Monday, May 19, 2014

Flavors of Pampanga: A Pork Fest at Mila's Tokwa't Baboy

An early lunch, and the first stop on a Pampanga food trip. Go get the meds ready, and prepare for an all-out pork fest at Mila's Tokwa't Baboy.  


This is the first of four posts on an epic food trip to Angeles City, Pampanga, and what a way to start. Pork, chicken and fish, some signature dishes, and the Pampanga experience is off to a great start...

Located inside a residential neighborhood, the narrow streets can make finding Mila's Tokwa't Baboy quite a challenge. But just ask any resident and you'll be pointed to the right direction. And soon the aroma of grilled pork leads you Mila's Tokwa't Baboy.
For nearly thirty years, Mila's Tokwa't Baboy has been a local favorite, and the number of parked cars on both sides of the road is further proof of Mila's Tokwa't Baboy's near legendary popularity. And the grill at Mila's is forever busy...   


As we settle into our chairs, we go for the bestsellers. The signature Tokwa't Baboy, with crispy deep-fried tofu, tender pig's ears, soy sauce, red onions, chili, and fresh Chinese celery (kinchay), leaves and crisp stalks, for an added crunch. The sharp soy sauce and chili drives the flavor in this simple dish, and the chopped pig's ears and crispy tofu add contrasting textures. The dish that started it all for Mila's is also the  ideal starter for the coming pork feast.  


Chicharon Bulaklak, deep-fried pig entrails, and this one's a heart-stopper. Literally and figuratively. Unlike most of the chicharon bulaklak I've tried, Mila's version isn't overwhelmingly greasy, with surprisingly clean flavors with just a hint of the usual gamey offal taste. A dip in the chili vinegar sauce, and you'll find yourself repeating the process again and again. Yup, it's that good. 


Then, Mila's popular Pork Tocino Barbecue came next. The province is well known for its pork tocino, a popular breakfast food, or marinated and sweetened cured pork, and it makes perfect sense to grill it on skewers. The sweet marinade lends well to grilling, and another unique dish from Mila's. Tender, juicy, and great as is or with garlic rice.  


And you might as well go all the way with Mila's Lechon Kawali, deep-fried pork with a crisp layer of crackling. Can't go wrong with crispy deep-fried pork...


With Pampanga being the birth place of Sisig, you'll find quite a number of versions in the province, and Mila's Pork Sisig should be one of the best. With contrasting chewy and crispy textures in every bite, the finely chopped pig's cheeks and ears with red onions and chili is a meal in itself. 


And finally, Mila's Pork Steak, grilled to perfection, chopped to bite-sized pieces. Tender and juicy, with just enough fat for flavor, this one completes the pork fest at Mila's. 


For variation, why not go for some grilled Chicken Butts? Tender and juicy, these are probably the biggest chicken butts I've seen yet. 


Or some delicately Grilled Bangus? Pork, chicken, fish...and more pork, Mila's got it all. And this is just the first stop. Next stop? Downtown Cafe for a late lunch (see more on another awesome late lunch with Claude Tayag here at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2014/05/flavors-of-pampanga-good-times-at.html)...and classic Capampangan desserts at Homemade Treasures (see more here at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2014/05/flavors-of-pampanga-classic-capampangan.html). This is going to be a full day...

Mila's Tokwa't Baboy is located at Brgy. San Angelo, San Andres Street, Angeles City, Pampanga or call +6345-888-6727 for inquiries.

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