Every time I am a long drive to Sorsogon, I always make a point to drop by at Bigg’s Diner at Pili, Camarines Sur, either for lunch (if coming from Sorsogon) or for dinner (if coming from Manila). Pili is just 3 hours away up North of Sorsogon, or approx. 8 to 9 hours South from Manila.
Bigg’s Diner is along Maharlika Highway or, also known as, Philippine-Japanese Friendship Highway. It’s sits beside a big Caltex gas station, which is most of the time deserted. As far as I know, it has been standing there since the last 10 years or so. At one point, it tried to put up a branch at SM-Bicutan branch, but it failed to survive even for a year, AFAIK.
What I love about the place is its space and warm attitude of the crew, or perhaps, I am a sentimental Bicolano. And I simply miss talking in Bicol (Naga’s/Pili’s Bicol is the vernacular of the Catholic church), even though I am not exactly fluent. It tells me that I am home. Unsurprisingly, I would meet familiar Sorsoganons on their way to Manila or to Sorsogon as well.
The ambiance reminds me of a diner in Quezon Ave., which name I cannot remember – full of American memorabilia. In the doorway, there’s a big jukebox that must have dated back in the 50s or 60s or a modern one that looks old (you will never know nowadays).There are surfboards and skis mounted on the wall and some movie posters. The place offers a clean restroom, and there’s a specific area for washing hands.
I love to order their Korean Spar Ribs and Baby Back Ribs – both are tender and juicy. My kid also loves the spaghetti, and the choco cake. From time to time, I would order their Bicol Special that comes with a Pinangat (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk). The steamed rice quality is good enough that gives you the impression that they cooking expensive type.
The price gives you your bang for the buck, also it offers you an alternative to the familiar Jollibees or Greenwiches – plus the fact that the menu offers wide array of chocies. Try it!