Gotohan sa Marikina

Goto means beef tripe; gotohan means an eatery where the specialty is lugaw (rice porridge or congee) with beef tripe (my version here). Marikina is a city within Metro Manila and adjacent to Antipolo City in the province of Rizal where we live. I hope that explains the title for the non-Filipino speaking readers. I donÕt want you to get lost now, do I, since I am about to describe one of the most wonderful lugaw that I have ever tasted.

We were in Marikina early this morning for some bank-related errands. The trip would have been a total disaster had my husband not suggested going to this gotohan that he and his officemates frequented. Nothing fancy, he explained, just a small space at the side of a house but the lugaw was superb. I was starving since leaving early meant I had to skip breakfast. So, we went to this place along M.H. del Pilar Street in Calumpang, Marikina. There was a long narrow table against the wall and a wooden bench that was as long as the table. There was a small counter at the farther edge of the table where customers ordered their food. Our bowls of hot lugaw and plates of tokwaÕt baboy were served within five minutes. lugaw and tokwa't baboyThe lugaw was thick and the rice grains soft but not overcooked to the point that they were mushy. The lugaw had a reddish tinge from kasubha. There were bite-size pieces of goto and beef blood mixed in and it was topped with chopped onion leaves and toasted minced garlic. The treat did not end there. There was a small plate of tokwaÕt baboy to go with it. TokwaÕt baboy is a side dish made with cubes of fried tokwa (tofu) and boiled pork served with a sauce made with vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chopped onions, garlic and chili peppers (my version here). The tokwaÕt baboy that we had this morning did not have boiled pork. Instead, there were cubes of lechon kawali–perfectly fried with crisp rind. Darn, it was good!

How much? PhP 66.00 for two bowls of lugaw and two small plates of tokwaÕt baboy. ThatÕs about $ 1.20.

Definitely worth going back for another round of lugaw and tokwa’t baboy.