Tuesday, June 23, 2015

PAMPANGA EATS: Everybody's Café

Last Saturday was one of the best days I had!

It was a day of celebration. . . .reconnection. . . and rediscovery!  The last three words apply to the good friends I met up with and the sumptuous lunch we had.

We met up with a High School friend who we miss so much because we haven't seen her for a looong time!  She came to visit (she lives in a different province now) and told me that she would like to eat in one of our province's (Pampanga) culinary gem . . . the Everybody's Café!  

We are all true-blooded Kapampangans but somehow we don't get to visit this place regularly, and for some of us, it was their first time last Saturday.  I knowww. . . haha!  It's ironic how people from Manila would drive all the way to Pampanga just to eat in this restaurant and we don't go to this place that often.  I guess human nature makes you take things for granted when that thing is within your reach. 

The last time I ate here was when I was probably in Grade School.  I remember coming to this place with the family to have merienda.  We would always have palabok (or pansit luglug as we call it here in our province) which was served with toasted bread and butter and halo-halo!

Goes without saying that it was a good time to rediscover this famous food destination as we also celebrate a lifelong friendship!

Having these girls around is like being back in high school except that our stories range from dealing with teenagers, hormones (not the teens'!), moisturizers and change in vision (well, hello 40s!), varicose veins and real estate taxes. . . such diverse topics ano?  Haha!  Yes, this is the story of our lives. . . now.

What goes well with good friends and endless conversation but an array of good food!

Welcome to Everybody's Café, the home of authentic Kapampangan cuisine!

Food here is served cafeteria/turo-turo style (direct translation by Filipinos: point-point, haha!) where you place your order by pointing at the dish you like from the food counter.  There are lot of choices but I think we did a pretty good job in "balancing" our meal.

One of the things we ordered was their specialty. . . Murcon!  Murcon is our local version of a meatloaf.  This is a staple in every Kapampangan household during fiesta or any special occasion.

The Murcon is served with additional sauce (made from its drippings) and I wish we slathered some over it before we took a photo, haha!  But even without the extra sauce, it's already good and tasty!

Of course, being the Kapampangans that we are, we had to order Pork Sisig. I love their sisig because it has some toasted parts.  I like it as it is.  We didn't even need to do anything (like put calamansi or soy sauce).

I did mention having a balanced meal . . .so we also ordered fish!  (Nah, we just felt guilty for ordering the pork dishes, haha)  We got some some fried hito (mudfish) which was fried perfectly!  It is served with buro (fermented rice and fish) and fresh mustasa (mustard leaves) ----- a popular trifecta of goodness for the Kapampangans!

We also ordered *Pako (pronounced as Pa-KO, stress is on the second syllable) Salad which has a vinegar dressing.

*Pako is Fiddlehead fern (thank you Google!)

And Bangus Torta which was something new to all of us . . .surprisingly good.

We also ordered Kare-Kare . . . 

And because I remembered eating their palabok, we placed an order too.

Something different. . . Palabok with slivers of Kamias

Naku, hindi. . .hindi kami gutom!   

We were not really hungry, hahaha!  We Kapampangans just love food!  We are known to be good cooks but we also love eating (well actually, who doesn't?!).

Another Kapampangan dish that is worth trying which we didn't order (because there is this thing called gluttony, haha) is Kilain (pronounced as Kila-yin).  It is an adobo-like dish (because it is also cooked in vinegar) sans the soy sauce. But its taste is entirely different from Adobo.  I find its flavor deeper and richer. I guess because of the liver component of the dish.  (Okay, I am not a Capampangan food expert, this is just my humble opinion, haha!)  When we cook this at home, we use finely chopped liver to thicken the sauce.  Some households also put lungs in this dish (we don't). 

Everybody's Café is also known for their exotic dishes like Betute (Stuffed Frog), Adobong Camaru (Crickets) and they also have Pindang Damulag (Cured Carabao Meat---*carabao is a water buffalo) as seen below.  I also saw Kalderetang Kambing (goat) and a lengua (tongue) dish (I forgot what it was) among the food choices.

We had so much food but we had more stories to share that lunch ran for 3 hours!

And at the end of this perfect day, all I can say is our hearts were full of laughter and our tummies filled with good food!

(Thank you BFF for the photos you shared for this post!)

For more details about Everybody's Cafe, please visit their FB page.

Main Branch: Del Pilar, McArthur Hi-way, City of San Fernando, Pampanga

Second Branch: Nepo Mart, Angeles, Pampanga

*I know that they are also part of the Salcedo Market in Makati every Saturday.

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