Gotong Batangas is a popular regional dish for it being unlike the goto known everywhere else in the archipelago. As a Manileno, goto to me is similar to porridge or congee with ox-tripe as the primary meat ingredient. My Gotong Batangas initiation took place a couple of years ago in one of the street-side gotohan on a highway of Lipa. Eating it for me is only for those who have acquired taste for it. It was a clear soup of mixed cow innards seasoned with salt and pepper. For me it was too bland taste-wise but very high in cholesterol. The innard’s natural fat begins to coat the mouth and throat as soon as it cools down – in Filipino, “madaling mag-sebo”. Batangenos usually eat it with plain rice.
Recalling this goto experience I had, I remembered that my girl, Jane initially planned to bring me, in according to her is the best gotohan in Lipa. Unfortunately it was already closed at 7:30pm when we got there.
Fast-forward to 2017, we were back in Lipa at an earlier time. It was before 7:00pm and Gotohan Sa Barangay was still open. Jane, who grew up in Tanauan, Batangas ordered the usual rice-less goto (it was actually “Goto Laman” [php.60] in their menu) as for me, I ordered their Goto Mien [also Php.60]. It was strips of ox-tripe and other meaty parts of beef stomach served on top of fresh flat miki noodles with a halved egg on a flavorful beefy broth sprinkled with fried garlic and green onions. It was piping-hot, delicious and comforting. Best of all, “walang sebo”!
After this experience, Jane’s recommendation was affirmed, Gotohan sa Barangay was indeed the best gotohan in Lipa. Thankfully we were able to arrive there in time since it is located somewhere in the middle of Lipa, far from the highway and passes through 15 to 20 minutes or so of traffic.
Gotohan Sa Barangay: Antipolo del Norte, Lipa City, Batangas