Who’s to argue that the pan de sal is the quintissential Pinoy bread? Its popularity may have waxed and waned through the years but it has remained a mainstay on the Filipinos’ table for generations. Embedded deep into our culture, it has also become some sort of an economic barometer, shrinking in size and puffing in price with economic downturns. I remember years ago when every neighborhood bakery rode on the hot pan de sal craze, then slowly diminishing in popularity. It didn’t really go away, though, even moving from being a breakfast fare to an all-day treat. Which is why probably the people behind Balai Pandesal built its business around this Pinoy staple.
Lagal[og] says: The concept is simple: a 24/7 bakery to cater to pan de sal and other cravings round-the-clock. Their anchor product is the pandesalitas, miniature pan de sals good for eating on its own sans filling, or heated until the crust is crunchy-crisp. While I’m a rice eater for breakfast, pan de sal is also one of my comfort foods. Having said that, I also take comfort in Balai Pandesal commitment not to use preservatives in all its goodies, as well as baking the pan de sal in its premises, with a 12-hour window to sell these.
Ironwulf says: There’s always pan de sal on our family table in the morning. It’s nice to know there are really good quality ones out there not just the flour- or air-filled breads commonly sold almost everywhere. Both Balai Pandesal’s large pandesal (P7.00/pc) and pandesalitas (P3.50/pc) are soft on the inside and a pleasure to chew on beneath its slightly thin crust. The pandesilitas by itself has that even sweetness while the large pandesal is a tad less sweet, perfect for spreads and sandwiches.
Lagal[og] says: I also like their Spanish Bread (P17/pc) and Cheese breads (P20/pc) to go with coffee not just for breakfast but practically any time of the day, especially when I’m in a rush. Worth the mention is their Chilled Taho (P39), sold in round plastic containers (you can microwave it if you want but I avoid microwaving so I enjoy my taho cold) with not overly sweet syrup.
Ironwulf says: Balai Pandesal has an overwhelming variety of breads available aside from our beloved pandesals. Looking for something filling? Their Super Meaty Pizza (P79/slice) has that Filipino sweetness from the tomato sauce like our ubiquitous Pinoy-style spaghetti. Warning: the slices are big. Their Toasted Siopao is also a best-seller in both asado and bola-bola varieties (P9/ classic and P20/ supreme). I also enjoyed the Ham and Cheese bun (P39) as well as the Cheddar Ensaymada (P40).
Currently with nine stores to serve you in QC, Mandaluyong,
San Juan, Pasig, and Makati City (Delarosa branch closed on weekends)