There is absolutely no argument, Jomar’s has the best pancit batil patong in Tuguegarao, but we were tipped off that it has another branch near the city’s Buntun Bridge; a branch of sort anyways, Jasmine-Jomar’s Panciteria. With our obsession with this noodle dish at fever pitch, we hailed a tricycle one afternoon and decided to check it out for ourselves.
|BUNTUN BRIDGE IN TUGUEGARAO|
We timed our visit right before sunset, might as well take some photos of Buntun Bridge, the longest bridge this side of the Philippines, along the way. We looked for a way down the banks of Cagayan River, hoping to find a nice spot to pass the time and ready our tummies for another bout of pancit batil patong binge.
|NO SUNSET AT BUNTUN BRIDGE|
We had the place to ourselves; our only companions, two wooden boats languidly swaying with the brown water of the river. The clouds were too thick though and the sun was unable to penetrate through, we left as the sun descended behind a blanket of gray clouds. It was time for a plate of pancit.
|JUSTINE’S SIMPLE INTERIOR|
Justine-Jomar’s Panciteria is located right before Buntun Bridge near the downtown side. It is housed on a shed-type building with simple wooden tables and plastic chairs, there were a couple of huts set outside but it was too dark to take photos in so we seated ourselves inside.
|LOCAL PATRONS AT JUSTINE’S PANCITERIA|
The place was full of patrons before we went down the bridge; apparently this eatery is not only popular with the locals (it was a Sunday) but also with passing travelers. Luckily, the crowd thinned as we entered. Similar to Jomar’s, Justine’s serve their pancit on three sizes; Ordinary (Php60.00), Special (Php70.00) and Super Special (Php80.00). Since the last two differs only in serving size, we asked for two of their Specials.
We asked for a plate of onion side-dish but we were instead pointed to an onion station. Apparently, patrons are required to chop their own here at Justine’s. You’d think it’s easy, but the odor of freshly chopped onions was just too heavy and staying at that corner even for a few seconds would make your eyes water faster than watching an episode of Wish Ko Lang.
|TOYO MALABON, NOT MADE IN MALABON|
Eventually, we managed to chop a couple of bulbs just in time for our orders which came with the usual batil soup. We were quite surprised that Justine’s version of pancit batil patong differs quite a bit from Jomar’s. It has that same crunchy lechon carajay bits and bean sprouts mixed with the noodles and poached egg, but instead of liver chunks, it was filled instead with huge portions of lechon kawali. I’m definitely not complaining with that change.
It’s also interesting to note that aside from the usual soy sauce, they also have a spicy vinegar that regulars use as a dip.
|MORE MORE LECHON KAWALI!|
Our mouth salivating, we quickly mixed our chopped onions with the locally-made Malabon soy sauce and calamansi. We readied our spoon and fork and dug in.
|PANCIT BATIL PATONG AT JASMINE’S PANCITERIA|
And man, oh man, was it just good! Justine’s has a lesser liver flavor than its counterpart in town, but it’s still superb in its own different way (this is actually perfect for those who don’t like liver). The chopped cubes of super crunchy lechon kawali made it quite unique, making our visit to this branch worthwhile.
Address: Buntun Highway, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Contact Number: (0906) 829-7324
Open Hours: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm
Menu: Check above
GPS Coordinates Map: 17°36'49.4"N 121°41'34.1"E