Wednesday, March 16, 2016

All Hail the Best Baked Mac in Town : Toll House in Angeles, Pampanga

Allow me to let you in on a secret. 

It's the kind of the secret that I've carefully kept mum about for the past 13 years. However, I feel it's the right time to make the big reveal. So, here goes.... I found the ONE. That glorious plate of Baked Macaroni and I can dare say that it's the best that I've tasted in my entire 33 years of existence. Too good that I'm allowing myself to be melodramatic about it. 

tollhouse 1
Welcome to Toll House. A home-grown neighborhood coffee shop found along the busy street of Sto. Rosario in Angeles, Pampanga. Paul first took me here during our early days of dating and if I remember correctly, it was exactly after he officially introduced me as his girlfriend to his gwama and gwakong which led to a short chit-chat a.k.a. interview. Yes, we had a "Meet the Grandparents" kind of moment and I guess it went pretty well so we headed to Toll House to celebrate. Haha! 

tollhouse 3
Anyway, I'll never forget the first time I had a taste of Toll House's signature Baked Macaroni (Php. 80). I tell you, it was divine! It may not be very photogenic and I blame the bad lighting and my oldie camera for it but this is pretty much as real as it gets.

Okay, let me break it down for you. First, I love the al dente tube pasta that they used for it. It's not those tiny elbow macaroni which can get extremely soggy when overcooked but the tube macaroni has a nice bite to it. Next, the generous serving of minced beef. You'll surely get a fair amount in every scoop. Lastly, the creamy bechamel mixed with the tomato meat sauce. I love that it has a sweet taste (not the dessert kind) but it definitely the ratio of sweet to tangy was like 5:1. Kids will love this! 

This alone has been a long time family favorite of my in laws. Thus, every visit to Angeles will never be complete without dropping by Toll House for a quick bite or to bring home a platter of Baked Macaroni. I missed this so much that I was so happy that it was served as an afternoon snack during our Christmas party last December and we were able to go to Toll House again just last month. 

tollhouse 2
Aside from the Baked Macaroni, Paul also loves their Tacos (Php. 75). I guess what contributed to Toll House' success is how every dish feels very homey. The Taco salad has this localized Filipino taste profile which is actually very simple but it's definitely the best comfort dish to have. Served on a taco shell, it's packed with homemade minced beef and topped with diced tomatoes, shredded cabbage and grated cheese. 

tollhouse 4
We also tried the Palabok (Php. 65) which is a personal favorite of mine. Once again, as you can see, they totally are no pro in food plating and presentation but who cares when they've perfectly nailed the flavor right? I recommend that you enjoy this hot though as the noodles can stick together and get dry when cold. My only wish is for them to add more prawns/shrimps to this as it's pretty much topped with chicharon (pork crackling) and boiled egg. That's pretty much it. 

tollhouse 5
If you want sandwich, you'll never go wrong with the Clubhouse Sandwich (Php. 80). If the Americans have their burgers and sloppy joe, we, Filipinos, grew up sharing plates after plates of Clubhouse Sandwich. I remember having this after swimming at a hotel or in a sports club. Kongkong and Amah loves ordering this and we would share the 4 triangular sandwiches with some crispy fries that always comes with it. Toll House' version still has that old-school feel which is why we love it. 

Aside from these four specialties, Toll House actually has a very wide menu selection but we somehow always stick to the ones that we've tried and tested throughout all these years. I know travelling to Pampanga is not as easy as just hopping into the car and driving away but one good news is that they have actually opened a new branch in Marquee Mall which is slightly closer to the expressway. I wonder if they're eventually venture out to Metro Manila someday. 

Toll House is located at 1030 Sto. Rosario street, Angeles City, Pampanga. It's very near Holy Angel University. Check them out on Facebook

1 comment:

  1. when you go on a food trip in Pampanga, do you stay overnight?


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