When in Angeles City or Clark Treat yourself with good food

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

IF I remember it right, it was Ka Blas F. Ople who once told me about the study made by Rosalinda Orosa that the Kapampangans are not only artisans but are excellent cooks, male and female, if compared to other ethnic groups in the country.

Very true. The number of restaurants in Pampanga are good basis for that claim. In our youth there was the popular Everybody's Cafe by the Santoses in San Fernando. While in Angeles City there was the Iniang's Place of the Floreses which served the best Jambalaya in this part of the world. The food preparation was mostly likely a combination of Spanish arroz valenciana, bringhe style with Filipino touch.



Early evening you stroll down along the Fields Avenue or any of its spine roads, you can make a lot of choices among the clustered restaurants there that mushroomed over the years. My favorite is Picolo Padre, an Italian restaurant where you can savor the best ragu de mare coupled with their well prepared steak with fresh oysters as an aperitif while having your red Montes de Alfa.


My colleagues from Bases Conversion Development Authority, particularly Mel Alonzo, Boots Garcia and Toto Golez 'will kill me' if I won't treat them with the Filipino cooking of Binulo,a restaurant inside the Clark Freeport run by Maricar Angeles.

The homemade pititsan, rice cooked in bamboo, asado and bulanglang are the most ordered viands. Gourmet Rico Guilas served as the quality control manager.

Art Tugade, Chichos Luciano, local officials and executives of industries inside the freeport are regular patrons of Cafe Mesa not only because it offer the best sumiyaki coffee but long legged young girls with their fitting pants served it with a smile. The cafe is owned by Aritake, a former UPS country manager, the fellow who helped me carried my bag when I travelled with him in Lousville, Kentucky some years ago.

Nearby is the Red Crab of Chiqui Eusebio, the once favorite print model of Lino Sanchez Jr. This is one of the favorites of Senator Lito Lapid and Tarlac Governor Victor Yap. The adobong pusit, and of course their giant crabs were special fares, always got good comments from former Senator Manong Maceda, Congressman Arnie Fuentebella and contractor Tony Evangelista and wife Ching in everytime we dined there.


Island Grill is a destination restaurant inside Clark and you can find it on your way to Fontana. It draws beautiful young people and the perfumed set. Their sea food shack is a smash hit. It opens from 6 in the evening till wee hours of morning with the panoramic view of the Mimosa golf fairways gleaming in the moonlight as a backdrop. Young romances are expected to bloom there.


Jun Sula, the GM of this paper particularly like the baked salmon served at Ribeye resto. Members of Monday Club cannot do away with salmon salad, steak diana and the crispy chicken in the basket in their weekly fellowship.

Beside Ribeye is the Ningnangan of Sto. Tomas Mayor Naguit. It is patterned after the famous Aboys of Bacolod City, where you make your choices of uncooked items and cooked and served fresh in your table.

Over at Marquee Mall is Apag Marangle where my colleagues Bryan Nepomuceno and Carmelo 'Pogi' Lazatin Jr.

Going to Angeles City and spending a night there with friends or family and all with empty stomach, try either Shanghai or Fortune restaurants. You'll get your fill for sure. Or explore the many Korean restaurants along Friendship road. Most patronized is Halla and Amyundo.

Angeles City is getting the tag as the capital of gastronomy in Central Luzon.


Work hard and enjoy life. La dolce vita!

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 13, 2014.


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