Most of my great food adventures and travel experiences were things I stumbled upon while searching for another. They’re like bonus dishes offered to me while savoring the main course and I said, “Alright, I’ll eat this a little later. Hold on!”
Sagat Crust Food House is a similar encounter. It is located along National Highway of Amlang, Sto. Rosario La Union. Luckily, the spot is along the road and can easily accommodate travelers who need a quick stop for food or rest (or both!) whether you are destined to La Union or somewhere farther like Baguio or Ilocos. But it can also be easily missed by unexpecting passersby. Marked by this small signage, the place is unassuming and looks like a regular home, which, to me, is what makes it even more beautiful.
Sagat means wood in the Ilocano dialect. Your eyes get automatically drawn to the house like a magnet does. You can’t refuse it. Chef and Owner, Noel Oribello, bought this house in February of 2013. It was disassembled from its original location in the same year then transferred to Amlang, Rosario La Union to be reassembled and a restaurant in mind.
The menu expanded to a longer list including their signature ulam-themed crust kita pizza Chicken Asado and Pork Asado. Chef Noel liked the idea of putting together two different dishes together. His exact words were Bakit hindi sila pagsamahin? (Why not put them together?)
Other meals to choose from are on this menu board.
Chef Noel personally manages the day to day operations with his very small staff. On my second visit, I brought along friends for breakfast on our way to Ilocos. I had to send him our order list as early as the night before so food can be ready by the time we arrive. When we got there, we found Chef Noel preparing the food all by himself. His staff started arriving a few minutes before their opening time. This just shows his commitment to his restaurant and his customers. Not only that, he also actually sleeps at the house. Judging by the way he described the house to me, I’d say he takes pride in the fact that it is actually much older than him and that there is a rich history that goes with it. Looks like his own is to unfold with it, too.
Inside the house are pieces that contribute to the theme of the place.
As you take that road trip up north for a much needed time away from the busyness of the city, keep in mind that visiting this place can set the mood for that goal. More importantly, you not only get the experience and the food, you also help a fellow Filipino advance his business venture and share his home and food.
Thanks, Chef Noel, for letting us meet you and for the warm welcome. See you soon!
SAGAT CRUST FOOD HOUSE is located in National Highway, Amlang, Rosario, La Union.
You may contact Chef Noel at +63919-528-53-08. You may also visit their page from this link. They open at at 7AM and close at 6PM.
Dates of trip: March 22 and 24, 2017
Photos are owned by the author unless otherwise stated.