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.

The Uniquely Pampanga Feast!

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.


38 thoughts on “What a Spankadventure: The Very Best of Pampanga Cuisine!

  1. Thank you so much for letting me join the tour, Anton! I think kaya ganun yung ending para ma-work off natin yung mga kinain natin during the tour!

  2. hi anton! i’m one of your passive readers. quite mouth-watering pix. ๐Ÿ™‚ was wondering if “Doren Tayag’s Decadent Cake with Caramel Sauce (P550/ box)” is available in manila?

  3. d panding tapa is actually called pindang tapa ๐Ÿ™‚ pindang is another word for tocino,,i think ๐Ÿ™‚
    miss my place,,hope u can add more pics.
    god bless!

  4. wow! i’m starting to crave for the camaru again! thanks anton for the wonderful trip! thanks spunky for being our tour guide! nice photos anton, can’t wait for the final tour!

  5. hi anton! i’m one of your website’s fan. this post makes me miss home a lot. im a capampangan and im based in the states. i love sisig from mely’s and the chicken bbq at junjun’s.

  6. Am green with envy! Guess Rache told you how disappointed I am for not being able to join you guys. : (
    Faith, You can order Doren’s cake and pick it up from Trellis in QC. They’re all from the same family (Tayag).
    Just a trivia – Did you know that Doren is a student of Chef Jill Sandique (the best pavlova and concorde in town!)? Seems like a lot of Jill’s students sell the yummiest cake!

  7. Doren Tayag is the sister of Claude, the artist,columnist and chef. If I remember correctly, she was one of the very first people who introduced the buko pandan cake in the market. That was in the early 90’s. Remember the Claude’s Dream dessert in the LJC outlets.
    More power to you Anton. If there’s anything that would keep this country together, it’s good food!!

  8. Anton, I was just telling Rache how I wish I was there to join the tour. I didn’t think you and Rache would eat those camaro and frog… hahaha! Those are exotic and rare delicacies that only those with good palates can appreciate. Im quite an adventurer myself and it’s nice to know I can share those kind of interests with close friends like you.

  9. where is aurely’s? would we pass that by going to baguio or out of the way?
    do you have a post on baguio’s where to go to? places to eat in?

  10. On your next food trip, try Bulacan. It’s not very well publicized as Pampanga but has better food and cooks. Discover Bulacan food!

  11. Wow, the trip sounds so much fun! Where in Pampanga is Everybody’s Cafe? My friends and I are also going to Pampanga this weekend and Im planning of going there too. Great Article! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sana sa part 3 ma-convince ko si Hubby na sumama.

  12. Anton, a few of us will do a self-directed Pampanga tour on Oct 14. If you plan to do your 3rd trip that weekend, can you let us know?

  13. hi,
    just want to ask where can i get doren tayag’s decandent cake here in pamp? im from san fernando but haven’t heard about her yummy cakes. want to try it asap!

  14. I must agree, masarap nga sa Everybody’s Cafe. also liked their Morcon, na parang embutido dito sa atin. must also try Corazon’s Halo Halo (located in Nepo Subdivision) which for me is better than Razon’s. Super sarap din ng Tibuk-Tibok from Suzie’s.
    Thanks so much for the recommendations. Keep it coming.
    I just want to ask, where is AURELY’s Bakeshop? I want to try their brazo de mercedes. thanks.

  15. thanks for the feature.truly amazing. Now that im salivating….can i get the address of Jun jun bb q and Mely’s sisig place.
    Thanks in advanced! Animo La Salle !

  16. ano po ba ang contact number ng aurely’s? kc di ko po masyado mabasa ang nakalagay dun sa picture thanks

  17. Hi!
    my family is from San fernando but I haven’t tried doreen’s cake. Where can I order her cake?
    Aside from brazo mercedes, Aurely’s buko pie is also yummy.

  18. Hello Anton,
    Would you allow me to use your picture of the betute in the children’s magazine Teenstuff (published quarterly by Glad Tidings Publishing Inc. and distributed through schools)? We’re doing a feature on Pampanga. Proper credits will be made.

  19. Hi. Thank you very much for the kind words, for appreciating and for promoting our cuisine. i hope you will be back soon, you’re always welcome.
    We’ll be serving lunch and merienda at the rockwell tent on august 11 and 12 to support a fund raising campign for cancer patients. Our mainstays and your favorites will be served there.
    Happy Eating always!
    Poch Jorolan, Everybody’s Cafe

  20. Hello!
    I grew up in San Fernando but haven’t heard the name Doren Tayag for cakes. Probably emerged after I left the city. Can I get the exact location? Thanks in advanced.
    Those are my favorites too! Mely’s, Jun-jun’s and Everybody’s Cafe. You may also want to try BALUGBUG (tenga ng baboy) in Mely’s, SPECIAL MAMI of Everybody’s Cafe and another location which is AKIM RESTAURANT approximately 500m after TETE BALUYUT. Their Special MIKI BIHON pansit is the best!

  21. hello there anton! love your blog. I’m looking for your post about the culinary tour 2.0 in pampanga. And I can’t find it…

  22. thanks for the reply anton. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I got confused because I know you also posted something about the Bale Dutung. Did you also post anything about C Italian in friendship in Angeles City Pampanga.

  23. The best decadent cake in Pampanga is located at a place called Cottage Kitchen in Perimeter road, Angeles City. It is made by a retired U.S. air force major.
    Ive tried both Tayag’s and his. I can assure you that Cottage Kitchen has the best. Probably better than those prepared at 5 star hotels abroad.

  24. Hi Anton! I also love Kapampangan cuisine! Where can I find Mely’s, Tayag’s and Aurely’s food? Want to try them too! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

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