Calle Arco Pagsanjan Laguna: Dazzling Filipino Food
It was a sunny Sunday morning and my brother and I, together with his family just spent the night with our relatives in Pangil, Laguna. My cousin, who is working in a cruise ship, went back home for vacation and asked us to come over and have a “small” party. Still with a tiny bit of hangover, we decided to have lunch in Pagsanjan before heading back to Manila. Our relatives highly recommended Calle Arco, one of the finest Filipino restaurants in Pagsanjan. So after taking a cold bath and some coffee, off we went to Pagsanjan to experience this famous restaurant.
Calle Arco is an ancestral house converted into a restaurant and bed and breakfast. I can only assume that this house is built on the time of Spanish colonization.
Inside you will see paintings, antique decors, movie posters of E.R. Ejercito, celebrity photographs who visited the place and a grandfather clock! It feels like you are in your cool and hippie grandpa’s house who really loves to cook good food for his apos. Now, who doesn’t wants to visit a grandpa like that?
Enough of this, let’s discuss about the food. First and foremost, our relatives told us that the food in Calle Arco is really good so our expectation was really high. Well, it didn’t disappoint.
What we ordered
As highly suggested by my Tita, Sinigang na Baka sa Langka is a must order everytime you visit Calle Arco. I haven’t tried this before and I’m very happy that I got to try it now. It’s a twist on your usual Sinigang because rather than the usual vegetables (like string beans, radish, kangkong, gabi), they put Langka as the main ingredient for the whole dish. Yes there are some tomatoes, onions and siling pangsigang but the main actor in this pelikula is the Langka. The sweetness of the Langka combined with the sinigang’s signature sour flavor is definitely a treat to your palate. Not to mention that the beef is very juicy and tender as well. If ever you’ll stop by at Calle Arco, don’t ever miss this dish! It’s a 5-star dish for me.
An order of Sinigang na Baka sa Langka cost P270.00.
Another great dish from Calle Arco is one of the all-time Pinoy’s favorite ulam (or should I say Pulutan too?). The Crispy Pata! Now, some of you are thinking… nahh… I bet it taste the same with the Crispy Pata I had yesterday in Mang Toto’s carinderia. Hold your horses guys, this one’s not your ordinary day to day Crispy Pata. When I tasted it, I felt that there is something different. The meat was really tender, the crispiness of the pork skin is just right, not too crunchy but not too soft either. Then the moment you eat it, the juiciness and flavor of the meat will warm your mouth and there’s nothing you can say but “Extra rice please”.
An order of Crispy Pata cost P340.00.
Honorable mention in the list we ordered is the oh-so-trusted-you-cannot-go-wrong Garlic Fried Chicken. The dish is great but nothing different from your nearby Chinese restaurant. The good thing about it is the serving is decent and the chicken is not small unlike in other restaurants where it is priced over P300 but it can’t even fill a quarter of your plate.
An order of these yummy Garlic Fried Chicken is P230.00. Not bad.
We also ordered Pinakbet to add colors (and healthiness?) to our plate but I find it a little sweet for my taste. Also, I like my veggies in pinakbet undercooked, unlike Calle Arco’s version which is also a bit saucy. I’m sorry but it’s not the dish for me.
An order of Pinakbet cost P150.00.
For the rice, we ordered two orders of Shanghai rice and 3 extra plain rice. Are we that hungry? Well yes of course.
An order of Shanghai rice cost P170.00 and plain rice cost P30.
Though the food takes some time to get served, all in all it was a great gastronomic experience. I seldom dine in Filipino restaurants because we always want to try different kinds of food and international cuisine but with these kind of restaurants, I make an exception. It’s always great to innovate and experiment with the local cuisine so that people won’t get tired of the usual meals they are having every single day.
You might also say or recommend that they put up air-conditioning in the restaurant but I guess that’s part of the experience where you’ll feel that you are in the 1800s dressed in traditional Filipino attire while sipping the sabaw of the sinigang.
With regards to the price, it’s affordable and reasonable especially when you take into account the quality of the food. We are 5 adults and 1 kid and we only paid P1555.00! A very nice deal for me.
Breakdown of the items:
1 Sinigang na baka sa langka – P270
1 Pinakbet – P150
1 Crispy Pata – P370
1 Garlic Fried Chicken – P230
2 Shanghai Rice – P340 (@ P170 per order)
3 plain rice – P90 (@ P30 per order)
1 1.5 regular coke – P75
Lots of people dine here day in and day out, so it’s either you make a reservation or you go there early. We went early so we didn’t make a reservation.
Overall Rating: 4/5 😀
Calle Arco Restaurant
Address: 57 Rizal St., Brgy. Poblacion 2, Pagsanjan, Laguna
Tel.#: +63 49 501 4584