Monday, June 12, 2017

Buddy's for your Quezon cuisine cravings

I first blogged about Buddy's five years ago, but my interest in it was rekindled by a visit to the branch on Timog Avenue in 2016, more than four years since the last. And since that July day, I've lost count of how many times I've gone back either with friends or family. Buddy's, to state the obvious, has become one of my favorite restaurants, primarily for the good food offered at pocket-friendly prices to beat.
Buddy's specializes in cuisine native to Lucban, Quezon. All roads lead to this town on the 15th of May each year when the colorful Pahiyas Festival is held, drawing huge crowds of local and foreign tourists. Buddy's first opened there in 1985, 
making this restaurant 32 years already!
Today, there are already 14 stores -- 4 in Quezon province and 10 in  Metro Manila -- proof that traditional dishes from Lucban are such a hit for people in the metropolis. Who could resist pancit habhab, hardenera and longganisang Lucban anyway? Certainly not me! These dishes are on top of my list of favorite foods firstly because I'm a native of Quezon and secondly because they taste really good and are indeed crave-worthy. 
Anyway, these have so far been what we've tried and loved at 
Buddy's Pancit Lucban and Longganisang Lucban:

Pancit Lucban, P209. (good for 2-3 persons)
Hands down, this is the winner at Buddy's. As you can see, there's lots of meat and veggies in there. Unlike in some restaurants, they don't hold back on "sahog" at Buddy's, giving diners maximum eating pleasure. Don't forget to pour in some vinegar onto your plate of pancit Lucban, which is also called pancit habhab in Quezon. This noodle dish is traditionally served on a small piece of banana leaf and one eats it "habhab" style, where he or she gets the food with the mouth.

Longsilog Lucban, P130.
My favorite all-day breakfast! These sausages from Lucban are savory, not sweet; a bit fatty but the yumminess is worth all the cholesterol! Don't worry, there's achara (pickled unripe papaya,) to balance everything out.

      Hardenera, S, P127.
Lucban's own version of meatloaf is the perfect "ulam" (viand) to go with rice. It's savory but with a  saccharine tinge. Every bit is bursting with flavor but the downside is that it could be cloying after a while so there's the tendency for one to not eat much of hardenera.

                                                 Bulalo, P163.
The food to comfort anyone anytime! Buddy's sure knows how to not only satisfy hunger but to also give rest to the weary and well, some happiness to the lonely, through its bulalo with its comforting hot soup and tender chunks of beef. This one's the perfect order when you're coming in tired and famished.

                                           Pork Sisig w/ rice, P163.
My kids' all-time favorite "ulam". And Buddy's makes it really mean! The smokey and just rightly salty flavor is present in every spoonful. Indulge if you aren't worried 
about blood cholesterol. Hahaha!

                                Sizzling Beef Steak with rice, P193.
Our family is used to the home-cooked Filipino "bistek" which has quite a lot of soy sauce that gives the dish a dark color. Buddy's beef steak, however, comes with a gravy-like sauce, so I would say it's a go-between the Pinoy and Western versions. This one's a great ulam too, with the beef thinly sliced and really tender.

                                        Chicken Barbecue, P165.
My youngest kid, a true blue chicken person, went for this and I wasn't a bit surprised. He liked the plump chicken and its sweet--smokey flavor.

                                          Pork Barbecue, 2 pcs, P170.
Pork barbecue is never wrong at mealtime. Up the enjoyment by pairing it with java rice at Buddy's. Polish the taste buds by eliminating the "sawa" 
factor with the achara on the side.

                                              Lumpiang Ubod, P87.
Lumpiang Sariwa is one of my favorite vegetable dishes and I'm glad it's served at Buddy's, which makes it perfectly. The veggie slices still come with a bit of crunch and served with the right amount of sweet-garlicky sauce.

                          Buddy Pizza with Longganisang Lucban and Kesong Puti, S, P145.
It's quite unlikely for a Filipino restaurant to include pizza on it's menu but there's something laudable at Buddy's​ - the diversity. This pizza is still very much Pinoy, however. And very Quezonian too, mind you, as it has longganisang Lucban as well as kesong puti as toppings.

Spaghetti, S, P70.; L, P95.
I got curious with the poster at the Fisher Mall store saying Buddy's spaghetti tops's list of the Top 10 in the metro so I ordered it one time for my daughter and for my youngest son on another visit. It was really good! It's Pinoy style so it's quite sweet. It's also saucy, meaty and packed with flavor, you won't stop eating till the last bit on your plate. I even also liked the crunchy toasted bread served with the spaghetti.

 Buddy Burger, P57.
My daughter had this with spaghetti. Nothing so special about the burger though she admitted the two went well with each other. The things young ones 
love to stuff themselves with!

 Palabok Special, P95.
This pancit variant is my favorite and on top of my perrenial crave list so I eagerly ordered it for merienda on one afternoon visit. Sadly, I was disappointed by it's dryness. I wasn't going to throw in the towel for my favorite pancit, however, and I ordered it again on one of my succeeding visits. I was glad that this time, there was enough sauce to cover all of my palabok. Talk about redemption!

Pork Barbecue Jr. P45.
I ordered this to go with my palabok. It was really tiny! Well, it only 
lived up to its name extension. Hehe...

Halo-Halo, P85.
My friend's sweet refreshment. Whether it's summer or not, Pinoys love halo-halo and Buddy's knows it very well and wouldn't go without​ it on its menu.

 Budin, P65.
Budin is how we call cassava cake in Quezon. At Buddy's, they serve delicious budin -- not too sweet and perfect for dessert and merienda.

Sago at gulaman, P40.
This is my kids' favorite drink here in Buddy's -- sweet and refreshing!

Buddy's at SM City Lucena

Buddy's at Fisher Mall in Quezon City

Buddy's in Lucban, Quezon Province

Buddy's-Timog Avenue

With all the good food that I keep coming back for at Buddy's, I find one thing missing, though -- my elixir -- brewed coffee! I hope they would serve it soon. They have coffee on the menu, yes, but it's 3-in-1, which I'm not a fan of because I don't put sugar in my cup of joe. 
Still, I highly recommend Buddy's Pancit Lucban and Longganisang Lucban to everyone. I suggest you visit soon so as not to miss out on delicious food, especially those that are originally from Quezon. Buddy's is a great family food  destination, as most items 
on the menu are good for sharing.
Here in Metro Manila, they have branches in Kakarong, Kalayaan, and The Link  in Makati City; in Market! Market! and McKinley Hill in BGC, Taguig City; Tycoon Centre in Ortigas Center, Pasig City; and at Fisher Mall, Timog Avenue and Eastwood in  Quezon City. 
In Quezon Province, there's a Buddy's in Lucban, Tayabas and at SM Mall 
and Pacific Mall, both in Lucena City. 
Happy eating!

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