It pays to take the scenic route home. We veered several kilometers off the road to our house and found a wonderfully creative bakery/restaurant called Pan de Amerikana, which sells wheat pan de sal the size of hamburger buns. Apparently, this was how pan de sal was made in the '50s. I can believe that. My mom is always saying how everything was served in bigger proportions back in the olden-golden days. Popular hard candy brands tasted better and were the size of little rocks, she says, bread came in bigger loaves and were not so airy... Well, you can't really blame companies for coping with the times and inflation. I suppose they had to find cheaper alternatives for ingredients and make everything smaller.
Anyway, don't you just love discovering something great right in your backyard? I googled it and it seems it's really one of the tourist spots in my city (Man, I should get out more). Classes go there for field trips and tourists include it in their itinerary. The wheat pan de sals (panes de sal?) were awesome. They were chewy and just the right taste. They were served fresh-from-the-wood-burning-oven-hot and my daughter really loved them. I think you can also get them in White Plains (I know I've seen a sign with the same name), but the place in Marikina is just more awe-inspiring. We weren't able to try out the restaurant because it was closed at that time, but I glanced at the menu and it seemed to feature Marikina dishes (they're really good, even if I say so myself, on the sweet side though). Anyway, I'll try out the restaurant even if just for the ambience. There's a windmill, a treehouse, a pond, etc. I'm not sure if I remember correctly, but I think the place offers art classes as well. The place is very "True and Amazing Vacation Homes" (I loved loved loved this show on the travel channel. I loved the theme song, too.).
Anyway, we'll be going back soon to check out the other wares. We'll probably hold off eating at the restaurant until it's cooler (Can you blame me for wanting to stay indoors when the weather is like this? Folks from elsewhere, it's summer here and at the peak of mugginess-a-la-Manila.). We'll try the wheat ensaymada next time as they were all out when we were there. Anyhoo, should you find yourselves in our fair city, check out the 1950s pan de sal, etc. at the Pan de Amerikana. PS. check out the site... better pictures there.