Ilocos Series: Herencia Restaurant

January 11, 2016

It was almost noon already when we finished exploring the magnificent Paoay Church, so we decided to take a break and have some lunch first before proceeding with the remaining attractions we have yet to see on the last day of our Ilocos tour.

Just across the three century-old church is Herencia Restaurant, which is known to be the birthplace of Pinakbet pizza.  Well, I may be known by my family and friends as someone who has a healthy diet, but I have to confess that I do not like eating Pinakbet.  (If I have no choice, then I would have to pick ONLY the squash and string beans, and leave behind the okra, eggplant, and bitter gourd.)  Hence, I was a little bit hesitant to dine in this restaurant.  However, since this place happened to be the nearest restaurant around the area, we, just like most of the tourists visiting Paoay, also ended up spending our lunch here.

Herencia Restaurant, Paoay, Ilocos
Herencia Restaurant, Paoay, Ilocos
Herencia Restaurant, Paoay, Ilocos
Herencia Restaurant, Paoay, Ilocos
Herencia Restaurant, Paoay, Ilocos
The picturesque view of Saint Augustine Church from Herencia Restaurant

I personally loved the vintage yet homey ambiance of this place.  It made me feel like I was dining in my late grandparents' house where everything was traditional and classic -- the retro furniture pieces, antique decors, and even the use of clay pots to serve soup dishes.  Indeed, this restaurant was able to live up to its name!  (Herencia is a Spanish word which means "heritage.")

Alright, I do not eat Pinakbet!  But to make the most of our dining experience, our group made it certain to order their house specialty -- the dish Herencia Restaurant was known for, no other than Pinakbet pizza!  Yay!  

This pizza basically had a thin crust and was topped with traditional Ilocano vegetables.  A Philippine condiment made of fermented fish, more locally known as 'bagoong' was also available as a pizza sauce instead of the usual ketchup or hot sauce.  

My verdict?  Hmm.. It was actually good, but I suppose it could have tasted even better without the 'ampalaya'.. Lol!  Kidding aside, everyone in the group said the pizza was indeed great, so just ignore my bias comment!  

Herencia Restaurant's Pinakbet pizza

Anyway, aside from the pizza, we also ordered Beef Steak, Dinuguan, Sinigang na Bangus, Tinolang Manok, Kare-kare, and Carbonara (for Rafa).  All the dishes were absolutely yummy, but the one that stood out was the Dinuguan.  It was everybody's favorite!

The staff of Herencia Restaurant gave us a satisfying customer service.  Everyone had that warm and welcoming smile upon our entry to their main door.  We were properly escorted to our seats and were immediately handed a menu.  We didn't wait too long for our orders to get served, our every need was promptly attended to, and our special requests were gladly accommodated as well.

Our family had a perfectly pleasant dining experience in this restaurant, that's why I somehow got surprised when I find out about Herencia's negative reviews online.  Well, I guess we had a totally different and awesome experience because we happened to visit this place on a weekday during an off peak season, where there were obviously a few diners that need to be attended.  

Overall, I would say that I really had enjoyed my dining experience at Herencia.  The only major drawback that I can think of about this restaurant would be their rates because the cost of a meal here could be a bit steep.  Definitely not advisable for travelers who are on a tight budget.  But if you are the type who loves to experience something authentic, then I guess, this one's a must try.  I'm pretty sure that their food, atmosphere, and quality of service will definitely make the splurge worth it!

P.S.  Don't forget to drop by the number of stalls beside Herencia Restaurant to buy 'pasalubong.'  They have the best tasting chichacorn in the whole Ilocos region!  Not to mention the goods sold here are also cheaper compared to other shops.

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