Most recently, a foreign friend bent on staying for a time in the Philippines asked me for recommendations about places to go and the cost of living in the country. “Anywhere I should avoid? Like Angels City? I mean those places where sex tourist and ‘sexpats’ gather. Don’t want to end up somewhere like Thailand’s Pattaya. ”
I presume Angeles City has such a rep among the males by virtue of word of mouth and what they read in the forums. I was here this week and the trusty pedicab I rode in drove through the city’s (in)famous bar strip in Fields Avenue where some joints were indeed open 24/7.
However, it’s an unfair accusation to just associate Angeles City with ‘ affordable girls’ and sleazy entertainment. I really like the food here…and I don’t mean the carnal kind 😛 The place was after all one of the sites of our forget-your-diet, ultimate food trip way back in ’06.
This time around, I made sure to try the much-acclaimed C’ Italian Dining along Don Juico Avenue (also known as the Friendship Highway.) My first attempt to visit this resto during Christmas ’07 was a failure because the place was closed. And my first impression now was that it looked like an enoteca due to the bar with all those bottles of wine that greeted guests upon entering. And of course those plates on the wall signed by satisfied guests.
Verdict: C’Italian deserves the accolades, even though it was a bit on the expensive side. Service was efficient and the food was very good. You should have a reason to go here though, like a date or a milestone celebration or simply be someone like me who’d like to know what the hype was all about.:D
The receptionist at the hotel recommended their panizza (P595), a cross between panini and pizza, which was the house specialty. It was a big square thin crust pizza with five cheeses which you had to top with alfalfa sprouts and fresh arugula leaves (served separately.) Only then can you roll it like shawarma. The fact that the pizza was thin and crusty enough made it perfect for biting. This, plus the order of spaghetti frutti di mare (570) , made it a very heavy meal. As a starter, the resto also serves their signature bread with salsa verde (green sauce) in olive oil. I could not wait to try their other specialties, if only the place was nearer. Fine dining all the way!
19 Copung Copung Grill along MacArthur Highway (near the grand-looking casino) was also another excellent resto we tried. The name is quite catchy.. I don’t know what the name means for Kapampangans, but Kopong Kopong over here sure refers to something that’s from a bygone era. Anyhoo, the resto serves the culinary specialties of Pampanga like sisig, adobong itik and others too exotic to write about. The waitresses are even garbed in their native Filipino costumes. A great place to drink beer, eat and hang out – the Pinoy way.
Last but unfortunately the least was my rather forgettable lunch at the VFW Canteen which I raved about in a previous post. This barbecue beef sandwich sure looked awesome on the outside, but was rather disappointing on the inside. The barbecue was sauce was too strong and sour for my taste. At P195, I would have been better off ordering the lunch specials, like the sirloin steak with mashed potato.
VFW Post 2485 Canteen is quite known for its huge American-size servings, for obvious reasons. VFW stands for Veterans of Foreign Wars. But it was quite a letdown to know they’ve scrapped a few of the choices from the menu, like the Reuben Sandwich and the S.O.S (Sh*t on Shingle). Don’t know what else is in store for this VFW. Like the veterans of war, it looks old and beaten.