One of the challenges of any good midwestern when traveling is finding good solid barbecue. This problem exist for us while in Cebu City like like about anywhere else.
As a person who has deep love for Kansas City barbecue, my standards are pretty high and to be honest, the standards for good barbecue are much lower in the Philippines. I wondered in Cebu would fare any better.
I have just come from Bacolod trying to find their best barbecue and some of it was decent (some of it was not) and after a long bus ride to San Carlos, a ferry trip to Toledo and another bus ride to Cebu City, I was there just a few hundred meters from where the locals claims there is solid barbecue.
Did I find solid Filipino barbecue?
Well, as you can see in the video, I did not. I did find some great chicken at Andok’s in Cebu City, however.
I did really enjoy running around the Colon Street area and looking for the Filipino barbecue. It was an adventure and it was worth the time that I invested. Sometimes, our travel failures are just as fun as our successes.
One of the things that is fun about these types of missions is the people you will meet. When you are on the street looking for street barbecue, you will run shoulders with your common working class locals and you will get to hear their stories of success (and struggle). This is something that makes traveling the world even funnier than we normally realize.
If you are in Cebu City and you want good solid barbecue, you might be sadly disappointed but as I said, Andok’s chicken is a great solution. They do have some pretty tasty food but it is not any Kansas City barbecue by a mile!
Why does Filipino barbecue lack?
The answer is really a few things. The first thing is the meat. You can only make bad meat taste so good. The pork in the Philippines is decent but the beef in the country is downright horrible. Chicken can be all over the place when it comes to quality.
The next issue that I see is the sauce. They just do not take pride in how the sauce is made and I think all the shall get it from the same supplier. It seems to be closer to the sauce used for their popular dish, Abode than it is for world class barbecue platters.
The other issue I see is how they cook the meat. They do not use smokers and they do not use wood. The best taste comes from slow cooking the meat inside of a smoker used hard woods. In America, it is preferred to use hickory but other hard woods could be used. The Filipino barbecue tends to use coal for heat.
Now, off to Bohol Island to see if their barbecue is any better.