Why we shouldn’t go home for lunch

I recently read an article in the lifestyle section of a popular daily that in Cebu, in the early years, “Cebuanos always go home for lunch.” Not anymore because of the food revolution in the queen city of the south. Most of people there do less cooking, and prefer to dine out on various restaurants.

Like here in Pampanga, particularly in Angeles City, there was a dramatic change in the dining habit of many Kapampangans. Before, only the upper crust make trips to high end restos. I remember Blue Ribbon Steak House at the basement of Marlim Mansion Hotel and Jack’s in the same building. Of course there was Maranao of Oasis Hotel which until today is well-patronized. There are a few more. “C” closed its operation when Chef Cris moved to Manila, but recently returned and Royce Hotel management put up an Italian restaurant under his name, the Amare by Chef Chris. Another Italian restaurant as a must visit is Picolo Padre of Danilo Giampolo on the ground floor of Prime Asia Hotel.

In the early years there was Everybody’s of the Santos family which was a destination restaurant for most travelers. Now in Clark Freeport alone there is Binulo managed by Maricar Angeles and the Matam-ih owned by former Capas Mayor TJ Rodriguez. Food at Calle is sensational, with their carinderia-type operation and mostly medium-priced, which is almost similar in service with the Lomi House at Clark’s Air Force City.

Outside Clark Freeport, Korean and Japanese restaurants mushroomed. During lunch hours and dinner time, you are most likely to get caught in traffic because of customers weaving in and out of the Friendship Highway, where most of the restos are located. Halla is the pioneer Korean restaurant in that strip. And now there is Anmyundo, Bongganae, Go Gi gib, Guyiga and many more which all make the Korean dishes affordable to most with their unlimited sangyupsal.

Still leading as No. 1 Chinese restaurant is Fortune, followed by Shanghai. Peking moved its operation in the ground floor of Century Resort Hotel, also in Balibago area. Lately SM Clark, inspired by high spending spree of both the locals and the influx of Korean tourists lined up several dining outlets. Aside from the traditionals like Max’s, Gerry’s Grill, Mang Inasal, Susie’s Cuisine, Ikabud among others, there are now fusion restaurants offering Lebanese, Japanese and Italian dishes.

There is no more reason for Kapampangans and their guests to go home for lunch or serve dinner at home, even if it’s your birthday or wedding anniversary.

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