What could be more Filipino than pandesal? One good part of living in the Philippines is being able to partake of piping hot pandesal during breakfast, or merienda. There is nothing like the taste of this rounded bread full of crumbs, about the size of a fist, which is versatile enough to be eaten with a lot of fillings, with coffee or with native hot chocolate.
Pandesal has social relevance too. Observers are fond of equating the size and price of the pandesal with the state of the economy. Indeed, it has upped its value from one peso each to about two pesos now, depending on the bakery or store. Signs of the times.
There are also gourmet purveyors of this national bread. Take for example, The Breadbag Pandesal Bar which we tried, upon a friend’s recommendation. Their neat hole-in-the-wall at the Ortigas Home Depot in Pasig is set to expand soon to Megamall and the Fort. One of the owners happens to belong to the family of the defunct Casa Marcos. Even though the once-popular restaurant is closed, they’ve kept the wood-fired brick oven used for baking their pan de sal and it’s now at The Bread Bag. You will know it differs from the others because of the texture and superior quality.
The Pan Ala Cubana (P111) is their take on the mainstream Pinoy dish with sauteed ground meat, a slice of fried saba banana and sunny side up egg ~ large enough to fill a big bun. These are served with sauce and kamote chips.
Another meal (or snack, if you prefer) is the pan de sal with adobo flakes and kesong puti (P111), served with a separate adobo sauce.
The Bread Bag’s fillings are rather fancy, although you can just order plain pan de sal at P6 each and the whole wheat variety is more expensive at P7. When I asked why they’re a bit pricey, the owner replied that their pan de sal isn’t just full of air, but are standardized at 50 grams each 😀
This is the Cream of Mushroom Soup on a Pandesal Bread Bowl that my son had. It was yummy.
I also liked their new offering, the Pandesal Pudding (P99) – day-old bread made even more delicious with a generous dash of caramel sauce. Great with their native hot chocolate, a comfort brew in every sense of the word.
The store’s official website rocks! Take a look to see the many things they’ve done with the poor man’s bread. Not missing are the palaman made from menudo, caldereta, corned beef, sardines, and embutido, to name just a few.
When I teased them about their user-friendly website, I found out that it wasn’t really a wonder since our host (and one of the owners) Mr. Kevin Khoe, used to be the CEO of Yehey.com and heads the company which overhauled Manila Bulletin Online recently. Thanks Kevin!
The Bread Bag Pandesal Bar
Unit 20A/21A Ortigas Home Depot
J. Vargas St., Pasig City
Call 7037784 for delivery