Original blog entry from my other food blog: July 7, 2018

When you try to ponder on the name of this restaurant, "Buddy's", perhaps you will think of the colloquial term of "besties" or that dear close friend of yours you love to tag on your activities, but actually it's the nickname of the founder of this restaurant. Salvador "Buddy" Veluz.

According to its brief history, Buddy's started in Lucban, Quezon province, the hometown of the founder. And initially founded as a burger house. It evolved into a pizza house before opening its door to authentic Filipino dishes. Now, Buddy's restaurant is known for its tasty pancit lucban and longganisang lucban. Its branches in Metro Manila, in fact, go by the name of Buddy's Pancit Lucban and Longganisang Lucban.

Festive interior design of Buddy's

Thoroughly Filipino in dining concept and business philosophy, Buddy's slogan "Dito parang Fiesta" (Here, feels like always a feast day) reflects the timeless Philippine regional tradition of organizing fiesta celebrations. In fact, the atmosphere of the restaurant demonstrates this statement through its vibrant hues and celebration frills, intensified with gaiety musical effects that will give you a surefire "last song syndrome".

Buddy's dining style is closer to being a fast food junction rather than a typical restaurant in the correct sense. Diners take on a queue to place orders rather than wait for waiters to come to the table and hand down a menu book. But in great contrast to the choices of food in a fast food chain, at Buddy's, food options are way better tastier and free from the genetically modified organisms, rampant in the fast food chain's menu.

At Buddy's, the innate Filipino culture is apparent. Both in recipes and concepts. Its dishes are mostly part of authentic Filipino cuisine - pancit, lumpia, longganisa, chicken and pork barbeque, sauteed vegetables, sinigang, sisig, and longganisa. But the menu offers some variations, blending popular western potions like pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and some coolers.

Pancit is the signature dish

Had a chance to dine at Buddy's this morning during lunch break with my colleagues. Its Eastwood branch is just across from our workplace. When I saw the interior frills, initially, I thought the place is part of the Barrio Fiesta group owned by actress, Heart Evangelista's family. The embellishment is washed off with brilliant fiesta frills and the food selections are quite similar to Barrio Fiesta's. However, the restaurant's name suggests otherwise.

I rarely stepped into a restaurant that offers authentic Filipino dishes (not because I am so unpatriotic but because I want to have some variations in my meals. Been eating Filipino food all my life) and non-oriental cuisine so this is a new leap of my dining preference, which is always Japanese.

Pancit lucban

The trouble with experimenting other dining style is deciding what to eat or which fare selections suit my very oriental palate. Though most of Buddy's fares are Filipino household names, I still had a hard time deciding which one worth the try. I originally wanted to choose the combo set meal but it has pork so I changed my mind.

Mikko suggested the pancit lucban, Buddy's signature recipe. But I was clueless how it differs from the simple pancit recipe. I have not tried it in my life. Or how it compares to other regional pancit concoctions like the stir-fried bihon or the chinese-styled canton. I remember asking Mikko how it tastes since it was his repeat visit. Could not recall his exact explanation though but I remember him telling me this type of pancit is a little soggy or moist, in contrast to the usual stir-fried recipes. So I was convinced it was worth the try.

Apart from pancit lucban, our group ordered pancit bihon, the combo set meals, hawaiian pizza and halo-halo. It has generous servings, except for halo-halo and combo meals, the rest of the items in our table are good for sharing.

And here's the catch, though I am not fond of pancit, I have a good impression anyway with pancit lucban. Savory and flavorful, this pancit fusion is a step higher than most of its pancit counterparts in the Philippines. The spices and seasoning coated the noodles' soggy texture evenly, releasing a succulent tang.

Buddy's started as a pizza house in the Quezon province. And over the years, they have perfected this specialty with concoctions that please a typical Filipino palate. And this was evident in their version of the Hawaiian pizza. I am not a pizza lover because I hate the crust and the pungent smell of pizza sauce. But the Hawaiian pizza of Buddy's is a total exemption. Decadent and cheesy, I could feel the sumptuous tad in every bite. I like creamy and cheesy food and the potion of cheese and scrumptious sauce of this pizza selection without any piquant overtones bagged my subtle palate.

But what really impressed me the most is Buddy's splendid interior. Very elegant and cozy, it reflects a romantic atmosphere of a chic home architecture with a stunning backdrop of all things gorgeous that dazzles to the senses. Indeed, Buddy's place is so instagram-worthy, if you're a selfie junkie.

Its vibrant embellishment demonstrates a cheerful environment. Feels like you are dining in a Romanesque cafe somewhere. Well, this is Eastwood after all, restaurant owners are doing everything to please diners in order to cope up with a stiff competition. But kudos to the interior designer of Buddy's restaurant for raising the bar of elegance through stunning frills that set the mode of a relaxing dining experience. It also integrates Filipino culture touches on its polished wood tables and benches.

Overall, this restaurant in Eastwood offers the best value of money. Selections are very affordable and the food quality is way better compared to a typical food chain. The concept of Filipino dining is evident - a la fiesta mode, so to speak. This is also a terrific place to hang out with friends and family over lunch or dinner because of its generous servings.

With maximum spending of just Php150.00, you can already have a complete full meal. The signature dish, pancit lucban, which is already good for 4 persons, is only Php210.00. Plus the place is instagram fodder! 😅 Classy interior at its finest.

I will rate the pancit lucban recipe with 8/10 and the overall place with 9/10. Definitely, a highly recommended place if you are looking for a cozy restaurant to feast on sumptuous Filipino food and keep hunger at bay. Buddy's Pancit Lucban is located along city walk 1 of Eastwood City, Libis just beside Wendy's.