Soledad’s: Where Memories of Good Home Cooked Food Come Back to Life
A common proverb in the Philippines goes; ‘Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan, di makararatíng sa paroroonan’. (Literal translation: He, who doesn’t know how to look back on where he came from, will never reach his destiny.) This can also apply to food when we take a look at the options we have for getting good food today. Our society has developed so much in the food industry, that even the biggest brands for food in other countries, e.g., McDonald’s and Starbucks have found their way here. Some had a little difficulty breaking into the Baguio market and some even failed (Wendy’s and Kenny Roger’s Roasters) but with the arrival of these restaurants, the number of places to eat at in the city had risen exponentially.
Food Staples at Soledad’s
Even with mainstream choices and even with a lot of money in our pockets, there are times that we still crave for foods that are simple. We want the dishes that mimic what our elders used to prepare for us at home when we were young. This is where eateries like Soledad’s come in. When you want the basic, this is one of the places you can get it. On Bonifacio Street, there are two Soledad’s Eateries. I’m talking about the green hole in the wall type of place, the one frequented by students and drivers alike, the one that closes at 2:00 or 3:00 every afternoon because they’re sold out. UPDATE 10/15/2018: They’ve extended their operating hours to 8:00 p.m. Hooray for Soledad dinners!
Soledad’s opens its doors to their customers at 7:30 a.m. It would do you well to hang around the store until then (watch the place like a hawk!) because it’s going to be packed with people in a split second. Race told me once; he was waiting for the eatery to open. He turned away just for a little bit and when he looked back again, the establishment was full. Part of the popularity is because they serve a wide variety of home-cooked dishes. The kinigtot (goat soup) is a regular fixture in the Soledad meal. You wouldn’t really want to settle with that, however, because you have so many other choices like monggo (mung bean stew), lomi, and so on. I, for one, never really cared for this soup because it has a bitter flavor and that really isn’t the taste sensation I like but many other people (including Race) like it. (My dogs also consider it a treat when I pour some on their food.)
Not to worry because I’m very happy with the mongo. (I have mixed memories about monggo. I’m not sure if I liked mongo in my childhood. I might have thought that it was the most palatable vegetable meal at home but that doesn’t mean it went down easily. Hhhhm, if that was the case, I’m sorry, Mama – that was how I called my grandma. *sheepish grin) Today, I love monggo and Soledad’s mongo is the best I’ve had so far. It’s flavorful – just a little goes a long way with rice. The broth also has a great consistency, not too soupy and not too dry.
Race and I usually order up some pork chops to go with the monggo. Again, Soledad’s makes scrumptious pork chops. Dip it in with ketchup, dip it in the soy-calamansi juice-vinegar (and chili) mix or eat it on its own; it’s still going to be delicious. Another one of my Soledad favorites is lomi/lumi. No, this is not the dish with thick egg noodles on it. It doesn’t even have that much broth in it. I don’t really know how to describe it other than it’s a pork dish. (Note to self: Must ask the staff about the lomi one of these days). Lomi is just glorious to eat, especially when you get to the strips of intestines/lengua/cartilage-y ears. (Yoo-hooo, Mr. Bourdain! =D)
I’ve mentioned that Soledad’s is a hole in the wall on Bonifacio Street. True, it might not look like much on the inside but who cares about the ambiance when you’re getting good food. (I don’t have photos in the place either. Everyone’s eating so fast at Soledad’s, I’m afraid they’ll run out before I get a chance to order. =b) You can always get the food for takeout if you don’t like sitting shoulder to shoulder with the other patrons. (I remember one time I was there, I was in a red shirt – city taxi driver uniform. I felt like one of the taxi drivers fueling up for the day. *heeeeee) As for the service at Soledad’s, it’s topnotch. If there are places that call themselves fast food restaurants, Soledad’s can rightly refer to their eatery as fastest food. Simple, staple, home-cooked, seeming common foods that are the stuff of childhood memories, you can get them lighting fast at Soledad’s. As for the price of Soledad foods, I’m doing cartwheels! You’re sure to get a good hearty meal for less than P200. (And yes, lots leftover to share with your canine friends.)
If you’re craving for simple and staple food in Baguio, you would never go wrong with Soledad’s. Go ahead and look back on your past, your roots and your memories of good food cooked at home. Get your mongo, pork chop, lomi, everything from Soledad’s.
X marks Soledad’s for good staple foods in Baguio.
UPDATE 01/27/2014: (I’ve been meaning to put this update in since last year, keeps slipping my mind. *hee) They moved to what used to be their burger joint, just two stores/houses down and it looks nicer there, so I’ll give them a , wee!
187 Bonifacio Street
Baguio City, Philippines
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X Marks the Spot for Good Baguio Foods is a personal blog. Everything posted in this blog is PERSONAL OPINION DERIVED FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and since TASTE can be pretty SUBJECTIVE, should NOT be taken as THE NORM or the LAW OF DINING around in the City of Pines.
Its (prosaic =b) contents are meant to help with the question “san tayo?”/where do we go? in relation to eating out in Baguio, to ENCOURAGE EXPLORING (eatsploring) and TRYING NEW THINGS offered in the City of Pines.
By all means, eat where you want to eat and eat what you want to eat. May you have a great experience with all the places you visit and may all the restaurants you go to deserve a ton of treasure chests! (“,)
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