: Betty”s Native Cakes

The humble beginnings of Betty”s Native Cakes was in the public market of Tarlac City. Today, they have 15 branches all over Central Luzon because of their unceasing quality and hardwork.

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Must try: Kapit, Duman
Location: San Roque, Tarlac City, SM Tarlac
Contact Info: 0917 7952 663
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Food warriors who marched with us and explored Tarlac”s hidden gastronomic gems!

The exploration of the north western and city food places of the province left us with more than full bellies and happy hearts. Thank you to our new found friends for validating what our province can offer and sharing with us your learning on how we can improve more.

Here are some important take-outs from the food tour every Tarlaqueno should know:

1. Food tourism in the province is ripe with flavors and overflowing variety.

2. Communities and institutions in the province should be encouraged to work together to enrich Tarlac”s food history, for the benefit of Tarlac”s future generations.

3. Take guests to the public market and show them where the locals shop for the best ingredients. Share your dishes and recipes at home. What might be ordinary to yous might be a whole different experience to another. Don”t hesitate!

4. And lastly, take pride. Tarlac is rich with gastronomic possibilities and hidden gems are just waiting to be unearthed with friends.

Words by: Carmela Prado | Photos by: Diana Prado
We are exploring more places for the next food tours. Share us your go-to Tarlac places so we can include it in our next trips!