Whenever I feel hungry and have little money to spare, there is one type of restaurant that I always look around for, it is the Tapsihan or some may call it Tapsilogan. Tapsihan is a kind of restaurant which specifically serves Tapsilog or “tapa, sinangag, and itlog”. Tapa is made of beef strips marinated in salt and mixed seasonings and best if fried or grilled. Sinangag or fried rice/garlic rice in English is rice sautéed in onion and garlic added with seasonings. Lastly, the egg which is usually cooked in a sunny side up method. Those three put together makes a very nice Tapsilog dish. We can find tapsihans wherever we go, from streets to villages to corporate areas. This is different from karinderya since tapsihans are offering specific meals which always includes garlic rice and egg. It is an all-time favorite breakfast of the Filipinos but nowadays, it is also served during lunch and dinner. Since Filipinos are known to be very innovative when it comes to food, they produce other food that can be matched with garlic rice and egg.
Daingsilog – daing, fried rice and fried egg
Adosilog – adobo, fried rice and fried egg
Bacsilog – bacon, fried rice and fried egg
Bangsilog – bangus (milkfish), fried rice and fried egg
Bisteksilog – beef steak, fried rice and fried egg
Dangsilog – danggit (rabbitfish), fried rice and fried egg
Vicsilog – vic (chinless hogfish), fried rice and hard-cooked egg yolks
Chosilog – chorizo, fried rice and fried egg
Chiksilog – fried chicken, fried rice and fried egg
Cornsilog – corned beef, fried rice and fried egg
Hotsilog – hotdog, fried rice and fried egg
Longsilog – longganisa, fried rice and fried egg
Litsilog – lechon, fried rice and fried egg
Masilog – Ma Ling Chinese luncheon meat, fried rice and fried egg
SPAMsilog – SPAM luncheon meat, fried rice and fried egg
Tosilog – tocino, fried rice and fried egg
These dishes are all fried as well to match fried rice and egg. In other Tapsihans, they put side dish like atchara or vegetable mix just to make it more balanced. Tapsihans are recognized all over the country not only in street restaurants but also by high end diners. Some of these are “Rufo’s Famous Tapa”, “Tapsi Boy”, “Kawit’s Hidden Tapsihan”, “GoodAh!”, “Max’s”, and “Tapa King”. Even fast food chains like “Jollibee”, “Mcdonalds”, “Greenwich” and “Chowking” include tapsilog in their breakfast menu.
There was this Chicago restaurant that was featured by ABS-CBN, it is called “Uncle Mike’s Place”. This restaurant serves different Tapsilog dishes to the locals especially to the Filipinos. The developing restaurant is owned by Chef Mike Grajewsk and her Filipina wife named Lucia who is the mastermind of their Filipino-ambiance type of restaurant. They also serve different Filipino favorite breakfast dishes aside from Tapsilog.
Filipino cuisines are really well presented even outside the country. It deserves to be preserved and passed on to the next generation.