If you’ve seen my teaser and if you’re following me on Instagram as well as Foursquare, you know that we toured around the wonderful province of Pampanga, particularly Mexico, Arayat, San Fernando, Lubao, Guagua and Bacolor. This tour was meant to re-discover Filipino food, to appreciate these amazing dishes, painstakingly prepared the old fashioned way. This was also a means to learn the heritage and story behind each fare through Electrolux Discover-E kitchen campaign.
This food trip got me all excited because my grandfather (my dad’s father) happened to be from Apalit, Pampanga. So, seeing and eating authentic Kapampangan food easily brings back fond childhood memories. Eating is definitely a favorite Filipino pastime. Even when we are eating, we STILL talk about food and excitedly anticipate the dishes that will be prepared for the next meal.
1st stop – Mexico: Breakfast at Atching Lillian Borromeo
Atching Lillian Borromeo personally cooks all the food in her cucina and that is why she doesn’t accept walk-ins. A reservation is needed if you want to dine there – a minimum of 10 persons is required.
I tell you, her family and kitchen stories are as colorful as the dishes she prepares. She will entertain you while she serves her delicious creations. It’s never a dull moment with this adorable lady!
Chuckie with Atching Lillian
Our breakfast consisted of Longganisa, Tocino, Ribuelto, Morcon and Adobong Maputi.Everything was delicious, homey and nostalgic. But the 2 dishes that topped my list were Tid-Tad and Paksing Demonyu.Tid-Tad is the Kapampangans version of Dinuguan (blood stew). Unlike other versions, Atching Lillian’s blood stew is somewhat runny with solidified blood cubes mixed in the dish. I am very particular when it comes to dishes like this – where the ingredients came from, how it was cleaned and who cooked it. When it was served to us, the Tid-Tad was exactly the way my grandmother used to prepare this dish for us at home. I loved my grandmother’s version so I just had to try this one. Great mixture of flavors – a blend of tanginess with a hint of sweetness and pungent flavor from the garlic.
Paksing Demonyu or Vinegar Stew has vegetables in it like bittermelon, ginger, swamp cabbage, eggplant, ginger and finger chili. I love anything spicy so, naturally, I gave in! But I had to control myself or else I would be eating this with rice non-stop like a mad (wo)man! It was craaaaazy good!
For dessert we had Tamales and Tibok-Tibok.
Atching Lillian also treated us to some freshly made Tsokolate de Batirol.This is how a Pinoy breakfast buffet should be… Simple, homey and comfy.
Al fresco dining
174 JoseAbad Santos St. Parian, Mexico Pampanga
For reservations call 0915-7730788
2nd stop – Arayat: Kabigting’s Halo-Halo
The pride of Arayat Pampanga!
Kabigting’s Halo Halo has 3 simple ingredients: cream corn, red beans……and their to die for homemade pastillas made from pure carabao’s milk. It was sinfully good! Truly, the pride of Arayat!
Paralaya Arayat, Robinsons Starmills, Marquee Mall, Nepo Mall
3rd Stop – San Fernando: Everybody’s Cafe
A common place for Japanese, Americans and Filipinos during the 50’s.
Everybody’s Cafe started as a typical mom and pop operation wherein everyone in the family was involved in running the business. They only served 2 pansit dishes back then: pansit luglog and pansit may sabaw. After 5 decades, this Kapampangan restaurant still stands strong. They now accept reservations for weddings, debuts or any occasion.
To experience authentic Kapampangan cuisine which Everybody’s Cafe is known for, we were served a variety of delicious dishes such as Okoy, Fresh Lumpia, Sisig Kapampangan, Pindang Tapa (Carabao Tapa) with an unlimited serving of Bulalo soup.
Then came the stars of the day – Morcon, Betute (stuffed frog) and Camaru (cricket)!
This Morcon is cooked for 6 hours. It is made of ground pork, duck eggs, El Ray chorizo bilbao, quezo de bola, smothered with taba ng talangka on top. The El Ray chorizo bilbao + quezo de bola gives the morcon that salty taste that blends well with the other ingredients. This is one perfect example of gastronomical goodness!
But the real highlight of my Everybody’s Cafe lunch was eating Betute for the first time…These are stuffed native frogs. Surprisingly I liked it! It’s pretty much like eating chicken but tastes better.
… And Adobong Camaro (crickets)
I remember telling myself I will never eat exotic food because it’s yucky, ewwy and I find it dirty! But Everybody’s Cafe proved me wrong! It was stir fried and cooked the adobo way. It was tasty, salty and crunchy – definitely a beermatch!
What I regret not buying is the Taba ng Talangka! I took a picture of it, went to the restroom then totally forgot about it until we left.They sell the small bottles at Php350.00 while the big ones are sold at Php450.00. It is made from fresh and pure taba ng talangka.
Del Pilar, Mac Arthur Highway, San Fernando, Pampanga
T: (045) 860 1121 / (045) 961 7121
C: 0922-8467121 / 0917-5108961
Angeles City Branch:
105-106 BPI Arcade, Angeles City, Pampanga
T: (045) 887 0361
4th Stop – San Fernando: Susie’s Cuisine
Susie’s Cuisine is well known for its “Tibok-Tibok” and “Moche”.
Their version of Tibok-Tibok is silkier than others. This is comparable to that of maja blanca without the corn kernels and made from carabao’s milk with latik on top.Moche-Moche is made of glutinous rice according to their staff, with monggo bean paste filling, rolled and cooked in coconut milk. I love how thick and creamy the coconut milk is. It’s quite akin to Guinataang Halo-Halo. Perfect for an afternoon snack.
Susie’s Cuisine also sells assorted Kapampangan food products. They have different kinds of peanuts, shrimp paste (bagoong), pastillas and even salted eggs. Since, I already have a list of what to buy, it was already easy going around the shop. I got original Mamon Tostado and the cheese flavor variant, Uraro and Puto Pao. I was supposed to by Silvanas but I figured it would just melt since our tour was only half-way done.
1. Rizal Extension cor. Sandra St., Angeles City
T: (045) 887 2479
2. McArthur Highway,Dau (Pineda Bldg. near Marina Arcade)
T: (045) 892 4919
3. IG Grown Plaza,Burgos St.,Guagua Pampanga
T: (045) 900 1062
4. Sto. Domingo 1, Capas Tarlac
T: (045) 615 0960
5. ACC Bldg., McArthur Highway, Apalit Pampanga
T: (045) 302 9182
6. La Maja Rica, McArthur Highway, Ligtasan, Tarlac City
T: (045) 611 2150
7. Mother Teresa Calcutta,Sakop, Brgy. Maimpis, San Fernado Pampanga
T: (045) 455 5935
8. Northwalk 2, San Fernando Pampanga
T: (045) 889 8723
9. Marquee Place, G/F Pulung Cacutud, Angeles City
T: (045) 841 4046
10.Don Manuel Banzon St., Balanga City, Bataan
C: 0906-657 9054
11.Mc Arthur Highway, Dolores, San Fernando Pampanga
T: (045) 861 2480
12.Ground Floor Kiosk, SM Clark, Angeles City Pampanga
To be continued… (Click here for Part 2)