Breakfast at the Market

Breakfast at the Market

It has been a rainy week and a typhoon has left some areas un accessible due to severe flooding. A dark rainy morning we still decided and have some breakfast in one of the oldest food stall in our area. These food stalls are called carinderia some call it turo turo which means point out. A cheap and convenient way to get your fill and also a part of the Philippine culture. If you are not a picky eater grab a seat with me today as I take you out to eat.

Breakfast at the Market

This is Aling Ika’s carinderia located at our public market. The word aling is used before the name of a woman, normally older women as a sign of respect. The carinderia is a place popular for take outs in case you do not want to worry about what to cook for lunch. If you want to truly experience Philippine food culture the carinderia is the place to be. Here you could find a lot of authentic Philippine dishes.

As for this establishment this is the oldest according to my aunt. Although it is not the original location as renovations has been done to the market, it still has the same food and taste. This business has been operating since before World War 2 and is run by aling Ika’s daughter named Lolita who is in her 70’s now. The establishment has been featured in many television shows which made it more popular. Some people even travel from different locations to taste their food.


After shopping from the market place people line up to have a snack, buy lunch and even have breakfast here just like what we intended to do.

What is popular here are the rice cakes and noodles. A special treat called bibingkoy is the best seller and I could still remember how my grandma always takes home bibingkoy after a trip from the market.


Ground glutinous rice and filled with mongo beans. This is then roasted over coals and served with a special sauce, and I was told that the process in making it is still the same since the late 1920’s.

The local dishes are on display and there are a lot to choose from. They open around 7 am and most of the food on the menu are all gone after lunch time.

Fish, shrimp, pork, vegetables and there is always something for everyone.

As the carinderia is also known as turo turo which means to point out. Just point out the dish that you want and just let them know if it is for dine in or take out. As for me I wanted some fried rice and a popular dish here called Tortang Alimasag.


The tortang alimasag is a crab omelette mixed with vegetables like green peas and bell peppers. Making this omelette is a bit tedious which makes it a bit pricey. Imagine de shelling crabs and you would only get few meat from one crab. They are quite generous with the crab meat on the omelette. This small piece cost 50 pesos which is around $1.00 and it is not bad as every bite is very flavorful.


A bit similar to the fried rice that my aunt makes during new year called Arroz Valenciana. This fried rice cointains green peas, hotdogs and Chinese sausage. With the color I would say it has been cooked with annatto oil.


A popular noodle dish in our country made from thick rice noodles. Topped with toasted garlic, pork cracklings, cabbage and sliced eggs. The orange sauce has a shrimp flavor and the process of making it varies in different locations. Don’t forget to squeeze in calamansi which is our local lime. If you would be taking it out they would wrap it in banana leaves and newspaper in a triangular shape. It is how they have been preparing take out ever since.


Pancit means noodles and puso means heart. You might think this is a noodle made from heart but in fact the heart being referred to is banana blossom. Here we called them puso ng saging or heart of the banana as it somehow resembles a heart. The banana blossom is chopped up, mixed with vinegar and used as a souring ingredient for the noodles. As far as I know this noodle dish was invented in our city but could not find more details who invented it.


This is the sticky rice treat that I told you about earlier. The sauce is made up of cooked coconut milk mixed with jack fruit, and sago which is like tapioca.

Inside you would see the munggo or mung beans. The combination with the coconut milk is amazing that has a unique cultural flavor. You got to try this desert and I think it is something everyone would love.

Time to eat and every meal comes with a free soup. As for me it is important to have free soup in carinderias and it should be tasty. That is one factor that contributes to a complete carinderia experience.

My breakfast is the crab omelette and fried rice.

My wife ordered the noodles and you might ask why two. The pancit malabon she wanted to try and asked me to share it with her. Well I also love pancit malabon so might as well eat up.

Well enough talk for now time to eat our breakfast. The crab omelette was a bit small so I had to take small portions of it with my rice. But every small piece was very tasty, and you could taste the crab flavor in each spoonful with rice.

My wife started out with the pancit malabon and I ended up eating the pancit puso. I should have ordered take out of the pancit malabon as she said it was really good.

After a few minutes the result was a very satisfying breakfast on rainy morning. The cost of this breakfast for two is 170 pesos which is around $3.20. The place was not pretty nor the presentation, unlike in fancy restaurants where everything looks so good. But this is a part of our culture that adds color and makes our country unique. The culture, people, history all plays a part in our cuisine.

Thanks for joining us for breakfast and I hope you enjoyed the experience with us. Please do leave some comments and let me know what you think.

Are you willing to try and eat at the carinderia?

Hope to see you again and have a good evening or morning.


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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 and 12-32 mm