Last September 8, 2012 my friend Angel and I decided to take our Saturdates to the next level.
We usually just have breakfast after our shift on Saturday mornings so we thought, why not spice it up and go out of town? 🙂 And so our Pampanga Food Trip was conceived! Please take note that we are both NOT foodies, food enthusiasts or anything close to a food whatever. This more a fun friendship trip that involves food. How about that? haha. Armed with a simple itinerary I compiled through the help of a few blog pots, a film and a digital camera and of course money, we took a bus from Cubao to Pampanga!
We planned to sleep on our way but too much excitement filled our hearts (anudaw??). I was even looking for other places to go and how to go there thru Google so we did not have chance of getting even 5 minutes of sleep.
We got off at the Pampanga terminal and upon asking for directions, were instructed to take a jeepney to Angeles. We will find the Historic Camalig Restaurant there. We paid our fare and asked the driver to please drop us off at Camalig Restaurant. This place is known for their pizza.
The jeepney route to Angeles was supposed to just take us to Nepo Mall, a few steps away from Camalig Restaurant. But the very nice driver took us in front of Camalig so that we would not have difficulty finding the place. He almost got a violation and a policeman even stopped him to give him a ticket but he explained (in Kapampangan) that we are tourists and he wanted to assist us so he went all the way to Camalig when we was supposed to turn around already. Good thing the policeman took pity on him and decided to let it go. Four thumbs up to the driver and the policeman!
We arrived at Camalig Restaurant still early. The place is very cozy and quiet. Inside are only two customers quietly eating breakfast. It was a good opportunity to take pictures and talk.
Camalig Restaurant looks like an old house turned into a restaurant. They have a pathway and a garden that has a stage, probably intended for bands to play at night.
The restaurant has free wi-fi, a plus for most diners nowadays. We ordered a pizza called “All The Way.” This is called such because all the basic ingredients of a pizza is there. Sad to say, I just found out that I do not have a good picture of the pizza. Can you believe that? Apparently, we were too hungry to remember to take a picture through the digicam. I do have a shot of it in my blackberry and film camera. Rawr. I will remember (hopefully) to add it here next time.
I also ordered Buko Shake. Unfortunately for me, that was the worst buko shake I have had so far. It is not exactly bad, just watered down. Even the buko shakes in malls and MRTs are way better. 😦
We were served bread sticks while we wait for the pizza. I guess I should consider that as the bargain for the sad sad buko hake. haha.
After Camalig Restaurant, we moved on to look for a place to walk around while we digest what we ate. Nepo Mall is just on the side of Camalig so we decided to roam around the mall first before the next food stop.
I guess we were still full from the pizza so we opted for dessert first. We asked the tricycle drivers outside of Nepo Mall to take us to Halo Halo sa Corazon. This place is inside Nepo Subdivision, just in front of the mall. Fortunately, one of the trike drivers said he knows the place and took us there. We were contemplating at first to walk. Thankfully, we did not because the heat of the sun can kill at that time!
Halo Halo sa Corazon is called such because the place is located in Corazon Street in Nepo Subdivision. It is just a house made into a cafeteria. Despite the heat outside, it was a bit cool inside the place even without air conditioning. They just had ceiling fans. We ordered Halo Halo of course for PhP 50. They also sell “kakanin” like maja blanca and pitsi pitsi but we did not try those.
The Halo Halo came and it tasted great! Their version is a mix of macapuno, saging na saba, mais and their special beans and halayang gatas. Yummy, right?
I was halfway through my Halo Halo when I started to feel really sleepy. Not having a wink of sleep since yesterday, plus all the walking and Googling (?) got me really dizzy. I almost slept on this table a few minutes into eating! haha. Good thing my travel buddy Angel is her usual witty self so I managed to stay awake after this.
When we were done eating and I have slightly recovered from my sleepiness, we decided that it is time to look for something to wake me up. We took a tricycle ride back to Nepo Mall and on the other side, went straight to Everybody’s Cafe. I am sorry to disappoint you though but we did not eat there. The sight of crickets and frog mixed with normal fare did not help my sleepiness. It made me dizzy. haha. Angel is also not willing to take the plunge so we left and thought of other choices.
We originally planned to have Sisig for lunch but since we are both still full, we thought of looking for a Coffee place, other than Starbucks of course.
We asked around the mall and a sales person told us there is a small coffee place right in front of the other exit of Nepo mall. It was Kape Pinoy and it was cute!
Kape Pinoy is a quaint little coffee place right outside Nepo Mall. They serve coffee, tea and smoothies at very affordable prices.
We just needed a little booster before the next food stop so we ordered coffee and tea respectively. I got Kape Bula (Cappuccino) and Angel got their traditional Tsaa.
Both our orders tasted good for their prices. There is also free wi-fi available and no one else was there so we had the place to ourselves. We originally intended to just drink coffee for a bit but we ended up staying longer as we talked and talked until i forgot i am even sleepy.
After coffee, it is finally time for Sisig! We decided, based on the blog posts I read to go to Mely’s Sisig in San Fernando Pampanga. From Nepo Mall, we had to take a short jeepney ride to another terminal. There, we took an Anfra type jeepney that will take us to McArthur Highway in San Fernando. When I found out that the fare was PhP 22, I thought whew! That is like going to Divisoria from Imus, Cavite! haha.
The ride to San Fernando was long, humid and dusty but fun. Angel and I laughed through all the mishaps and feelings of discomfort and just made fun of it all. The problem was we did not know exactly where Melys’ is so we got off when no one else was in the jeep. Turns out, we missed it.
Good thing a very nice and helpful Pedicab driver approached us and offered to take us anywhere we want to go. After a few more mishaps, we found out Mely’s Sisig is infront of the Party Place and we passed by it early on.
We were slightly scared during the Pedicab ride as we were the only one traversing the wide highway on a manual vehicle. haha. I was imagining that anytime a truck or bus would speed up behind us and carry us away. We thought we would finally be able to taste Mely’s Sisig but upon arriving there, it was still closed. We were already very tired and hungry so we decided not to wait for an hour more. Plus the place looks untidy and dinghy so I guess that is a sign that we should not eat there. Just a few steps away is a another Sisig place called Jun Jun’s Restaurant, It was very clean and air conditioned so yes I guess this is the one.
There were a good number of people already eating at Jun Jun’s. the place is big though so there are a lot of tables vacant. A waiter approached us and guided us to a table. I think they did not want people scattered all over the place so he almost insisted that we stay at the table he gave us. Okay, fine.
After looking a the menu we ordered Sisig and Bibingka. Angel did not want to have rice but I was so hungry so I ordered one cup of rice and Sago Gulaman.
The Gulaman is another watered down type. Good thing it only costs PhP 35. The Sisig was very good though!
The Bibingka, which is supposedly their flagship food, is another fail at least for me. Maybe it is because I have found a very good Bibingka place in Imus and that is ultimately my standard now. The price is just the same but Jun Jun’s version is not very creamy and does not even have salted egg on top.
We spent our time talking and eating here and before we knew, it was almost dark.
Our last stop was a Kakanin and Pasalubong place near Jun Jun’s called Susies’s Cuisine.
Susie’s Cuisine had a lot of customers already. Most of them are waiting for their Kakanin to be packed to go. There are also pre-packed pasalubong that can be bought in the store such as Cookies, Pastillas, Chicharon (which I bought) and other Kutkutins.
I cannot remember what Angel bought but I got two big packs of Chicharon for my family. I am not really a huge fan so I never got to taste it when i got home.
We were already super tired and sleepy after Susie’s so we headed straight to the terminal to SM Pampanga. There we would be able get on a bus to Cubao.
We may be exhausted and sleepy after our 8 hour food trip but really had a lot of fun. This may not be the most comprehensive, appealing or well-written blog post about Food Trip Pampanga. If only I can write about all the laughs, jokes and mishaps we had during the journey. What I can really say though, is that travelling with someone as witty as you is the best travel anyone can have! 🙂
Until the next trip,