I heard that somewhere in La Union lies one of the best halo-halo in the nation. The entire day, I’ve been ranting about the heat so a tall glass of local chiller halo-halo would be the perfect quencher to cap off the day. With my game face on, we went to the famous Halo Halo de Iloko to try out their best-selling halo-halo.
From what I’ve heard, there are two branches of Halo Halo de Iloko that can be found in San Fernando, but our ‘guide’ told us to go to the one near the plaza instead of the one near the highway. I think it’s because the food is slightly better? I don’t remember anymore.
We hopped on a trike from Ma-Cho Temple and told the driver the name of this famous eatery. Almost everyone in this part of town knows where it is so whatever your mode of transportation is, I’m sure people would be willing to show you the right directions if you ask properly. We got there in less than a minute!
The exterior is pretty cute and charming. It will sort of remind you of your lola’s small house in the province with lots of potted plants and bamboo chairs outside for guests to sit on while waiting. My only issue with the place is the signage as it’s being blocked by those plants and tends to be unreadable. But since the place is pretty popular, I don’t think they have anything to worry about.
When we entered, I was a little surprised to find the place a little dark. It seemed like they don’t have a lot of customers during that time of day which was weird cause it was 3pm. Perfect for an afternoon merienda of halo-halo, right? But it may be due to the lack of tourists at the time because it was a weekday, and locals are probably tired of the place already. Hahaha.
We were all so excited to try out their famous halo-halo and some merienda as we were already famished from walking around town the entire day. But that didn’t stop us from taking photos of the interior first. The place had this homey vibe to it, a bit rustic, but charming nonetheless. I love all the textures and the traditional items that can be found inside. Everything is so Pinoy!
After taking a bunch of photos, we realized that we haven’t ordered anything yet! So we played around with their menu and I ordered their Emparedados, a native hamburger made from longganisa, bread, and some vegetables. Azrael got the Okoy Deliosko, Then each of us ordered Buko Halo Halo (P140), served inside a fresh coconut husk, while Az got the Fiesta Halo-Halo (P90).
Okay, I was shocked when my Emparedados was delivered to our table. The thing was huge! And there’s two of them! Even though I was hungry, I knew I won’t be able to finish that much so I just ate one of them and offered the other one for sharing. It was nice, I think the ingredients were fresh and it was prepared right after we ordered it. I think that’s why our orders took a little time.
I knew I wasn’t a fan of okoys so I wasn’t really excited about trying it, but I still did. Aaaaand yeah, I’m still not an okoy-lover. The taste and texture just doesn’t settle in nicely with me.
After eating our merienda, our halo-halos finally came and it was… *drum roll*… just okay. Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad but it was far from being the best halo-halo i’ve ever tasted. It was a little bland, even though they gave us this different kind of sugar to add on it, it still didn’t feel like I was savoring on a P140 halo-halo.
The ingredients were fresh and the presentation was a big plus, but I felt a little underwhelmed by it. Maybe I was expecting too much based on the raves I’ve been reading on other blogs. However I’m still going to go back here to try on the other halo-halo in hopes that it was just indeed a bad day. =)
After eating, we hurried back to our hotel and as we stepped outside, we were greeted by the owner of the place! What luck! Of course, we can’t miss this opportunity to have a photo taken with him… even though I was not able to ask his name. Lol.