K and I joined N for a day trip out to Angeles and San Fernando. Our mission: eat at VFW, C' Italian Dining, Cottage Kitchen, and whatever else we could stuff in our ambitious stomachs. Sigh. We are not 14 anymore. By lunch, we were incapable of putting anything else in our constitutions. But instead of quantity, we chose quality. The risotto and ostrich steak at C was superb, we'll be dreaming of that risotto for months to come. Chef C was amiable and generous with his time so we had a good chat with him about food, music, and how he came up his panizzas (people drive at midnight from Manila just for a bite).
We also took time to delve further into the food shopping of Angeles. We had a short preview of Susie's and Rosing's when we were here two months ago, but this time, we got there before lunch, and spent more time tasting and choosing. Between the three of us, we had sufficient sweets to go around for weeks (well, maybe one weekend for K); carabao milk caramels, nougats, pastillas, empanaditas, pandan cupcakes, mochi. The ladies at Susie's were great salesladies! They gave us portions of the mochi to taste, showed us their carabao milk pastillas de leche custard, and answered all our pesky tourist questions. What we realized was missing was a cooler: we could have put more of the milk based and gata (coconut milk) products in there to bring back to Manila.
Another synergistic outcome that day was finding Nathaniel's. K had brought it up by email, then voiced her plan to look for it in San Fernando. While reading the paper, we came across a mention of it in an article that came with the phone number. And eventually we braved traffic to track it down. Their buko pandan (a pudding made of young coconut meat and pandan flavored gelatin with coconut milk) is their best seller, and while we were at the store, we also saw that they had other items we would love to try on our next foray (for merienda their pancit luglug and siomai look tempting). Again, that missing cooler would have come in handy.
Should we brave another warm humid day out in Angeles, we will also compare the halo-halos of Razons and Corazons, get our morcon from Everybody's Cafe, and another cafe called Aurely's has a brazo de mercedes we must taste. And we'll bring a cooler.