What a Spankadventure: The Very Best of Pampanga Cuisine!
(Left to Right, Back to Front Row) Ajay (annalyn.net) with son Paolo, my brother Rommel, my sister-in-law Clauds, Spanky Enriquez (spankyenriquez.blogspot.com), Bal the driver, Nina (justwandering.org), Kendrick Tan, our good friends Maong and Luisa, my lovely wife Rache, my son Aidan, and yours truly. Taken in Everybody's Cafe in San Fernando, Pampanga just before the Pampanga feast!
Related Post: Pampanga Food Trip- A Culinary Tour of Pampanga 1.0
It was a foodie dream come true!
I have always dreamed about the day that I would get to explore the very best of Pampanga food. Once again, that dream came true last Saturday night during our pampanga culinary adventure 2.0 led by Spanx. We ended the food trip with a kapampangan feast that we will never forget. From Mely's Sisig, to Jun-Jun's Barbeque and the popular Everybody Cafe's authentic Pampanga food. Of course, the meal will not be complete without the unique Pampanga dessert treat of Doren Tayag's Decadent Cake with Caramel Sauce and Aurely's Special upside down version of Brazo de Mercedes.
You won't be a certified foodie if you haven't tasted this cuisine. I will try my best to share with you our experience so you can be inspired to seek out these authentic Pampanga delights on your own time. I assure you can't find these types of food in the Metro and yes, you have to travel to San Fernando, Pampanga for a taste of all of these. Thanks to Spanky for another successful Pampanga Culinary Tour!
It would be difficult to top this trip because every tour gets better and better. We are thinking of a final Pampanga culinary tour 3.0 which will be the last of the Pampanga Culinary Trilogy. I do hope you can come and I'm sure that it would be one food adventure you will never forget. Watch out for this in October and I'll try to put an invite earlier so that you can block your own schedule.
Fried Catfish (P80) with Buro and Mustasa (P25). I was never fond of eating catfish specially the fried one because of its after taste. This one is an exception because the meat was fried well -- crunchy outside but tasty juicy meat inside. You eat this by wrapping a piece of catfish meat with Buro in a vegetable leaf similar to how you would eat a peking duck. The buro is so good that you forget that it is made from fermented rice.
Fried Camaru (P160). I must admit that these food trips are becoming adventurous bordering into the exotic. Although it looks like a fear factor dish, don't be deceived by its looks. This taste like bacon and you won't be believe me that this was the first dish that was wiped out!
Pindang Tapa (P160). I must admit that this is an acquired taste. This carabao meat taste like sweet but with a slimy sour texture that would make you imagine how this one is cooked. This was the only dish that was not finished but Spanx affirmed that this is a favorite pampanga breakfast meal.
Betute (P50/ frog). These stuffed frogs are intimidating at first because of its shape and looks. This is my first time to eat frogs and it surely tastes like chicken. The fried frog is stuffed with frog meat and pork, so it feels just like eating embotido. This was likewise very good and you got to eat this in Everybody's Cafe.
Jun-Jun's Barbeque (P40/stick). All my blog readers vouches for this, so we had to take out 5 sticks with us to eat in Everybody's Cafe. This is the best barbeque I ever tasted and it taste like Aristocrat Chicken Barbeque. It is marinated in Java sauce which makes the meat very tasty and you have the option to put more java sauce on top before eating. Each stick is already good for one meal, and the P40/stick is well worth it because it is full of meat and cooked while you order.
Mely's Sisig. Voted as the Best Sisig in Pampanga by the locals. Mely's Sisig is grilled to perfection, chopped and mixed with the special sauce which makes this dish very addicting. Contrary to popular belief that sisig needs to be in a sizzling plate and should be crunchy. I'm glad AJ insisted to buy this and take it with us in Everybody's cafe.
Doren Tayag's Decadent Cake with Caramel Sauce (P550/ box). The Best Chocolate Cake in Pampanga (if not in Metro Manila)! Now, I'm sounding like I'm exaggerating already but we had to seek out all these treats to taste the best of what Pampanga has to offer. Polly's Cake will be no match for this soft chocolate cake with decadent icing topped with oh so delicious caramel sauce! We had to get this from the house of Doren Tayag directly and I have proven that the legend is indeed true, that Doren's Chocolate Cake is the best chocolate cake in town!
Aurely's Special: Brazo de Mercedes (P125/box). Spanx has been raving about this dessert for days now. These highly rich in cholesterol brazo de mercedes are sinfully tempting. I should warn you not to eat one of these or you'll be addicted specially if you are a brazo de mercedes lover just like us. Thanks Spanx for introducing us to this unique Pampanga dessert.
I'm not exaggerating when I say this was the best Pampanga cuisine I've ever tasted! Although, just on hindsight, all of the pampanga food we ate are carbo rich and fattening if you think about it. So this is not for the diet conscious or for the vegetarians out there. I'll create a separate post on where can you find them in Pampanga if you decide to have your own food adventure.