Subic and Back

This year has been very busy and draining for both Liv and myself. The demands and responsibilities of work, the scary serious (yet fulfilling) task of raising our rapidly growing baby Andrea, finishing and furnishing our own tiny house and more work again are among many other things that have conspired to give us a long shot at fulfilling our goal this year to have a nice, relaxing vacation as a couple.

Accepting this most likely fact, we had an idea one day to just go somewhere away from Manila to soak in a different atmosphere and of course, EAT. To make things "funner" we made it a family affair and took Andrea (with her yaya). Off to Subic we went!


The SCTEX makes going to subic more scenic and less tiring. Just take the exit in Dau and keep stepping on the gas till you get to Subic in no time (ok there's a speed limit for a good reason so don't step too hard).;p The scenery is unexpectedly pretty and offers views of quaint fields, mountains and hills. Just be careful not to fall asleep because it seems that not many people use this road yet and it can get pretty lonely and quiet specially during siesta time.

The toll fee is around P114.00 or close to that amount one way (Dau-Subic).

Arriving at around lunch time, we headed straight to Xtremely Xpresso. I've been raring to try their Big Ben Pizza ever since I read about the place in Dessert Comes First (it was a great review delivered with Lori's usual mouth watering eloquence) so of course, it was the first thing I asked for (gimme! gimme!). Taking a look at their menu, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had quite a wide selection of of other food as well.

What we had:

Smoked Salmon Capaccio (Php200.00)

It was great with the olive oil, capers and lemon. I thought it could have been smokier and better seasoned, but overall, I was really happy with the salmon. It was just fresh and simple.


The carbonara Liv ordered was really good. It wasn't overwhelmingly rich unlike some that fall into the trap of becoming an homage to seductive cream. It was seasoned well and the noodles were cooked perfectly. However, it was Liv's flash of brilliance that took the good carbonara dish to the realm of greatness. She topped it with the smoked salmon carpaccio!=0 It was just awesome...

And thanks to our nice window seat. We were able to watch our food get made like this

to become this

The Big Ben Pizza

Loaded with pepperoni and all other awesome meat a meat monster like me might possibly desire putting on a piece of dough, it was carnivore heaven. Olives, bell peppers and two kinds of cheese (I believe) were also thrown in to the party to complete the protein fest.

Although I have to say that the pizza was worth every peso, all the good things on top of the thick dough ended up quite heavy, and as much as I might have wanted more, the sheer volume of the whole thing had me tired after two slices. I guess there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing".
All in all it was a very good food experience and I would definitely go back to try the other interesting pizza flavors of theirs that I saw on the menu, among which are the Curry Chix Pizza and the Wasabi Mayo Seafood.

Later in the afternoon and after some duty free grocery shopping and after a failed attempt to get Andrea to have her first beach experience due to the rainy weather, merienda time found us still a bit full. Seeing Aresi (an old favorite resto of ours along Tomas Morato Q.C.) however, we decided a little reminiscing in Aresi's cozy ambience over some light snacks wouldn't hurt.=)

I forgot what this was called but it was some kind of crostini which we dipped in very yummy cream sauce. It was very good!

Old school four seasons... Yeah!

We were actually drooling over the leg of lamb course we spotted on the menu but after assessing our tummy storage situations, we reluctantly yielded to going back some other time for it (PROCASTINATION!! Ughh..)

I should also mention that the staff and waiters of Aresi were very helpful and friendly.

Soon after we were headed home. It was evening and evening meant dinner time. A late dinner in Pampanga it was and we had it at a place I first learned about from our friend Sakai's blog (which doesn't seem to be there anymore). This place is called a La Creme.

a La Creme is an unassuming restaurant right along Mac Arthur Highway with two stores that I know of (San Fernando and Angeles). The interiors are warm and homey and the atmosphere during dinner time is quite busy but happy.


The flavor of the gambas was just okay for me. What I liked about this dish though is that the shrimps were cooked perfectly and stayed away from dehydration. Each bite of shrimp was met by sensations of juicy, plump and sweet as if a bunch of little crustaceans just jumped into a bowl of sauce and spices straight from the sea.

Surf and Turf

Still feeling the effects of the pizza, I decided to stay away from bread for the evening so I had to skip the cheeseburger sandwich that we love in a La Creme. Thankfully, I didn't feel too bad with my decision as the steak was seasoned and spiced perfectly for me while the deliciously subtle lemon butter dip and the rough smokiness of the grilled shrimp went so well with each other.

Cheese stuffed burger from a La Creme

This is what I was talking about.

A mound of beef which erupts and spills oozes of mozzarella cheese when broken. The veggies are served on the plate and not in the sandwich accompanied by a spot of breaded fries that have some kind of yummy garlic mayo dip. Liv just had to have it as it's definitely one of our favorite burgers.

La Creme provided the perfect food and setting to cap off a day of eating and travelling to Subic and back.


carlotta1924 said...

my goodness, i got hungry after reading this post. that must be some food trip, you still managed to have dinner after that humongous pizza and even the merienda. grabe ang eating powers nyo hehehe =)

btw, i also noticed that sakai's blog isn't there anymore. i wonder why.

popcorn said...

I started craving for Carbonara when I saw your photo :) Aresi's dip looks so good too!

Ruy said...

Carlotta: Every once in a while we transform into eating machines. Hehe.
I'm also wondering what happened to it. I was thinking system error or something at first...
Oi Sakai! Where you be??? =0

Popcorn: Hey, thanks for dropping by. Carbonara cooking time!=)

Dhanggit said...

OMG Ruy I don't know where to look at, they are all mouth-watering!! I've been to Subic long time ago..thanks for sharing this!

Ruy said...

Dhanggit: I hope to see you next time you're here. =) I just wish our food pictures were as beautiful as yours.
Maybe someday.;)

Liv said...

RUY RUY RUY....what time are you picking me up? Let's go....we need to eat Lechon Kawali with the Thai Sauce...yum yum yum

Ruy said...

Liv: What the? =& LOL. I'll leave the game early. Be there by 9.

spanx said...

1st time in history yata
na nag-hanapan ang mag-asawa
sa comments section ng
sarili nilang blog!!!!

Olivia said...

Spanx, hard to reach kasi si Ruy eh...dito lang sa blog sumasagot. hahaha.

mikky said...

haven't been to Subic for a year now, i guess it's a high time to go back... and the pizza, looks so that's where aresi went... thanks for sharing your great finds... :)

Ruy said...

Mikky: Hi. Yup, Aresi is there!=) Thank you so much for visiting.=)

Ruy said...

Spanx: Liv lost her phone. Thats why she's resorting to blogagram.;p

Izzy Bizzy said...

We just visited this place last Saturday and although Subic was practically empty, this place was bustling with people. The service was very slow at that time and they gave us complimentary chips. But the items on the menu are really cheap and the crust of the big pizza was crispy - a different experience entirely.



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