One day, my family and I were enjoying brunch at a luxurious hotel in Makati; the next day we found ourselves having another extraordinary breakfast in a rustic quaint comfort food place in Marikina City. Regardless of the place we’re at, the important thing is we’re having family fun, fun, fun
I was surprised when my wife, Tina agreed to my suggestion that we’ve to try PAN de AMERIKANA for breakfast. Even it would take us approximately 20 to 30 minutes less traffic to get to its location at Concepcion, Marikina City from our place in Quezon City, we wouldn’t care less. After seeing it on a local morning TV show and learning that it’s owned by the same family who runs the school I attended during my High School (OLOPSC), the more I became interested to try its 1950s wheat pandesal and other affordable yummies.
With empty stomachs, we hit the roads to Marikina and reached Pan Amerikana around 10AM. Pan de Amerikana greeted us with its facade…
Where in the metro could you see a wooden windmill? LOL, only in Marikina! It’s really interesting!
The place isn’t only a bakery but an all-day restaurant as well. It has lots of fascinating things that may amuse you while you dine or simply can provide you a venue to kill time by playing chess on tables or on the ground, literally.
There’s this giant chess set much to delight local tourists like us especially the kids. It was a bigger chess set than the ones we saw in Island Cove Resort in Cavite early this year. Gabby was really excited to get hold of those black and white pawns.
At the counter, there are lots of regular-sized chess sets that diners can borrow for FREE after presenting a valid ID.
Do you play chess? Shame on me, I don’t, LOL. So when Gabby asked me to play with him, I thought we can just delay it until the day we both learn the game, LOL For that moment, we just had it as props for photo-ops! hehehe
Pan de Amerikana boasts of not only chess sets but a distinctly Filipino ambiance…There’s an overload of arts and culture that is truly Pinoy! Look at the kalesa parked near those bikes and a woven rattan hammock that’s so inviting.
Then there’s this antique grinder of something which led me clueless, if it’s a coconut grinder or an ice crusher. Can you please identify ? I found this collectible old piece few steps next to Popeye!
There’s also that miniature pugon or brick-oven to depict where the famous pandesal are baked.
The dining area has laid back atmosphere. It’s only provided with large units of electric fans, at times, it can become humid; the entire area is roofed so everyone is safe from inevitable downpour. There’s also a place where dripping water serves as fountain…
And did I mention already that the entire food place offers FREE WI-FI ACCESS? A lot of people across ages came in with their laptops and chargers doing school or perhaps office stuffs while having brunch.
As I went to the counter to order and pay for my food, I saw these striking things that can stimulate one’s interest : A tiny set of dining table and a small billboard with schedule of activities offered by Pan de Amerikana.
So did we try those 1950′s wheat Pandesal ? Of course!
PAN de AMERIKANA’S WHEAT PANDESAL, PhP 5.50 each. It’s humongous! So rich and fibrous, very filling. We took them home as our afternoon snack.
PAN AMERIKANO (mega-sized pandesal) gained its popularity when the Americans arrived during the 1940′s. It looks like a giant baguette that was processed like the pandesal. It was during the 1960′s that it suddenly disappeared and was replaced with rectangular loaves. Then came the famous Nutri Bun (monay shaped bread -3 -5 times the size of the pandesal), which was a hit during the 1970′s.
More than that Harley Davidson on display and FOR SALE and the other things we saw at Pan de Amerikana, the one that really caught my attention was this wooden posting in front of the big bike and a concrete bridge; figure out why….
Although this restaurant observes self-service policy, there are wait staff who will bring your tray to your tables; so we were handed a customer-number that was creatively Pinoy!
We also tried their pandesal with chicken and sardines, at PhP 25 each. Tina had the SARDINES PANDESAL, I had the CHICKEN PANDESAL; equally must-try!
Gabby wanted ARROZ CALDO with EGG, PhP 28 and a cup of HOT CHOCOLATE, PhP 25…
The arrozcaldo was good, but Gabby failed to finish it.
Before going to this place, I’ve heard that two of its specialties are WAKNATOY, PhP 35/order; a dish similar to menudo and EVERLASTING, PhP 35/order; which is I’m more familiar with. Everlasting is Marikina’s own. I grew up with that dish made of grounded pork with green peas, some hotdogs, boiled egg and carrots for garnishing; similar to embotido but steamed in an aluminum container. My relatives in Calumpang, Marikina and my late Lola used to cooked the best Everlasting, even better than that of Pan de Amerikana which was a bit soggy and has a bit poor consistency. Nevertheless, their version satisfied my craving for Everlasting!
The servings of each dish were good enough for a diner with regular appetite. And I must say the prices were very budget-friendly. After feasting on my pandesal, I dunked my spoon and fork at Waknatoy and Everlasting and sipped brewed coffee, PhP 15/ cup, in between.
Tina ’s breakfast choice other than Sardines Pandesal was DAING NA BANGUS MEAL, PhP 48.
She enjoyed that boneless dried milkfish with vinegar. Perfect meal to start a day!
There were also desserts like Halo-Halo, Saba con yelo and others but we’re just so full to try those sweets.
With Pan de Amerikana’s homey ambiance, friendly service, free-wi-fi access, and to top it all – most affordable food, Tina and I envied the people living within the area. After rising from their beds or coming home from schools or offices, they can just go straight to Pan de Amerikana and savor that family-friendly bonding moments.
PAN de AMERIKANA, 92 Ordoñez St., Corner Maroon Concepcion Dos (near World of Butterflies) Marikina City/ Tel # (63-2) 934-0667 and 475-2398. Branch : 118 Katipunan Ave., White Plains, Quezon City.