Food Review: Pongko Pongko (Visayas)

Pongko Pongko is actually not a food but a kind of eatery, one that is setup just about anywhere especially on sidewalks where you sit on stools and dine at low tables. And yeah, the Visayan region is the one who most probably started it.

Why do we say so? Because of the ‘hanging rice’, or puso in the vernacular. Thus with puso being a Visayan creation, it’s the Visayans who sort of came up with ‘pongko pongko’. Makes sense.

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Eating at sidewalks is sometimes like a picnic
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Puso, or 'hanging rice'

See, puso is very convenient to bring just about anywhere you go and so, you could also have your meal just about anywhere you want to. Hehe.

And since it’s ‘just about anywhere’ then those who are in this kind of business normally serves ‘fried food’ to go along with the puso. Yep, from different cuts of chicken to thin slices of pork; to barbeque to hotdogs and lumpia, and even to fried eggs and meat loaves.

Hey, they’re even much, much more affordable than the ‘Chicken Joy’ — without really much difference in taste except for the sauces! Seriously!

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Some of the fried food that goes well with 'puso'

Chicken Joy uses gravy while the ‘pongko pongko’ fried chicken generally uses a mixture of: vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and chili. Now obviously, because of it’s affordability — and ‘addicting’ blend, what with also the cold soda giving that extra kick — the ‘pongko pongko’ market has seen a huge surge!

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Even saucers or little bowls for sauces are wrapped in cellophanes

Still, if ever there’s a negative side to this kind of eatery — it’s not really ’em dishwashing issues. Ey, plates are wrapped in cellophanes! Same goes with spoons and forks, I mean, they’re not used here; instead, you use your hands to eat — which is also covered with cellophane, of course!

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Notice the cooking oil? It's already dark!

So first, negativity here could be the ‘use of cooking oil’ as they use such until it’s real dark already. That’ll be unhealthy. But so is gravy and the saturated oil in Chicken Joy! Second would be the question of food ‘cleanliness’. You know, you’re eating at sidewalks — where air pollution abound! Smoke. Dust. And what have you.

Then again, how many actually got sick?? Hardly anyone. Unless there was something else that was cooked. There you go!

Till next time.. Enjoy!

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