As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

Drive In & Road-side Food

It’s Sunday again, another food day on Daily Dose of Art. After a whole week of posts on Vehicools – I bring you Drive-in and Road-side Food. Without a doubt, every road adventure carries a lot of food memories with it. I have asked my husband to share his childhood experience in Canada with drive-in food so I can parallel it with my road-side food experience growing up in the Philippines.

CARCAR Roadside Food
Anybody who has been around Cebu, will know of the town of Carcar. How fitting- we talk about cars and roadside food and I make special mention of a place whose name has a ‘car’ in it, and not just one but two, hahahaha. Growing up in Cebu, we frequently went on a road trip to the Southern part of the island. Carcar is like a gateway to the South. It is the one last stop to get food provisions before you drive into the remote Southern towns that may not have much food variety to offer to the tourist or adventurer. Any car who drives by or stops for gas in Carcar will hear the street food vendors “Pao, pao, ampao.. I used to joke about this because my nickname is Pau/Pao.. and I used to say I could really run for office in this town because everybody here knows me by name.
Carcar Town Roadside Food
Ampao, Bukhayo, Chicharon, Banana chips
Carcar, Cebu, Philippines

Here are the unique roadside offerings in Carcar, all local, homemade sweet delicacies:
Ampao– sweet crispy rice
Bukarilyo– colorful, sweetened dried coconut
(from the Spanish word “bocadillo” which means ‘a snack, bite to eat)
Chicharon – pork rind (the most famous brand in Carcar is MATMAT)
Banana Chips – different from what Western people are familiar with, these are longer strips of  fried banana

It is hard to resist these sweet roadside food offerings in Carcar. And Cebuanos are fond of buying more than they can chew, because it is always nice to bring something back to family and friends.

Now I bring you my husband’s side of today’s post. But first, let me give you a little background on A & W, and how it came to be Canada’s first and most memorable Drive-In.

A & W
Info Source

In 1956, the first A&W drive-in restaurant in Canada opened on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg. Serving a delicious combination of great-tasting burgers, onion rings and frosted mugs of famous A&W Root Beer®—all from the smiling faces of friendly car hops—A&W proved to be an instant hit. A&W Restaurants quickly multiplied across the nation, flourishing through the late ’50s and ’60s.
A & W Drive- In
Orange,California 1960s
Photo Source
In many communities, A&W was the first nationally branded restaurant in town. Because we were there first, our drive-ins served as “the place to be” in town. In fact, millions of Canadians today still carry vivid memories of special moments in their lives that took place at their local A&W drive-in. Whether they were kids in the back seat of the family sedan, or just hanging out with their best friends on a Friday night checking out the hot cars. 

Here below is what my husband has to say about his drive-in food experience at A & W…

“When we were young kids our parents would take us out for a treat to a drive-in restaurant. We had a drive-in A&W in our town which did not provide any indoor restaurant seating. You could eat at one of a few picnic tables available, but more likely you ordered from and ate in your car. I remember the sense of anticipation as we pulled up to the restaurant because A&W had the best root beer and good hamburgers too. The server would come to your car to take your order and return with a special food tray that clipped on to the window. From there Dad would pass out everyone’s order and the feast would begin. I was always amazed that the car window could support such a heavy tray of food, it seemed to defy gravity. When the economy tanked in the 80’s it closed down and remained closed for many many years. Eventually A&W reopened in the same location but the two rows of families in cars was replaced with the more common restaurant with indoor seating. The root beer was still delicious and served in chilled mug but the experience was not quite the same, it had lost a bit of novelty.”

Check out this feature on “10 Foods to Buy By the Side of the Road” on HowStuffWorks

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This entry was posted on June 9, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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