Good eats in the sticks: “La Sofia”, Agoo, La Union

I’m a huge fan of good food and, unfortunately, especially when you’re out in the provinces anything aside from the usual roadside carinderia fare can be tough to come by. Alternatives tend to be expensive and lacking in quality. I was driving through southern La Union the other day when I heard whispers about a hidden gem nestled into Barangay San Antonio in the foothills of the Cordilieras. While the food offer is traditional Philippine fare it is of a standard that is second-to-none in my book.

One thing that really stands out about this particular eatery is that it not only has a courtyard with beautifully manicured gardens but there is also an indoor air-conditioned restaurant. I’ve been living in the country long enough now that I actually prefer sitting out in the but having a climate controlled option is great for visitors from less tropical climes.

The food is extremely well presented and it is also delicious. Add to this an extensive cocktail menu and live music on Friday nights and you’re in for a great time whenever you visit.

When it comes time to pay the bill you’re also likely to be pleasantly surprised. Our of five (very thirsty) had enough food and beer to sink a Spanish armada and the cheque came in at just under ₱1500. That included a big plate of ribs, some delicious Shanghai lumpia, fried rice, sweet and sour fish and a few appetizers.

The other really refreshing thing about this particular establishment is the lack of videoke. For many expats in the Philippines this is  a real pet peeve and one that you don’t have to suffer while dining at La Sofia. The drinks list is also extremely creative including, among other things, a bright blue margarita which was a hit with some members of our party.

So the next time you find yourself passing through Agoo, hang a right at the Basilica and head up to La Sofia in San Antonio. You won’t be disappointed.