Hamming it up in CDO

SLERS Beef Pastrami Sandwich and Tsokolate
SLERS Beef Pastrami Sandwich and Tsokolate

Mention Cagayan de Oro and on top of the list associated with this City of Golden Smiles is its famous ham.  And when it comes to hams, the overwhelming favorite among the locals is SLERS Jamon Cagayan de Oro, which has been around since 1969.  What makes their ham different is the natural juiciness and tenderness of the meat.  This is due in large part to the fact that the swine from which they are made were fed with pineapple, a fruit laden with the enzyme papain, which has natural tenderizing properties. Over the years, SLERS hams have become a part of tradition among CDO locals as well as guests all-year round and especially during Christmas-time.   SLERS have also ventured into the quick-service restaurant and more recently, the café business.

We chanced upon the newly-opened SLERS Ham & Café while looking for somewhere to eat for lunch on our way back to Manila.  The small but charming café is warm and inviting, with a wall decked with goodies ready to tempt the diner.

Special Chicharon (Php 110/ 180g)
Special Chicharon (Php 110/180g)

The chicharon

Ironwulf said: The country style exteriors of the café caught my eye when we were driving down Don A. Velez road. We decided to try it out and ordered some of the cafe’s signature sandwiches. While we waited for the orders, we feasted on their Fiery Hot and Special Chicharon. It was so good, spicy and crunchy that there isn’t one morsel wasted in the packaging. The Special Chicharon, however, seems deliciously sinful as each piece is packed with crunchy goodness in contrast to cheap ones which is like eating hollow fatty air.

Lagal[og] said: We were so hungry when we got off the bus from Balingoan, we were just eager to eat.  So we tried the Fiery Hot and Special Chicharon for starters.  The pork rind pieces were all crunchy to sink one’s teeth in, with no tough portions at all.  The fiery hot variant was a nice way to whet one’s appetite while waiting for the orders to arrive while the special chicharon was so good, I didn’t noticed I almost ate two-thirds of the large-sized bag.  I think I’ve met my cholesterol quota for a week in one sitting but it was a really good and crunchy treat.

Supreme Club Sandwich (Php 130/whole, Php 70/half)
Supreme Club Sandwich (Php 130/whole, Php 70/half)

The sandwiches

Ironwulf said: There are five signature sandwiches choices on their menu and the one which appealed to me was the Beef Pastrami. The sandwich was served with layers of beef pastrami ham spilling out of the golden brown garlic toasted bread which made it really look delectable. And the taste was as great as it looked. The slices of meat were tender and juicy. Not too salty or overly-dry and cured as pastramis go. And the hint of smoky goodness was there.  Really, really good.

Lagal[og] said: It’s refreshing to bite into sandwiches that aren’t cardboard-dry.  I had the Supreme Club Sandwich and found it full and nice to the bite with a double layer of SLERS’ famous juicy ham and crispy veggies.   The bread is toasted just right and not at all oily.  The dressing is very light which makes the sandwich filling and yet tastes light to the palate.

SLERS Tsokolate (Php 50)
SLERS Tsokolate (Php 50)

The tsokolate

Ironwulf said: I’m a chocoholic and most of the time I go for hot choco since I don’t drink coffee. It was a pleasant surprise to find the best tsokolate a I’ve ever tasted here in Mindanao. I’ll go straight to the point and say SLERS Tsokolate is by far the best tsokolate a I’ve tasted and I have tried quite a lot. The creamy and thick choco was served on cute small cups.  As proof of how good it was, I had cup after cup after cup that the staff already left the small microwavable pitcher on our table.

Lagal[og] said: I’m a coffee addict.  But if there’s good ole-fashioned tsokolate a, I would gladly oblige to a cup.  The SLERS Tsokolate is the best-tasting one I’ve ever tasted.  Thick and viscous, the aroma alone cast a hypnotic spell on my nose buds.  Taking a sip is pure cocoa bliss – it took me back in time when preparing tsokolate meant slaving away on a boiler and using batirol (wooden hand mixer) to stir the thick liquid made from tableas (chocolate blocks) melted in water.  It was so good I obliged for a second cup (and would’ve wanted a third one if we weren’t pressed for time).

SLERS Ham and Cafe
SLERS Ham and Cafe

SLERS Ham & Cafe
Velez or. M.H. del Pilar Sts., Cagayan de Oro City
Misamis Oriental • (088) 855.2426

Filed under: Light & HeartyTagged with: , , , , , ,


  1. What? You don’t drink coffee?

    I am a ham person and the first picture is making me salivate.

  2. naku photocache, i am a ham-bug and believe you me, their sandwiches are really something else.

  3. This post makes me want to go home to Cagayan de Oro right this time…
    Thank you for featuring Cagayan de Oro for me…

  4. our pleasure dodong. i have friends and inaanaks in cdo 😀

  5. oh! i also went there when we visited CDO.

  6. The serving portions are big and the ham sandwich was like American ham.

    Keep it up!

  7. yummy! proud to be kagay-anon hahaü i could still remember that cafe as a small shop selling pasalubongs and i would go there to buy Barquiron hahaü my mom’s office used to be near that red cafe.

  8. SLER’s ham and chicharon is a definite must try whenever you’re in Cagayan de Oro.

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