Real Meat, Local Ingredients, and Zero Preservatives Make all the Difference in El Pago’s Homemade SausagesSeptember 9, 2018
In Manila we’re used to sausages of the commercialized, processed sort. Those are great in their own way (and we’ve surely had our fill), but proper sausages are another story: snappy in a more rustic manner, with the coarse and juicy goodness of real meat within. Upholding the craft despite the lure of shortcuts and preservatives is El Pago, an independently-run venture churning out sausages and other slow-cooked and smoked meats made from scratch, sans extenders.
El Pago goes for a short but sweet menu that highlights what they do best: their sausages. Beyond their wieners, owner Buck Pago works his magic on other meat dishes, including pulled pork, smoked pork belly, and more, also cooked the low and slow, all-natural way that translates to an incomparable depth of flavor. Available as part of a sandwich or with rice, it’s straightforward, carnivorous goodness, done well and at wallet-friendly prices (at under PHP 200 you get a great, filling meal).
Also worth commending is the attention they give to the details, with condiments and pickles that are made from scratch and which go great with any of their meaty plates. Here are a few must-tries:
El Pago offers six kinds of sausages—Classic Pork, Garlic, 3-Chili, Beef Kebab, BeefBaconCheese, and Chicken—all homemade, with fresh and local ingredients where possible (e.g., fresh herbs, Batangas grass-fed beef, and local chili peppers). Smoked and simply grilled, they’re packed with flavor, with the distinct consistency and bite you can only get with real meat. In particular, we dig the Beef Kebab, which comes well-spiced that you can enjoy it on its own, and becomes mighty explosive with a few drops of their homemade chili sauce.
If you’re into a more tender and homey meat fix, go for the pulled pork—a moist, meaty mix that comes at just the right side of sweet, with a subtle but notable smokiness. Burly and filling as the meat may be, it’s especially good chowed down on with their homemade pickles: crisp, crunchy slices that are more tart than sweet, refreshing the palate just enough to have you back for more bites.
Note: as of writing, El Pago is set to move to a new location. We will update the article as soon as we get hold of the details.
Purveyors of great homemade meats.