PINAKBEST Bagnet, Chicharon and Empanada!

Rockwell UTT Winner #30
PINAKBEST Bagnet, Chicharon, Empanada

101 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
120 foodies rated 4- I love it! 
113 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
63 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
20 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.
 Rockwell's Ultimate Taste Test-147.jpg

Pinakbest is one of the most popular food vendors (and a personal favorite of mine) at Midnight Mercato. With their offerings of Bagnet, Ilocos Norte Empanada and Longganiza, they are doing a great job of promoting Ilocos Food. This is as close as you can get to authentic Bagnet and Ilocos Empanada in Manila!

At Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test, they had one of the longest lines. 🙂 I’m happy they met the cut-off rating of 3.5.  Congratulations to Pinakbest!

The Story of PINAKBEST

Bagnet — also known as Chicharon Yloco, is a famed pork preparation in Ilocos Norte. If buying bagnet, look for the “3-layered” ones. Bagnet is made from pork belly, the part where the juicy fat and sumptuous meat of the pork are concentrated. Cooking bagnet is a tedious process. First, they boil the meat with salt and pepper for at least 5 hours. Afterwards, it is deep fried under a controlled temperature. In eating bagnet, a special Ilocano sauce is also prepared to complete the flavors. KBL — an abbreviation of Kamatis (tomatoes), Bagoong (fish sauce) and Lasona (spring onions) — is often used as its dip.

Empanada — is Ilocos Norte’s version of tortilla. Made of crispy crust that is colored orange (naturally colored with atchuete), the inside is a mixture of egg, Ilocano longganiza, grated papaya and crushed monggo beans. Also fried, the empanada is best enjoyed with the native vinegar of the place, the Sukang Iloko (made from sugar cane juices and leaves of the samak plant).

Cornick – commonly known in Manila as Chichacorn, the best cornicks hail from the humble world heritage-listed town of Paoay. Using the finest corn cobs available, cornick is also deep fried and garnished with a generous amount of garlic and salt to taste. Several makers are also offering flavoured cornicks, which include barbeque, cheese, spicy, among others.

Longganiza – Ilocos Norte’s longganiza is different in a way that the flavors of garlic and Sukang Iloco are prominent. Unlike its neighboring counterparts that have sweet versions, Ilocos Norte’s longganiza is a definite stand-out! Best served with KBL too!

Bagnet (P500.00/kilo)Empanada regular size (P50.00/pc) and Chichacorn (150.00/pack)

Also available @ Mercato Centrale:
Bagnet Sandwich     P100.00
Bagnet rice with KBL     80.00
Bagnet fried rice           50.00
Ilocos Longganiza      300.00/kg

Foodies’ Comment Cloud

  • best of the day
  •  quality ingredients
  •  good crunch. a bit salty
  •  salty. sorry 🙁 really good generous portions
  •  tasty
  •  oily but good
  •  bagnet & sauce is awesome
  •  3 nice & crunchy
  • tried this at mercato last month, but this batch tastes even better!
  •  looks fabulous! a sensory experience!
  •  it’s delicious
  •  the sauce was too salty
  •  crispy pata & bagoong
  •  bagnet is crispy but not tough
  •  bagnet was raw 🙁
  •  sauce tastes & smells bad
  •  excellent
  •  love the empanada
  •  very good heavy
  •  yummy
  •  generous serving
  •  Eewy!
  •  supergood
  •  good
  •  liked the empanada better than the bagnet
  •  nice bagnet!
  •  bagnet is ordinary, empanada is matabang
  •  sarap ng bagnet!
  •  unique
  •  bagnet smells botcha! chicharon yummy!
  •  crunchy!
  •  sinfully delicious!
  •  very slow service. taste wise just ok
  •  ok
  •  black vinegar! 
  •  vigan in manila! <3 
  •  very good! yummy! best bagnet i tasted!
  • SARAP! love the empanada
  •  could have been generous with the vinegar-which ilocos is known for
  •  no empanada but good
  •   hand crafted filipino food at its best! 
  •  no empanada but good
  •   very courteous staff
  •   just something from ilocos
  •  ran out of bagnet empanada
  •  not enough servings. was notable NOT to taste any of the dishes
  •  only tasted the chicharon
  •  bagnet & empanada very good
  •  WINNER!
  •  a lil bit salty
  •  bagnet sauce was a bit overpowering
  •  nothing new
  •  sayang wala na empanada
  •  bagnet w bagoong enselada the best!
  •  KARNE! 
  •  crunchy great taste
  •  the best! so good!
  •  ubos na, kornik nalang!
  •  bagnet & chicharon ok but empanada is too orange, looks unhealthy!
  •  very much pinoy taste!
  •  parang normal chicharon
  •  sorry… i can feel the fat! 🙁 
  •  bagnet 🙂 sana suka yung sauce!
  •  don’t use bagoong isda for the bagnet…
  •  bagnet is awesome!
  •  nothing different… but it’s still DELICIOUS!
  •  usual cornik
  • good
  •  hefty serving, good taste
  •  good bagnet
  •  nice crispy textures. colorful.
  •  bagnet=AWESOME!
  •  worth the long line (empanada)
  •  yummy bagnet
  •  crispy bagnet
  •  mercato favorite!
  •  too oily!
  •  good bagnet
  •  hard work to make
  •  best offering i had today!
  •  love the bagnet!
  •  empanada lacks sauce
  •  they got different food samples. bagnet is ok, oily.
  •  sauce is too salty!
  •  too salty ung sauce
  •  good product. that’s why the line is very long
  •  nice but not a fan of bagoong
  •  salty
  •  authentic empanada
  •  masarap din
  •  matigas ang bagnet
  •  good tasting, bit salty
  •  panalo! crispiest bagnet ever!
  •  empanada is just like the one from vigan!!!
  •  too salty for me
  •  crunchy bagnet but salsa lacks flavor
  •  chicharon is perfectly popped
  •  empanada needs more filling+flavor
  •  excellent bagnet
  •  authentic
  •  tastes just fine
  •  good
  •  good
  •  empanada lacks longganisa
  •  like eating rock
  •  worth the line
  •  not the best bagnet i’ve tasted
  •  ang haba ng pila 🙁 
  •  made me miss ilocos
  •  deadly but yum! i love bagnet!
  •  bagnet is salty
  •  empanada was the best!
  •  didn’t care for chicharon
  •  love the empanada
  •  5 stars!
  •  better version of the commercialized
  •  bland empanada
  •  nothing close to the ilocos empanada & bagnet
  •  perfect! 🙂 
  •  the best!
  •  ilocos in 1 plate
  •  crunchy bagnet, empanada ran out
  •  liked the orange quesadilla type thing a lot. not so keen on fatty meat
  •  very generous serve! very high taste!
  •  nice presentation
  •  just don’t like the sauce on the bagnet, sana toyo & sili nalang
  •  super oily lang
  •  crunchy tasty
  •  bagnet is crispy & tender! empanada is ok
  •  the bagnet is not too oily
  •  salty, but otherwise good
  •  really good bagnet. emapanada could use more flavor
  •  I dunno why there’s a line
  •  Bagnet is overpowering
  •  ok lang nothing special
  •  the bagoong is itchy 🙁
  •  yummy bagnet & empanada
  •  great sampling! love the empanada 🙂 
  •  bagnet is salty
  •  bagnet was good!, empanada bland
  •  great bagnet, not the sauce
  •  bagnet sauce too salty
  •  empanada just right
  •  really good pinoy food; although empanada filling was bland
  •  takes too long to make
  •  very crispy chicharon
  • I love the bagnet!crunchy!
  •  YUM!
  •  salty…
  •  a bit too salty
  •  bagnet is really good without sauce
  •  nothing special
  •  i don’t like the empanada
  •  no more empanada but the bagnet is good
  • Best ang balat!
  •  too oily
  •  empanada should be more garlicky
  •  bland empanada
  •  sauce?
  •  kinda greasy
  •  bagnet is best
  •  good food. bad service
  •  worth the wait
  •  bagnet is terrific
  •  too salty
  •  nice and crispy food
  •  sauce was really salty
  •  chicharon, bagnet,empanada really good
  •  more longganisa
  •  great crunch! more meat!
  •  o bejave!
  •  almost like being in ilocos
  •  ordinary
  •  not that authentic
  •  good. Except for the fish bagoong
  •  delicious!
  •  nice preps and presentation
  •  simply da best!
  •  OK Great!
  •  Salty
  •  only liked empanada


Live an Awesome Life,

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P.S. Each UTT winner will receive:

  • a Rockwell UTT Winner Certificate;
  • a winner feature in Our Awesome Planet; and
  • a guaranteed spot in any of the Mercato Centrale markets. 🙂

P.P.S. The next Ultimate Taste Test event will be held in mid-November.

    Related OAP Blog Posts:
    OAP | The Ultimate Food Trip happens in Rockwell on September 3
    OAP | The Foodies’ Guide to Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test
    OAP | My Cheers Moments @ Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test

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