Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Uno Grille - Vigan City

Today is January 01, 2013. Thus it befits to post about number one or Uno.

During my preparation for our Road Trip to Northern Philippines, I researched for good places to eat especially those offering local specialties such as Bagnet and Pakbet, to name a few.

I encountered this al fresco style restaurant in many blogs hence during our first night at Vigan City I brought my family to this place. Actually, we tried Kusina Felicitas first at Grandpa's Inn but the place was full during Christmas so we searched for the other famous Grandpa's restaurant.

We found Uno Grille just across the street. The place was by reservation at that time too but fortunately there was a vacant table awaiting us.


One of their lady staff immediately informed us that our order would take around 30 to 45 minutes due to numerous diners. We agreed since we wanted to pass time as well because I wanted to show my family how Calle Crisologo looks like during night time. We were given two sets of menu, one for Uno Grille and the other was for Kusina Felicitas. We ordered Bagnet, Pakbet Poqui Poqui Balls, Pipian and Chicken Karimbuaya. Unfortunately, Karimbuaya wasn't available so I asked for Sweet and Spicy chicken instead. To add we ordered Felicitas Rice and Binagoongan Rice as well. Later on, we were  told that Pipian wasn't available too.

While waiting for our orders we noticed that a group of diners left hurriedly. They were around 12. They came before us and it seemed that they were not able to wait any longer for their orders. I believed they were waiting for their food for almost an hour.

Our drinks were served haphazardly; my SMB Light was mildly cold and served without ice and glass. The same with the soft drinks. Hence, when our orders finally arrived all our drinks were already warm.

The service was poor; you'd see their staff carrying covered trays of food to and fro Kusina Felicitas. They brought grilled foods to Kusina Felicitas while took Bagnet and  other local dishes from Kusina Felicitas. They were obviously busy but it took them around one hour before they started serving our order. Moreover, when we were about to finish the Felicitas Rice and asked for our Binagoongan Rice, we were then told that it was not available as well so we settled for Garlic Rice. Halfway through Garlic Rice another staff arrived and informed us that Binagoongan Rice was now ready and she asked us if we still wanted the Binagoongan Rice. We replied NO!

Since our orders arrived after an hour we were expecting that we would be served with steaming hot foods but we were wrong. All the foods were cold except the Pakbet which was slightly warm. Imagine dining in a famous and well recommended place where all the foods including rice were served in room temperature.

Felicitas Rice and Pakbet

Bagnet

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Poqui Poqui Balls

In fairness, the Pakbet was superb. I grew up in Tarlac and I knew when a Pakbet has been cooked in authentic Ilokano style. The Poqui Poqui Balls were crispy and tasty as well. Actually, all the foods tasted good, even the rice. I would therefore assume that due to number of diners at that time their customer service deteriorated. My family agreed with me in this regard.

Further, the price of each dish was reasonable. Eating a local specialty for just more than a hundred pesos is literally blissful. Not to mention that each order is good for 2 people.

If you will ask me if I would recommend this place then my answer is a big yes except maybe during peak season or when the place is obviously full unless you are willing to wait and dine in cold dishes. Better yet, reserve your place earlier during peak season.

To check our complete travel journal: Road Trip to Ilocos (Vigan/Laoag/Pagudpud)