|Hardin sa Paraiso Grill & Restaurant|
The Hardin sa Paraiso Grill and Restaurant, along the national highway, is said to be one of the best places to eat in the town. Relatively unknown, they serve a tasty assortment of continental fare; from vegetables, steaks, grilled seafoods and native fare.
Where it not for its prominent steel gate and sign board, you wouldn't notice it as the land where the restaurant sits is a few meters below the main highway. Upon entering the gate, we went down a short flight of steps to a beautifully manicured garden.
The main dining area, ideal for large gatherings, birthdays and weddings, is made of bamboo, wood and concrete, with a roof of anahaw leaves and netting. We were not to dine here, however, as an al fresco gazebo was reserved for our small group. While meals are still being prepared, you can quench our thirst with iced tea from a 2-liter tall dispenser.
|Grilled relenong bangus|
|Pinakbet: an Ilocano favorite|
The delicious Filipino fare served include sizzling pork sisig (minus the raw egg) on a hot plate, grilled relenong boneless bangus (milkfish) stuffed with minced onions, garlic and tomatoes, the popular Ilocano dish pinakbet (vegetable stew) and sinigang na hipon (shrimps), all complemented with rice. Dessert includes crispy turon (caramelized wrapped banana) topped with caramel sauce and sesame seeds.
Aside from the gazebos or main dining hall, groups of four or less can cozily dine al fresco inside one of the restaurant's stylized nipa huts mounted on 7 ft. high stilts. Its great food, plus its beautiful garden setting, makes Hardin sa Paraiso Grill and Restaurant a perfect gustatory stop after a solemn visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag. May she no longer be a secret.
Hardin sa Paraiso Grill & Restaurant: Brgy. Lelemaan, Manaoag, Pangasinan. Tel: (075) 541-5375. Mobile numbers: (0917) 508-5710 and (0917) 844-3921. Open 9 AM-9:30 PM.