Pampanga is known as the culinary capital of the Philippines. With this, it should be as well part of my food exploration in the country. The plan came about with Marquee Mall’s event called Big Bite whereby they will feature the food of the Northern provinces in one venue. Adding to this is the Puregold Duty Free’s sale happening on the same day as well.
So the search was on for the restaurants and the route to take. Blog reviews and Google Maps were my tools for this. There were supposedly 9 of us in this trip, however one backed out due to health reasons.
We left our house at 5:00 in the morning, and fetched the rest of the group. We then started our journey to Pampanga with our first stop at LA Bakeshop and Deli for breakfast.
BREAKFAST: LA BAKESHOP & DELI
They are known as the home of the original cheesebread since 1985. The cheesebread are indeed delicious! The price is Php5/pc which you may say quite expensive compared to the Php2/pc in bakeries but it was worth it. We were able to buy the freshly baked cheesebreads. To extend the life of the cheesebread, they can be refrigerated and just use an oven toaster to heat.
The ceiling decorations were creative from cheese graters, sandwich spread jars and wine bottles.
For breakfast, we each ordered our own rice meals – Cheesebread, Smoked Bacon and Egg Fried Rice, Longganisa, Tinapang Bangus
For meals, additional coffee or tea costs PHP20. A separate order costs PHP40.
The cheesebread are indeed delicious and highly recommended to be brought home as pasalubong. For the rice meals we have ordered, they are just the typical ones. We should have tried their specialty — Pancit “Maiya”, Chinese Pork Asado, Coco’s Special Fried Rice, Taiwanese Beef Mami, Caveman’s Shank, Beef A la Dione, Zach’s Twisted Salad, Pasta Nathalia.
L.A. Factory Outlet – Accepts Private Dinner Reservations, Food Orders and Specialty Bread Orders
L.A. Bakeshop and Deli – Fresh Bread and short order dishes available from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM
MacArthur Hwy, City of San Fernando
L.A. Bakeshop (Main) – Fresh Bread available from 5:30 AM to 8:00 PM
#792 Sto. Rosario St., Angeles City, Pampanga
Telephone Number: +63 (045) 304-1382
NEXT STOP: PUREGOLD DUTY FREE CLARK
Luckily we reached Puregold at 9:00 AM, people are not yet that too many. We lined up for the counter by 11:00 AM and took us around an hour to finish. By then, our tummies are ready for lunch.
LUNCH: PURPLE PAD THAI
Of course, it is still rice for lunch! Our chosen cuisine is Thai. Ambiance was well-lighted.
For appetizers we first ordered – Fresh Spring Rolls, Pomelo Salad and Tom Yum Goong Soup.
And for our main meal, we ordered 3 viands – Green Chicken Curry, Steamed Cream Dory with Lime Dressing and the Thai Glazed Fried Chicken.
The owner was kind enough as well to send me the menu.
Thai food is normally spicy and my tolerance level for spicyness is low, I should have requested to make it milder instead. But then, I think I was the only one in the group that had problem with this. So, I just had to take in more rice to counteract the spice. Of all that we ordered, the Pomelo Salad was my favourite which according to the owner were specially shipped from Davao. That’s why they were sweet and good quality. The Thai Glazed Fried Chicken was also good as being crunchy, sweet and a little bit spicy.
Location: 675 – B2 ETL Building near Systems Plus College Foundation, McArthur Highway, Angeles City, Pampanga
Telephone Numbers: +63 (917) 500-6091; +63 (927) 585-6803;
DESSERT: A LA CREME CAFE BISTRO CAKESHOP
As the saying goes, there’s always room for desserts! This restaurant was part of the must try in Pampanga during my research most especially for their cakes.
So we ordered all of their best-seller cakes – Turtle Pie, Sinful Choco, Belgian Choco, and Ube Macapuno. Two of us ordered coffee (Caffe Latte price at PHP95 and Café Americano at PHP88), while the rest had drinking water.
Taking in 4 cakes were not enough, so I ordered Blueberry Cheesecake.
We loved the turtle pie and blueberry cheesecake. The sinful chocolate was indeed sinful for its sweetness. The Belgian chocolate was ok as it was not sweet but somehow lacks moisture. The Ube Macapuno cake was ok as well (I am not much of ube fan, but my friends loved it)
Stall 1 Alcon Bldg., MacArthur Hi-way, Claro M. Recto, Angeles City
Cluster III-B Quad, Nepo Center, Plaridel St., Angeles City
Telephone Numbers: +63 (045) 322-5588
NEXT STOP: MARQUEE MALL’S BIG BITE THE NORTHERN FOOD FESTIVAL
Curious of the food that will be featured in this Food Bazaar that showcases the products of the Northern Provinces in the Philippines. Our stomachs are not yet ready to take in some more food but we welcome food taste offered by some of the booths.
My healthy food buys from the bazaar: malunggay-unoy chips, unoy champorado blend, and rice coffee.
It was still early when we finished the food booths, so we roamed around the mall trying to find some good buys however unsuccessful! Later on, I was already hungry and told everyone that we proceed to our next restaurant for dinner which is in San Fernando.
DINNER: NONA’S KITCHEN
It was an old house with antique stuff displayed from cameras, flat irons, toy collections, and many more. Not much is written yet about this restaurant but with one site I have visited, it intrigued me to try and see what they have to offer. The ambiance looks great in pictures, gladly it was as expected when we arrived the place.
Lejah Gallardo, co-owner of Nona’s Kitchen and cooks the dishes, told us that previously they were located in Baguio but then later on moved backed to Pampanga. The word “Nona” was a mispronounced word for “lola” which back then their son was unable to pronounce correctly.
We first ordered one serving each of their bestsellers – Liempo Cracklings, Spring Noodles, Roast Beef, Baby Back Ribs. Then later on realized it was not enough so we ordered some more. So our final order had 3 Liempo Cracklings, 2 Roast Beef, 2 Baby Back Ribs and 3 extra rice only since the Roast Beef and Baby Back Ribs come with rice and vegetables. Their other must try food is the sabamonte turon, too bad however it was not available that time.
If you are into antiques, this place offers a really great homey ambiance. It was relaxed dining indeed. We all loved the Liempo Cracklings, which we had 3 servings. This is so far better than my favourite Penpen’s Crispy Liempo in Cubao Expo. The roast beef and baby back ribs both had soft meat. In addition to this, being a fan of turon, I would love to try the sabamonte turon next time.
Location: A Castro Blvd, Greenville Subdivision, San Fernando, Pampanga
Telephone Number: +63 (927) 268-9757
Store hours: Mon-Thu 10 am-10pm ; Fri-Sat 10am-1130pm; Sun 4pm-10pm
I am scheduled for another round of Pampanga Food Trip on the 14th of December which is the same day as that of the Lantern Festival so I called it “Experience Pampanga’s Food and Lights“. Just let me know should you be interested to join.