I’ve been living in Marikina since September 28, 1991, yet I only started truly discovering its gastronomic secrets in the last few years! And just recently, I found a place that has been around since 1968: Salud Panciteria! At first I thought “Salud” was the surname of the family who owns the business, but apparently, it is the first name of the woman behind Marikina’s original pancit pinagulong: Lola Salud. Her recipe has been passed down to her daughter and granddaughters, who now manage the homey panciteria, which actually offers a lot of other dishes aside from their well-known pancit.
Speaking of pancit, the first question that usually comes to mind is, “What is pinagulong?” I thought it refers to the noodle creation, but it’s actually how the noodles are cooked: in a rolling manner inside a huge frying pan. The noodles used are homemade every two days to ensure their freshness and quality. The only preservative used is salt, which makes Salud’s noodles much healthier than factory-made noodles that often use so many kinds of preservatives. Salud’s pancit pinagulong reminds me of the texture and chewy goodness of yakisoba noodles. Their pancit isn’t salty and has a unique flavor that I have not tasted from other kinds of pancit. It has shredded cabbage and is topped with crispy lechon kawali slices.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Salud is more than just a panciteria because diners can also feast on other mostly Filipino and Chinese-inspired dishes. For starters, they have chunky Hototay soup, which has meaty wonton balls, carrots, cabbage, and egg. The soup becomes creamier once the egg breaks, making this soup even yummier.
If you want to have a heftier egg-based dish, then go for the torta con hipon. They have other versions, but I love shrimp, so this one’s a winner. It has ground meat as well as a sauce that has the right amount of sweetness.
If the meaty toppings on the pancit pinagulong aren’t enough for you, you can get a separate order of their bagnet style lechon kawali! Each piece has a really crispy layer, while the inside is a good mix of crunchiness and softness. Since it’s like bagnet, the meat is a bit dry, but dipping it into their homemade sweet-sour sauce will fix that!
If you prefer chicken to pork, then you should definitely order Salud’s buttered fried chicken! Everything about this dish is a winner, from the vegetables to the actual chicken pieces, which are composed of only thigh and leg parts. Unlike the lechon kawali, the chicken’s crunch isn’t dry. One bite, and I knew my taste buds wanted to marry it even without any sauce! ^^ It’s easily the most beautiful dish as well.
Protein-rich dishes are best paired with rice, and Salud’s Panciteria has one of the best versions of Yang Chow fried rice I’ve ever tasted! The rice already has meat bits and vegetables, so it’s also a meal in itself! I especially enjoyed eating the buttered fried chicken with this. They’re a match made in gastronomic heaven! 😀
Salud’s Panciteria is located at 205A JP Rizal St. San Roque, Marikina. They are open at 9 am, but they can accommodate advance orders as early as 6 in the morning! They also accept private events, and you’ll surely find suitable group meals to satisfy different palates. 🙂 As for their famous pancit, you can order it in different bilao sizes from small (good for 5) to super extra large (good for 30).