Katrina Kaufman, Coconuts TV producer, visits Manila for an episode of "Freaky Feasts." She finds herself at the campus grounds of the University of the Philippines in Diliman to check out the iconic Mang Larry's Isawan cart, which sells pig's and chicken's organs cooked on a charcoal grill.
You don't attend UP or nearby Ateneo, Miriam or PSBA without every trying the food here. Located in an empty parking lot near the UP's College of Law building, it can get busy at night, with diners lining up for at least 15 minutes to place their orders.
"Before us we have an assortment of the grilled organs and they don't look like anything I've ever eaten," Katrina says cautiously. "On a scale of one to 10, 10 being the worst, I would rate this an eight, in terms of grossing me out."
Katrina, a self-described "white girl from LA," tries five varieties, and here are her tasting notes:
Isol (chicken's ass). "Yum...the chicken itself is a little cartillage-y, the flavor's not bad at all, it tastes like a stronger version of chicken and the sauce definitely helps to mask it a little bit."
Atay (pork's liver). "Very tough and meaty...there's a strong meaty flavor to it, I'm a little worried about throwing up after this."
Isaw (chicken's intestine). "This is a beautiful chicken's instestine... it looks grosser than it tastes."
Walkman/tenga (pig's ear). "Poor little piggy, we're eating all its parts. I think this is the last time I'm ever going to eat pork again." (She spits it out.) "Okay, that one really grossed me out."
Balunbalunan (chicken gizzard). "It looks nice and char-grilled, I'm hoping that it won't nearly be as bad as it sounds...ugh, it's really fatty."
Her verdict? "At the end of this lovely meal, I say it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. And I would honestly recommend coming to Mang Larry's and giving this a try."
Mang Larry's Isawan is located at Ma. Guerrero St (near corner of Magsaysay Avenue), UP Diliman campus, Quezon City; Mon-Sat 10am-9:30pm.