Sunday, September 21, 2014

On a cold, rainy night in Ilocos...

Ate Bing and I arrived in Vigan, Ilocos Sur some 300 km from Tarlac City via TPLEX. If we arrived in the afternoon and if the weather were perfect, we would have been able to walk around the city to see the dancing water fountains, eat al fresco near the church, and gone around Calle Crisologo as dusk settled. However, we arrived late on a stormy night, famished, and exhausted.

But did the rain stop us from venturing out to see the city? No!

As soon as the rain stopped, we walked around the late night version of Calle Crisologo and then went to Cafe Leona, a famous Vigan restaurant near the town plaza. The restaurant is supposedly known for its Ilocano fare but since we already had dinner, we opted to have dessert instead. As usual, I just had to have the coldest option of them all despite the evening's drop in temperature: Nestle's Dutch Speculoos ice cream. I felt this cookie flavour's been chasing me since my birthday week! And yes, I just had to order the ice cream by the pint, not by the scoop.

The ice cream was paired with capuccino and with Ilocano hot chocolate (apparently, and I just learned it on this trip, Batangas does not have a monopoly on cacao tablets). Yum!

Cafe Leona reminded me of my dinner at the Napoleon House in New Orleans, Louisiana with Casey and Elaine two years ago. The two houses were old and teeming with a historical and an artistic atmosphere. The servers were cool and friendly as well... a great example of warm Ilocano hospitality.