Yes, you read that right. While he actually can bravely take in all sorts of exotic dishes such as Turtle Soup, Fried Frog Legs and a lot more, I don't think Paul really imagined the day that he would be having a spoonful of fried crickets with rice and meat. Since then, he has been craving for more thus the reason for our impromptu visit up north for lunch at (where else?!) Everybody's Cafe.
To be honest, I wasn't as excited as him knowing that we are to dine at a restaurant that serves all sorts of local delicacies / exotic dishes. As you may all know, I can be a pretty picky eater and not a big fan of anything beyond the usual pork, beef, seafood and chicken. Still, I went there with an open mind and a growling tummy so I was quite happy that we are finally having lunch after an hour-long drive from Manila.
As you enter the restaurant, you head straight towards the counter where you'll see the dishes available for the day. No menu will be handed to you thus you do this turo-turo style -- simply put, just point out your order to the server behind the counter.
My first pick was the Murcon (Php. 360). I was instantly attracted towards the bright yellow sauce covering the meat and the ground beef-like topping which I later realized doesn't taste like ground beef at all. A traditional Filipino dish normally present during Noche Buena dinners, I noticed that this is not your typical morcon with hard boiled eggs inside, instead the meat mixture has chorizo and quezo de bola which makes it even richer and a bit more saltier than normal. Still, I enjoyed every bite and wouldn't mind going back to Everybody's Cafe for more.
Paul's one and only pick was the Camaro (Php. 220). Quite a bit expensive for a plate of stir-fried crickets but I figured that you really have to pay a little more for exotic dishes. Definitely not for the faint-hearted and do make sure that you do not have any allergies towards these tiny grass-fed creatures as my poor husband suffered from slight itching, numb hands and bright pink blotches all over his face and neck after consuming an entire plate that day. Needless to say, I think that pretty much ended his short love affair with the Camaro.
To go with the delicious Murcon, I ordered a plate of Kalderetang Kambing (Php. 300). My first time to have goat actually and while it tasted pretty good, I find the meat a bit tough that we ended up pulling and chewing most of the time. The sauce was good though, a bit spicy but goes really well with my rice. My love and loyalty still goes to the tender beef and lamb dishes out there.
While Everybody's Cafe may seem like a clean-version of a carinderia with the turo-turo style of ordering and the dishes presented minus the frills and decors, note that the price per dish averages around Php. 300 each. Thus our total bill was at Php. 900 given that we only had three dishes and a cup of rice each. A bit too steep if you ask me.
Nonetheless, a visit to Everybody's Cafe is perfect for the adventurous diners out there. It's also a good way to orient yourselves with the local Capampangan dishes not found elsewhere.
Everybody's Cafe is located at 105-106 BPI Arcade, Teresa Avenue, Sto. Rosario, Angeles City in Pampanga. It's located right across Nepo Mall.