It’s not easy to find a decent carinderia along the stretch of United Nations Avenue in Ermita—a busy area with a casino hotel, hospitals, schools, as well as office and government buildings.
But thanks to Diel’s Canteen, affordable and clean home-cooked meals are an option if you don’t want to eat at a fast-food or mid-priced restaurant. It has been around the area for about 10 years now and recently reopened in front of the Manila Western Police District station.
It offers popular Filipino dishes—chicken tinola, adobo, fried pork chop, Bicol express, sautéed beans and fried chicken, among others. What makes this carinderia interesting is that it doesn’t scrimp on servings and flavors.
Its usual customers are policemen, nurses and office workers who work nearby, but they also get people who travel a distance to get their hands on the restaurant's cheap food and big serving.
On this episode of Carinderia Crawl, aspiring filmmaker Stephen Lopez tries the chicken tinola of Diel’s canteen.
The chicken soup, cooked with onion and ginger as base, looks unimpressive but Lopez swears it stands out with its rich flavor and generous amount of ingredients.
"Judging by the taste of the chicken, this carinderia uses fresh ingredients,” says Lopez. “The chicken tastes good and also the chili leaves. I really enjoy the soup’s flavor because it's not watery.”
WHAT STEPHEN ATE: Chicken tinola, a cup of rice and soda for P63.
WHAT HE THINKS OF THE TINOLA: He likes the tinola's light broth which he can play with using the condiments like soy sauce and chili sauce. He also enjoys everything in the dish including the chili leaves and the soup.
WORDS OF WISDOM: "Pinili ko mag-shift ng career from nursing to filmmaking kasi ito talaga ang gusto ko. Ayaw ko na gumising everyday at sinasabi ko sa sarili ko na hindi ko gusto ang ginagawa ko.”
Diel’s Canteen, 950 United Nations Avenue, Ermita, Manila; Mon-Sat 6am-7pm.
This story first appeared on Coconuts Manila.
Watch more Carinderia Crawl videos:
Aysee in Pasig
Mang Tootz near UST
Juan's Budbod and Coffee near FEU
Bagneto in Teacher's Village