Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Meal in the City: Variety Meats on Sticks at Mang Larry's, UP-Diliman

[Variety meats?]

In the previous blog entry I mentioned going out to UP-Diliman to spend a Sunday afternoon with my boyfriend. As we were packing up to leave, we decided we'd eat dinner before heading home, and started thinking of suggestions.

And then we remembered that we were in UP, and night was falling. Time to see if a certain favorite, much-loved, and well-visited grill cart was on campus.

Okay, here's the drill. If you study at UP-Diliman/Ateneo de Manila/Miriam/Kostka, you will hear the name "Mang Larry's" bandied about by hungry, happy students. He owns this sort of grill cart thing, which he sets up in the late afternoon near the UP-Diliman post office. The charcoal-fired grill is where he and his assistants cook all sorts of chicken and pork innards and organs skewered on sticks. And he's there, on campus, most days - as he was on that Sunday night, on the last day of holidays.

People come from all over - and I mean all the way from places like Manila and Pasig and San Juan - just for his variety meats on sticks. The space where Mang Larry sets up shop often tends to become a parking lot for all sorts of cars, some with very respectable marques. And in the darkness you see all sorts of people in groups, happily chatting and downing sodas and iced tea, and breathing in the savory smoke that wafts off the always-full grill.

Mang Larry's been doing his grilling thing for more than ten years now and he's practically an institution in UP-Diliman, and he's done very well for himself out of it.

The menu at Mang Larry's always includes pork barbecue, the cleaned-up small intestines of pork [chitterlings] and chicken [we call 'em "isaw manok"], chicken gizzards and livers, pork tripe, and other assorted innards. Everyone loves the isaw manok, Mang larry's best-seller, though I'm more partial to the chitterlings my own self.

Quick close-up on the tripe, which we call "goto" regardless of whether it came from a cow or from a pig.

They say that one is not a student of UP if one does not know of or eat at Mang Larry's.... I'm glad we managed to catch the cart on that Sunday night. I think we'll have to go back soon.

1 comment:

Jonette said...

Mmm, chicken and pork spare parts & accessories. How I have missed thee. :)