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Jul 26, 2003 02:42 PM

Longanisa Ilokano

  • m

Recent talk of k/crispy pata planted Filipino food firmly in mind. Thursday I picked up a Filipino breakfast plate from Goshen Foods in Vallejo. Ownership has changed but I saw the same lady cooking in the kitchen, so all’s well.

The longanisa ilocano-style is made in house. They’re sweeter and even more garlicky than “regular”. Dyed bright red, the coarse ground pork was surprisingly lean and pleasantly crumbly. Three chubby longanisa sausages were grilled and served over a huge mound of garlic rice. Now two eggs, instead of four, these were extra large and cooked sunny-side up with perfect runny yolks. Two thick slices of tomato completed the picture. A very substantial breakfast for $4.99, two in fact, because I finished the second half the next day.



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  1. Have you checked out the Island Pacific Supermarket in Vallejo (also in Union City and South San Francisco)? One just opened down south near where I live, and I was very impressed with their large selection of longanisa and tocino (the most variety I've seen anywhere outside of Manila, and they make several varieties on the premises).

    I was impressed with the store overall - nice selection of fresh fish, fresh produce (including fresh kalamansi), good prices, and many interesting treats (Pop Cola - made with real sugar but for some reason it also has aspartame; tastes almost exactly like an old-style Mexican Coke except for the darn artificial sweetener aftertaste; Fibisco cookies in wonderful retro-style packaging - the Chocolate Crispies come individually wrapped and are sort of like thin English digestives; Sky Flakes crackers in delightful retro red-and-white-striped tins).

    I can't think of a much better breakfast than longanisa, garlic rice and eggs.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Chris G.

      Island Pacific is across the street and down a couple blocks from the place that makes the longanisa ilokano. It's been over a year since I walked through, and remember it looking a little shop-worn. I will check it out again. In the same strip mall is another Filipino restaurant (Bikol-style), Manila Sands.

      I've stumbled on another Vallejo business that makes Pampangan-style tocino and longanisa (with natural casings). Will post when I have a chance to try the product.

      And, I've recently tried Salty Flakes crackers for the first time. I hate to call them saltines, because they have so much more flavor and texture going on than Sunshine. I really like the firmness and the buttery/dairy notes in the flavor. They're good just by themselves. Love the tin too!

      I'll watch for the Chocolate Crispies now. I'm a newcomer to these things, sampling whatever is offered to me.



      1. re: Melanie Wong
        Melanie Wong

        Your suggestion to check it out was quite timely. My revisit to Island Pacific this week revealed a store that has been straightened up from top to bottom. Frankly, it was so grungey before, they must have steam-cleaned the place and redone all the lighting. The meats were especially impressive with all manner of style of cuts (e.g., shortribs cross-cut for korean cooking or pork chops with the skin on) used in Asian cuisines. The seafoods were good, not the best, but priced very low. The produce section has been revamped and I counted SEVEN kinds of bananas. Not to mention the wall of mangoes. As I wandered the aisles, I could overhear conversations between other shoppers making comparisons to another place, which I learned is a new supermarket that opened on Tuesday. With competition in town, IP had to clean up its act.

        Tonight I headed over there - Seafood City on Redwood Ave. (corner of Sonoma Blvd.). This is a bigger supermarket and brand new fittings in a long abandoned strip mall location. The seafoods are better looking here with more variety. They are displayed on ice in the aisles where customers are free to examine and handle them. All are labeled with English and Filipino name, which I appreciated. Saw a few things that I've purchased from Chinese fish mongers and had always wondered what they were called (Australian snapper, yellowstripe snapper, etc.). The meats and produce are not as extensive as Island Pacific. Many loss leaders this week - chicken legs for 4 lbs/$1, milkfish 50¢/lb., fresh ginger 50¢/lb, Magnolia ice cream 1/2 gal for $4.99, Skyflakes $1.99, and free gifts and bonuses for minimum purchase levels ($50, $150, up ). Also there's a kiddie corral.

        When I go back next week, I'm bringing an ice chest with me to get some purchases home.


    2. j
      Joule Thomson

      Melanie .....what a great find...
      I'm gonna put it on my list of places to eat when I get up that way.

      I have never actually had Filipino food....but the whole range of tastes you describe are really hitting a cord in me.

      The last time I had garlic rice was at some fancy Chinese banquet 20 years ago in Seattle.
      BUT THIS stuff you describe contains ALL my favorites !
      Can't WAIT !

      3 Replies
      1. re: Joule Thomson

        If you do get up there, on the same street is the market and restaurant described in my response to Chris G. Also in the immediate neighborhood is another Filipino restaurant, Andrea Foods, that has more selection and might be a good place for a beginner to start. Note that it is not open for breakfast, whereas the other two are. The leche flan at Andrea defines this dessert for me...just incredible.


        1. re: Melanie Wong
          Joule Thomson

          GREAT Melanie.... I'll add this one to my list as well...the flan sounds just devine !
          This will be a great adventure since I have never had this food before....and it seems to contain ALL the things I love.
          If there are any can't miss dishes...please let me know.

          1. re: Joule Thomson

            Here's another link with some of the other Filipino places I've tried in Vallejo. Really an amazing selection for a town of 125K. I've continued to return to CMC Pampangueña, although I'll say that it's a fairly dreary set-up for eating in and I've only gotten plates to go. At Valerio I've liked all the baked goods I've tried, especially the chicken or the beef empanadas (one makes a terrific breakfast), and not so good luck with the fried pastries.



      2. Have you tried the filipino breakfast at the Ling Nam branch there and how it compares ? At DC branch, they have two meats combo over rice. You can choose two kinds of meat: longanisa, pork tocino, beef and fish. It also comes with garlic rice, side of vinegar garlic sauce, two eggs and also some sliced tomatoes. I always ask for the free soup. The advantage is the ability to choose two kinds of meat and eveything tasted great and perfect - the best compared to several other places that I tried.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Han Lukito

          No, I haven't had breakfast at Ling Nam yet. My two dinner experiences there were ok, but I found the staff somewhat indifferent. I'm enjoying the locally-owned businesses that prepare their family recipes and take the time to explain the differences to me and put together whatever I want.


          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I tried other items at Ling Nam and was not particularly impressed. The breakfast is the only thing that draws me. However, the roast duck/combo with roast pork (ok) were accompanied by pickled veggies (carrots, daikon) that were great.

            I have tried many filipino breakfasts and so far nobody makes it as good as Ling Nam (at least the branch in DC). At other places either the meat is not as savory or the rice is not right, etc.