Payag Jo's Chicken Inato in Bohol

For hungry tourists, the smell of fresh grilled chicken is enough to make mouths water. If you happen to be walking around the streets of Tagbilaran with a grumbling tummy, follow your nose and drop by Payag Jos Chicken Inato.

Upon arriving at Payag Jos, you will immediately be greeted by the wooden sculpture of the fat chef holding up the house specialty (unfortunately the board was freshly wiped when I ate there). While the interior is a bit dark (reminiscent of old Filipino colonial houses, complete with the Capiz windows), its still friendly. You can move up to the second floor where its generally less busy, as well as somewhat cooler and brighter. The homely atmosphere is enhanced more by the heavy wood chairs and tables, as opposed to the monoblocks that same-price restaurants usually have.

For less than 100 pesos, you can have a complete food fare in this restaurant. At about 70 pesos, you can have a quarter chicken on a monstrous stick, char-grilled to perfection with a siding of atchara. The order might take a while to arrive but the wait will be worth it, as its hot off the grill. With your order comes a small container where you can make your dipping sauce concoction (I prefer a mixture of calamansi, soy sauce, pepper and crushed fresh chili, yum!). For an additional 15 pesos you can have your softdrinks (or you may opt to order fresh buko instead), and for another 15 pesos, you can have a cup of dessert (the buko pandan was great, reminded me of how my grandma used to make it). Other notable yummies to order is the pancit macao and the buko salad.

Jos Chicken Inato is originally from Dumaguete, and I guess it was so good that it had to branch out in other islands (theres even a branch in Quezon City in Manila). If you find that you suddenly crave the inato chicken and youre in another place, dont despair, chances are there might be one near where you are: Jos also has branches in Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan, Roxas, Tagbilaran, Bacolod, General Santos and Butuan.

Payag Jos is easy to find at CP Garcia East cor. Matig-a Street in Tagbilaran City. It is a short distance away from Meridian hotel which is also located along Matig-a street. Tricycle drivers should be familiar with this place, so if coming from somewhere else, just hail a cab and say Jos or Chicken Inato. If youre walking, it's 2 blocks from Caltex gas station opposite Rizal Park located on the right.