Amazing Filipino Street Food That You Must Try: Beef Pares Soup No.5
The Philippines has a lot of amazing street food that tourists must try. These street foods are not heavily marketed but locals love it. One great example is the beef pares in the streets of Metro Manila. Every time I go to Manila, I make sure that I will have a beef pares for breakfast and you should too.
Falling in Love with Beef Pares
A couple of decades ago, I worked in Makati and my days usually start very early that I rarely ate breakfast at home. I lived in Quezon City and it pays to travel early. I go out of the house before 7 am and I typically arrived in the office before 8 am. The first thing I do after timing in would be to look for something to eat.
The options were plenty already back then but I always get drawn to the food cart that sells beef stew early in the morning. Who would not want some hot stew early in the morning? It was not only the stew but the fried rice and the options you can do with it. Another great thing about it is that it was cheap. For 30 pesos, I could already get a filling meal back then.
Beef Pares is a beef stew with the beef cut in small pieces. You can have the option of having sinangag or garlic rice with it or you can have it as a mami or noodle soup. You could have with noodles and order rice as well. Normally I do that because the mami version was cheaper by 5 pesos. One of the best things about these stalls is that they are not greedy with their sauces like their chili sauce, kalamansi extract, patis (fish sauce), soy sauce and vinegar. You can season your stew any way you liked it.
When I moved back to Cebu, I just could not find something like it. Yes, we also have delicious stews like balbacua and lansiao but it is not usually served early in the morning. I truly missed my filling Beef Pares breakfast.
Eating it in Makati
A month ago, I got a sponsored trip by GrabFood to Manila to watch Wanderland 2019. We stayed in the beautiful I'm Hotel and breakfast there was awesome. Since we were in the Poblacion area, I planned to explore and see what Poblacion has to offer but because Wanderland was held in Alabang we normally go home past midnight. I was not able to do my planned Poblacion food crawl save for eating at El Chupacabra.
On our last day, I decided to wake up early and explore. I first went to St. Peter and Paul Parish to hear mass then I went looking for a place to eat. I was really hoping to find a beef pares stall. I cannot seem to find one on the side streets of Makati Avenue until I saw one in Polaris Street.
Lo and behold, there it was and it was crowded already. It was around 7:30 AM. I checked what they had. I saw these plastics floating on the stew and I asked the owner about it. He said it was Soup No. 5 and brains. The appeal of having bull's testicles early on a Monday morning just excited me. I decided to get one. It was so good that I ordered an extra serving of rice and if I would not be eating a second breakfast at the hotel, I would have ordered more. I think I spend only 60 pesos there. That is just around $1.20
Why you should eat Beef Pares?
No.1 it is delicious. Seriously, it is in my Top 3 street foods ever. Street food is popular all around the world and it is usually eaten at night. This is served in the morning. It has really tender meat and if you love offal, they can give you so many options. The rice and the sauces complete the experience.
The second consideration is the price. It is really cheap and a way better alternative to having fast food for breakfast. Lastly, I want you to try it because it is one of the best ways to have breakfast. The warm stew warms your body and soul. The rice will power you through the busy day. Eating it with the locals will just give you a feel on how varied the tastes of Filipinos with the way they season their stew. Put some kalamansi on your stew and taste how it creates magic in your palate.
How I wish there was a Beef Pares stall in Cebu but I really do not mind because the absence gives me a good reason to visit Metro Manila at least once a year.
For a list of awesome Street Food to try in Cebu, check this article out: https://www.kalamicebu.com/2018/01/local-food-cebu.html.