If you live in Makati and you’ve never heard of Lugawan sa Tejeros yet, then I suggest you watch Erwan Heussaff’s “Lugaw Crawl” video on YouTube that now has over 400,000 views. The video shows Erwan exploring the places in Makati and Mandaluyong where you can eat lugaw, goto, congee, or arroz caldo. He tells you not only how these four are different from one another but also where the best goto/lugaw recipe is served.
The celebrity chef compared not only the tastes but also the prices of the goto recipes he tried. He first went to a gotohan right in Makati that sells a bowl of lugaw for as low as Php15! He then chanced upon another place selling goto for Php95. Further, he entered some fancy restaurant where he ate a goto spinoff priced at a whopping Php790!
The prices were from both extremes – as well as in between the extremes. Still, his verdict as to which recipe was the best went in favor of that which served the Php15 lugaw. And guess what? It was Lugawan sa Tejeros.
The celebrity chef’s video was what made me want to check out Lugawan sa Tejeros. And so one night, I went there, ordered their bestseller, and enjoyed the taste so much. But I swore I won’t eat there again! Why? Here are my reasons:
1| The “Grand Sale Scenario”
Like Glorietta during Greenlight Sale seasons, Lugawan sa Tejeros is always crowded as though there’s a grand sale happening.
I passed by the lugawan countless times already, but I’ve never seen it devoid of customers, except for that time when it was undergoing renovation. During the nights when I went there to buy goto, I had to compete with about 20 other hungry customers wanting to be served next.
I admit there was one time I backed off and just went to another gotohan where I could immediately get served. But that decision only made me tell myself after eating that I should’ve just waited for my turn at Lugawan sa Tejeros. I must say no other goto beats theirs in terms of both taste and price, at least with respect to my own “lugaw crawl” in Makati.
The thing is, when it comes to how easily you can squeeze yourself in to get a bowl of the rice recipe, the Lugawan is a pushover. So perhaps it will just be a matter of how madiskarte you are in making yourself noticeable to the goto servers.
What I can advise is you be loud when saying what your order is. But don’t forget to be as kind and polite-sounding as a friendly customer can be, no matter how hungry you are. When you are caught in the middle of the “grand sale scenario,” be patient and don’t elbow your fellow customers. If you can’t keep your cool among the crowd of waiting buyers, then you don’t deserve a hot bowl of the Lugawan’s goto.
2| The Pressure Is on
To be fair, I like eating even just the plain goto, more so the so-called G4 Combo – goto with lechon kawali and egg. Best of all, you won’t have to spend over Php100 just so you can have that order plus 3 pieces of lumpiang toge!
The problem is, eating there would mean enduring the pressure of finishing your bowl. Seconds after taking your first few spoonsful of the rice recipe, you will notice at least one customer preying on your spot and praying you leave soon so that he can have his turn to eat. Don’t worry, though, as this cycle goes on; you are sure you will be avenged.
The pressure is on while you finish your bowl, but the pleasure is on as well. No matter how fast you savor your order, you will delight in the taste, except perhaps when your tongue gets burned by the goto. So if you don’t live that far from the Lugawan, and you want to feel just pleasure and no pressure at all while eating, order goto to go (plus lumpiang toge with suka please!) and eat at home. If your sibling asks for some food, share the lumpia, and have the goto all for yourself.
3| Never a Place for Talking While Eating
If you are with someone and you two want to eat good goto and talk about love or life for as long as you want, Lugawan sa Tejeros is not the place. Go home, study hard, and get a high-paying job so that you can go to a fancy restaurant where Erwan ate congee, or “pinasosyal na goto” according to others, costing over Php790. If not, be wise. Do what I always do – order goto but don’t eat at the Lugawan. Have it to go and eat it instead at home or someplace where you two can exchange spoons and, of course, love
Remember: Lugawan sa Tejeros is not an ideal dating venue, although the goto combos there are a good way to please your special someone.
Overall, I personally do not like the idea of eating at the Lugawan. But please don’t get me wrong. I love their famous goto! It’s just that I prefer to not eat it right there but rather at my place of residence. So like others, I order at the Lugawan, take the food home to break away from the “grand sale scenario” and the pressure, and then sit on my couch to comfortably enjoy my bowl of Lugawan sa Tejeros’ G4 plus lumpiang toge dipped in suka.
Lugawan sa Tejeros, 1066 Chino Roces Ave, Bgy Tejeros, Makati City
What do you think of Lugawan sa Tejeros? Share your thoughts by commenting below.