After years of hearing about Pan de Amerikana, an eccentric breakfast place with huge chess pieces on a garden setting somewhere in the Marikina area, I was finally able check it out—well sort of—upon chancing upon a blog post by Marlies Travels about the said place, albeit on a different location.
I was on the night shift and I was thinking it could be the perfect excuse to have breakfast at this restaurant since it was not that far from our office. We hopped on a train to Katipunan Avenue and hailed a cab straight to the place. I’m not a taxi person but we’ve no choice as there seems to be no other way to get there by commuting.
We were too early though, the diner doesn’t open ‘til 8am, so we’ve no choice but to wait it out.
If the original Marikina branch of Pan de Amerikana was quirky, this one at Katipunan Avenue tops it off easily enough; the restaurant is upside down, I suppose it can’t get any odder than that. The whole facade is an inverted Swiss chalet complete with red 4x4 jeep, bicycle, plants and lawn. The entrance is through a hole in its shingled roof.
The theme is extended into the airy interior of the restaurant. Colorful wooden dining set complete with plates and glasses hang perilously from the ceiling complemented by a sala set on its side. Diners seemingly oblivious to it all sit and chatter complacently right below them.
The theme is jarringly genius, it sort of remind me of my childhood summer days when there was nothing to do but sit upside down on our sofa and imagine all our furnishing glued to the ceiling. I kept thinking I’d have to watch out for our fluorescent lamp, I don’t want to ever smash into it since it’s now on the floor.
I’d bet my breakfast if this place isn’t a hit with kids; it’s like the owner took their daydreams into reality.
After craning our necks ever upwards, it was time to eat. The food is surprisingly affordable; you’d think with its nice and quirky ambience, their grub would be expensive; well, you’d be totally wrong.
I ordered my fave breakfast fare, longsilog (Php55.00) and asked for an additional piece (Php30.00), since it only includes a single serving of sausage. L ordered her favorite morning dish, tocilog (Php55.00). We also had a couple of hot chocolate (Php30.00) and a pair of pandesal sandwich (Php25.00) to bundle with our meal.
The Ilokano longanisa was pretty average, so was the tocino. The hot choco was thick, but not too sweet, just the way I liked it. The pandesal sandwich was my fave though; the bread was large and soft, and the filling (I chose corned beef) was very generous in serving and cooked just right, not too tender.
The service crew were all polite but the serving time took quite a while. I was almost done with my rice meal when my extra longanisa arrived.
I wonder why they named the place Pan de Amerikana when their dishes are so very Filipino. It may be that breads are more popular in the west but this upside down restaurant’s version of it is still clearly Filipino; with our favorite pandesal, larger than usual.
So if you’re looking for a typical Filipino breakfast without busting your pockets and you happen to be near Katipunan Avenue, do check out Pan de Amerikana. It’s almost on the same price level with your average streetcorner tapsihan but with a nicer atmosphere.
And of course, who’d not want to eat at an inverted house.