Answer: The wheat pandesal of Pan de Amerikana Bakery and Restaurant (Katipunan Road, White Plains, Quezon City).
|Pan de Amerikana wheat pandesal at Php 6 each|
Best in taste. Best in value. This pandesal, as far as I am concerned, is unrivalled. Remember the robust USAID-powered “nutribuns” that were served to public elementary school children during the Martial Law years? The size of the Pan de Amerikana (PDA) pandesal reminds me of the nutribun. But unlike the latter, the Katipunan Road pandesal is softer and tastier. It has the delightful combination of a crusty exterior, firm interior, and salty taste. Takaw tingin. Takaw lasa.
Me and my fellow 83nean runners got to taste this pandesal after our 21-km run last November 27. Every time we do our training run inside Camp Aguinaldo, we get to eat at the karenderia famous for its kalderetang kambing. However, this time, the building that housed the karenderia was undergoing renovation. Thus, we decided to try out the PDA Bakery and Restaurant at the back of the military camp.
|facade of Pan de Amerikana|
|Pan de Amerikana bakery and restaurant|
With an upside down Land Rover and Sta. Claus for a facade, this bakery/restaurant piqued our interest. When we entered the place, we were also surprised to see that the inside was also upside down. And it was a cool and colourful place to dine in.
|Which way is up, Ernie?|
|Which way is up, Ed?|
|Cool wash area|
Another surprise that hit us is how practically inexpensive the food of the restaurant. Php 30 for arroz caldo. Php 55 for tocino breakfast. The highest-priced item in the menu is the T-Bone steak at Php 170. These are prices I would expect from an eatery in my home province of Camarines Sur but not in a themed restaurant surrounded by well-to-do gated communities such as White Plains, Blue Ridge and Corinthian Village.
|Arroz caldo with egg at Php 35|
Still another surprise for us is that one of the owners of PDA was a college classmate of Ernie and Ed at the Ateneo de Naga University in the late 80s. She is Rosie Chua of Bicol, married to Jundio Salvador of Ilocos. We did not get to talk to her at the restaurant last Sunday but we saw her picture.
A Bicolana is one of the owners. That explains why laing is in the menu.
We enjoyed our breakfast and pandesal at Pan de Amerikana. And as we paid for our meal, I got to realize the symbolism of the upside down exterior and interior of the place. In my right mind, it was a subtle way for the owners to say that we will upgrade your eating experience but we will keep the price down.
|Happy customers of Pan De Amerikana|
P.S. The upside down restaurant in Katipunan is the second themed restaurant of Pan de Amerikana (PDA) . The first one is located in Marikina, featuring chess as the theme. For more on PDA, you can visit http://pandeamerikana.multiply.com/