One of the highlights of the Pampanga Food Crawl that I joined with my fellow foodies is our stop at LA Bakeshop for my first taste of its cheesebread.
This bakery-slash-cafe has been baking this singular artisanal pastry since 1985, further solidifying the Kapampangan’s reputation for culinary ingenuity.
After several lambings, my boss took advantage of one of her trips home to Pampanga to bring me a welcome pasalubong: a box of cheesebread and Spanish bread from LA Bakeshop.
One bite of LA Bakeshop’s famous cheesebread will surely have you craving for more. When served while still warm from the oven, its sweet milky scent will get you salivating. Its cheesy crust gives way to soft and milky bread underneath. It’s best enjoyed when paired with hot coffee or chocolate for breakfast or merienda.
LA Bakeshop’s Spanish bread, on the other hand, is soft with a buttery sugar filling. It has been a merienda favorite since childhood.
The fam and I enjoyed this box of goodies for our afternoon snack or post-dinner dessert!
LA Bakeshop’s cheesebreads sell for Php7 apiece or Php210 for a box of thirty pieces, while its Spanish bread sells of Php9 apiece or Php270 for a box of thirty pieces. The best deal is to get a box of fifteen cheesebread pieces and fifteen Spanish bread pieces for Php240.
LA Bakeshop also sells classic breads such as pan de sal, pandesitos, pesto sticks, ensaymadas and ensaymadas.
Its branches are located at:
Main Branch/San Fernando: 318 Abad Santos Street, Sto. Rosario, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Dolores Branch: McArthur Highway, Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Saguin Branch: Unit 7 AP Building, McArthur Highway, Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Sto. Rosario Angeles Branch: 792 Sto. Rosario Street, Angeles City, Pampanga
Balibago Branch: 1 Sandico Building, McArthur Highway, Angeles City, Pampanga
Before I begin my workday, either back when I was in the office, or these days working from home, I like to take a quick coffee break and munch on some yummy baked goods.
My go-to orders from the panaderia near the office are cheese pan de sal and Spanish bread.
Pan de sal, the most common bread roll in the Philippines, is made with flour, yeast, sugar, eggs and water, a staple many breakfast tables.
Its softer, longer and more buttery and sugary version, on the other hand, is called Spanish bread.
These classic breads and my morning coffee have sustained me through many tedious reports, near-interminable meetings and more.
Now that I’m working from home (and I can’t go out to buy breads on a whim), jumpstarting my workday the way I like it has gotten a bit harder.
Thankfully, there’s a way for me to get my morning breads before I start my day working from home. Plus, they come with a colorful and flavorful twist, thanks to Tita She’s Bakery.
This new online store came about when twenty-four-year-old Kim Nunez was faced with slowed down projects as an events photographer and wanted a new source of income.
Chancing upon an article on Facebook about an online seller making Php7,000 a day from making and selling ube cheese pan de sal, Kim decided to try her hand at it as well.
With her mom’s help, she started baking the trending food item and started selling two days later.
She didn’t stop there.
Integrating her love for cakes and recognizing that Pinoys would love a new twist to their faves, she also came out with breads with popular cake flavors.
Pan de Sal flavors include ube, cheese, ube cheese, ube choco, choco cheese, choco hazelnut, banana cake, banana hazelnut and carrot cake.
These pan de sal are priced at Php5 to Php10 per piece for regular (65g) and Php7 to Php12 per piece for overloaded (90g with twice the filling as regular).
Spanish bread variants, on the other hand, include classic, ube, cheese, ube cheese, choco and choco hazelnut.
These Spanish breads are priced at Php8 to Php12 per piece for regular (65g) and Php12 to Php16 per piece for overloaded (90g with twice the filling as regular).
To get these yummy and freshly baked breads delivered to your doorstep, call +63 932 6032354 or +63 967 7613909 (cashless payments via BDO, BPI and GCash accepted) have them picked up at Lores, Antipolo City via Lalamove (pin “Tita She’s Bakery”). You can also check out Tita She’s Bakery on Facebook and Instagram.
Don’t worry about ordering a lot of these breads. Just store the leftover breads in the ref and reheat by microwave or oven toaster (two minutes at 150 deg C). They are still fluffy and soft after reheating, even if they’ve been in the ref for three days!
So, foodies, get ready to have a wonderful start to your workday with these flavored breads!
Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.
Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:
Pampanga is famous for its cheese bread and rightly so!
Ever since I had my first taste of this tasty pastry during a trip to Pampanga a few years ago, I have been craving for it. Each piece has a lovely mix of milky, sweet and salty flavors from the soft and fluffy bread to the fragrant sugary cheese streusel topping. When served still warm from the oven, it gives off a an appetizing cheese-y smell which will beckon you to bite into it again… and again… and again.
Hindi mo pagsasawaan, as we Tagalogs say.
For a while I thought I will only get to taste this delicacy when passing through Pampanga on the way to Bataan during our family’s yearly Holy Week trip to my dad’s hometown, or when I’m lucky enough to have friends passing through the area buy a box (or two!) for me.
Well, imagine my delight when the heavens listened to my pleas and has now made this Pampanga favorite available in the metro!
LBS Bakeshop, formerly known as Apung Gari Bakery & Kiosk, is where Pampangenos go for a taste of the original cheese bread since it started operations in 1955. After taking on the name LBS Bakeshop (after Leonila B. Santiago, the former “L” in another Pampanga landmark, LA Bakeshop) in 2008, it has continued to make flavorful merienda dishes from Apung Gari’s original recipes such as palabok, arroz caldo, chicken mami and more available to locals.
And now, thankfully, it has also made two of its most popular products – its cheese bread and its soft and sweetly buttery Spanish bread – available to Metro Manila denizens through weekly deliveries to its main reseller in Quezon City.
For Php299, you can get a box containing:
30 pieces of cheesebread
25 pieces of Spanish bread, or
a mix of 20 pieces of cheesebread and 10 pieces of Spanish bread
I chose the last option as my son and I are crazy for cheese bread while Hubby and my daughter prefer Spanish bread. Since receiving my order, I re-heat two pieces of cheese bread to go with my coffee for breakfast every morning, and then re-heat enough pieces of the two breads for all of us for our afternoon merienda.
What’s the simplest pleasure that you can picture yourself freely indulging in come the long hot summer?
For me, it’s ice cream, of course!
The icy yet velvety creamy feel of it on my tongue and the bursts of sweetness on my tastebuds combine to bring back memories of my childhood’s enjoyable summers, slurping this cool treat.
Well, with Sundays, Merry Moo’s first in-line ice cream store at the Corner Market Food Hall in the Podium, I won’t have to venture far to have a taste of my favorite ice cream flavors, and more.
Merry Moo made a name for itself with its artisanal and premium ice cream. Believing that happy cows make great dairy, it sources its milk from dairy farmers in Laguna whose herds are given expansive pastures to graze and roam freely. Since its dairy is non-UHT (Ultra Heat Treated), its milk and cream retain their flavors and nutritional content.
To guarantee freshness, Merry Moo’s ice cream is churned in small batches using fresh and locally sourced ingredients to produce yummy icy desserts that bring smiles to the faces of those who taste them.
Together with my fellow foodies, I was able to taste some of its new flavors which are:
Bananarama. Brown sugar is added to Cavendish bananas which are then oven-roasted. Afterwards, the mixture is blitzed, added to fresh milk and cream, then allowed to steep overnight to let the flavors intensify before being placed in the ice cream batch freezer. Chocolate cookie chunks are then added to the churned ice cream.
Spanish Bread and Doughnut. Curiously, these two flavors come from the baked products that inspired them. To infuse the ice cream base with these flavors, the breads are blitzed then added to the milk and cream base. The mixture is allowed to steep overnight then placed in the batch freezer. More chunks of Spanish bread or doughnuts are then added to the churned ice cream.
Yogurt. Hacienda Macalauan in Laguna, Merry Moo’s dairy supplier, also produces Greek yogurt. This is used to infuse Merry Moo’s milk and cream base, resulting in ice cream that is a little more tart but still yummy.
My scoops of these decadent treats were served on a crunchy waffle bowl, sprinkled with my chosen toppings: Horlicks, a sweetened malt-based powder, and buttered pecans.
The ice cream flavors sure are unusual, but call to mind tastes and textures that are near and dear to us. Who hasn’t whiled away a lazy afternoon munching on warm buttery Spanish bread, or added bananas to ice cream to for added fruity sweetness? Who hasn’t been caught in the recent frozen yogurt craze?
What I love most about Merry Moo’s ice cream is the thought and care that goes into the creation of each flavor. I plan to drop by one of its stalls soon to taste more of its flavors like Avocado and Salted Chocolate.
A scoop of Merry Moo’s premium ice cream flavors sells for Php115 while one of gourmet flavor sells at Php135. Add Php15 to drizzle your preferred sauce on it or add your favorite toppings for an additional Php20.
Want Merry Moo at your party? Have a scooping station for as low Php8,500, good for 100 servings.
For the mumshies out there: Did you know that through its partnership with Mommy Treats, Merry Moo produces the country’s first and only lactation ice cream? At only Php450/pint, enjoy flavors such as Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt Caramel and Match Green Tea packed with milk boosters to improve your milk supply.
Sundays by Merry Moo is located at the The Corner Market, Second Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.
Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.
San Fernando, Pampanga is only about two hours ride from Manila. It is usually a place my family and I pass by on the way to our hometown of Bataan. While I may have visited the city once or twice over the past years (and usually on business), I have never thought of it as a foodie destination. (I admit now that this notion is a bit odd, considering that Kapampangans are known for their culinary skills.)
Fortunately, I recently took part in the Giant Lantern Festival Bloggers Tour organized by the city’s Tourism Promotion and Caravan Sub-Committee, YALLA Book of Coupons and the Giant Lantern Festival Foundation, Inc. Together with fellow bloggers, I toured San Fernando’s heritage sites and learned about the city’s thriving Christmas lantern industry and annual competition. Plus, our group was treated to an EPIC seven-stop food crawl of the city’s top restaurants.
I can hardly keep myself from talking about all the great foodie finds discovered during the tour, so I wrote a curated list of the “absolute must-trys” that represent the various cuisines available in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Check them out and try to include these restos in your itinerary on your next visit to the area.
Baked Goods: The Original Cheesebread at L.A. Bake Shop
L.A. Bakeshop prides itself on being the “Home of the Original Cheesebread.” And, oh, its artisan cheesebread is really worth boasting about! When served while still warm from the oven, it emits a sweet cheese-y smell that has you salivating. Bite into it and the soft fluffy sweet bread gives in to the explosion of cheese flavor in your mouth. Enjoy it for breakfast together with L.A. Bakeshop’s Spanish Bread and Tsokolateng Batirol for a truly indulgent start to your day.
L.A. Bakeshop is located along MacArthur Hi-way, Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, open daily from 7am to 9pm. For inquiries, call +63 045 4360153 or +63 916 2623098.
Italian: Shrimp Bisque Fusili at Parmisano’s
An exciting take on the Pancit Luglog, this dish features al dente fusilli pasta tossed in a creamy shrimp sauce, topped with onion leeks, plump shrimp, soft-boiled egg and bits of savory chicharon. What a fun way to enjoy a local classic!
Parmisano’s is located at KM 78, San Agustin, City of San Fernando, Pampanga (across Vista Mall), open Tuesdays to Sundays from 12nn to 9pm. For inquiries, call +63 045 4027639.
American: Grilled Beef Steak at Meats and Match
For the true-blue carnevore like me, there is nothing like the taste of freshly grilled steak. Sourced from local farms, cooked to medium doneness and served on a sizzling plate together with mashed potatoes and buttered corn and carrots, the meat is tender, juicy and oozing with flavor. I love it when its accompanying gravy has caramelized a bit below the steak, adding a more intense flavor to every bite.
Meats and Match is located along McArthur Highway, Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga. For inquiries, call +63 998 9888917.
American: Double Smoky Mushroom & Cheese Burger at Roberto’s
Two juicy flame-grilled meat patties topped with a flavorful mushroom sauce and accompanied by crisp greens inside a warm burger bun. Crispy battered onion rings and tartar dip are served on the side.
Roberto’s is located in Dolores (beside the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital), City of San Fernando, Pampanga, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For inquiries, call +63 998 9888914.
Seafood: Bag of Fresh Catch at Orange Bucket
Steamed or boiled crabs, shrimps and mussels in a savory-spicy Cajun-style sauce. It’s best eaten by hand and you can expect to be messy so take advantage of the disposable gloves and bib provided by the resto (it’s a lot more fun that way anyway).
Price: minimum order of 300g
The Orange Bucket is located at the Erazone Square, Kalahi Business Road, Bgy San Isidro, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, open daily from 11am to 11pm. For inquiries, call +63 045 4022611, +63 906 2468000 or +63 998 8597750.
Filipino: Sizzling Sisig at 4MD’s Manukan at Ihaw Ihaw
Since Pampanga is the birthplace of the sisig, a Pampanga food crawl would hardly be complete without it. This dish is made in the traditional way: boiled and chopped pig ears and cheeks, seasoned with vinegar, and served on a hot plate with roughly chopped onions. I found this version dryer than other sisig I’ve tasted (which usually incorporate mayonnaise), but it did not detract from the taste.
4MD’s Manukan at Ihaw Ihaw is located along MacArthur Hi-way, Dolores, City of Pampanga, open daily from 11am to 11pm. For inquries, call +63 045 9633283.
Dessert: Chiffonelle at Cafe Noelle
Made from the recipe crafted by the chef’s family matriarch, this dessert treat is composed of classic chiffon cake with a decadent yema custard filling and butter icing. It’s simple and light on the tastebuds but absolutely wonderful.
Price: Php140/slice; Php 980/whole cake
Cafe Noelle is located at the Greenfields Square along MacArthur Hi-way, Sindalan, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, open daily from 10am to 10pm.
The #PampangaFoodCrawl helped to open my eyes to the many gustatory delights available in the city of San Fernando and I look forward to my future trips up north so I can explore more of the city’s dining possibilities.
Planning a trip up north? Check out these restos and be sure to head out and experience more of what makes the city of San Fernando, Pampanga unique. Check out my previous blog posts on the city:
Disclosure: Together with other bloggers, I participated in a tour and food crawl sponsored by the city government of San Fernando, Pampanga. The experiences provided and food served were not paid for by the attendees including myself.