It's Thursday, which means it is time for another installment of "Turo-Turo" (point-point) Thursday. In these posts, I'm checking out these little mom-and-pop shops serving what I call "Filipino soul food". You can almost always count on generous portions, and most of the dishes served will without a doubt stick to your ribs. Taking a different approach, I'm just trying out places outside the National City-Chula Vista area. And Betchay's in Rancho Penasquitos is about as far away from there as you can imagine. Located in the huge shopping complex off Black Mountain Road, Betchay's can be kind of difficult to find.
Whenever I visit, I always chuckle. One of the signs for Betchay's overlaps the front of the pet store next door. I'm sure this must cause some customers(and employess) a bit of consternation????
Still, the folks here, are very, very, nice. One young man in particular, is so friendly, polite, and helpful, that I just think he's amazing. In fact, he always asks me if I want some Sinigang with my plates, something that is a request item at most turo-turo joints.
If you asked me if free Sinigang tastes better, I'd say yes without hesitation!
So here's a summary of a couple of items I've had over the last couple months (years?).
There's no way I'd pass up Sisig at anywhere if I hadn't sampled it before. And Betchay's is no exception. In fact fellow pork lovers, I've just created a category for Sisig, for your heart-stopping, artery clogging, enjoyment.
The version here has a good texture, the lechon kawale is still crisp, and it's not drowned in "juice". It does a lack the nice sour punch, and for my tastes is a bit low on the heat scale. It is decent overall.
The Pork Adobo.....
The texture was good, the meat tender. It had enough salt, but was lacking in all the other categories. It was also super oily, and not in the "fei ur bu ni"(rich without greasy way). If you're a frequent reader of my posts, I don't think I'm a shrinking violet when it comes to oil, but man this was just too much........
There are also Chicken Wings, 3 pieces for $2.25:
This should probably not sit under a heat lamp, as they were soggy and greasy. Also short on the flavor scale as well.
On one of my visits I got my combo-plate with pancit instead of rice, and enjoyed it. More "al dente" than most places, and mostly just noodles, but served as a starch, it does just fine.
As you notice above, I ordered Tocino. And on this day, the Tocino was excellent. Tocino originally is a cured pork dish, so it should be a bit chewy. This version had the perfect amount of chew for me. It was not overly dry, and had a perfect ratio of salty to sweet for my taste.
If you've been to Betchay's, you know that I've only scratched the surface. With the nice service I've had, it's really easy to like the place. On one visit, which was in the morning, I was filling up my soda, when one of the young ladies in the back, leaned out the service window. Not knowing I was there, she started singing in a very sweet voice. When she saw me, she immediately stopped, and gave me an embarassed look. I turned, and gave her a thumbs up, and she gave me the brightest smile.
Betchay's Pancit Lumpia & Grill
13223 Black Mountain Rd
San Diego, CA 92129