It took someone like Spanky to convince me to embark on another food trip on the culinary paradise that is Pampanga, of course together with our usual band of bloggers.
Spanky’s email a few weeks before the trip certainly had my appetite on a roll. He told us to try MeatPlus Cafe in Subic for one of the best-tasting cheeseburgers in town, the sinfully rich brazo de mercedes bars at Aurely’s Bakeshop in San Fernando and Everybody’s Cafe for a sampling of authentic Kapampangan cuisine. Of course we tried this all, and more! The trip would have turned out perfect if not for the monstrous traffic jam we encountered going back to Manila because of the heavy rains. It took us a horrible four hours to get from one point of Manila to the next and I was just thankful that we had our sumptuous dinner to tide us through the nightmare. It finally convinced me how foodies would go to such great lengths to try the ultimate chow of their dreams.
Our first stop was MeatPlus Cafe which is located near a cluster of duty-free shops in Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The rather bland, generic-sounding name of this establishment doesn’t do justice to the good stuff they serve here. Among these are the juicy burgers, succulent steaks, crunchy salads and tempting desserts, all offered in a sunny, homey cafeteria ambiance.
For lunch, I ordered the oven-roasted beef belly at P170 which is included in their selection of combo meals, with free soda or iced tea. I thought it was a risk ordering this from the menu but the beef belly turned out to be a piece of heavenly slab that was so tender and melted in my mouth. What more, it was paired perfectly with some yummy pepper sauce. As a meal-ender, I tried their homemade apple pie (P85) which went well with the brewed Danesi coffee. My companions also seemed happy with their burgers, especially the double patty with cheese, grilled onion and tomato – cheaper and more delicious than a BigMac, at only P75.
MeatPlus Cafe also has a “Choose Your Own Steak” promo where one’s choice cuts like noneless ribeye and New York-cut striploin (all US-certified Angus beef) are cooked the way you want it.
Having been to Subic countless times before, I remember ignoring MeatPlus Cafe because of its boring name. But don’t judge a book by its cover – MeatPlus is simply worth a try if you don’t like to drain a hole in your wallet when in you’re in a craving for sinful steaks (and burgers). It’s at Bldg. 65, Sampson Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Tel. 2526446, 252-7091, 252-6090
(to be continued)