IF THERE is one thing that has become part of every Filipino’s routine, that would be waking up in an early morning to a mug of coffee coupled with tiny rolls of bread, that is, pandesal.

Pandesal, which is a Spanish word that means “bread of salt” in English, has now evolved into something better. It is no longer just a plain bread as it is now made with different twists.

Originally known as a bread consumed at breakfast, this bread roll has become one that can be eaten at all seasons. With the emergence of many bakeshops in the city and with the market competitions, innovation has become the key for the business to thrive. Somehow, we owe the variety of pandesal we are enjoying now to innovations. What made it a bread for all times now is the fact that many bakeshops already serve it 24 hours.

Malunggay pandesal, garlic pandesal and wheat pandesal are just among the flavors one can have the pleasure of choosing.

In our quest to find out the best pandesal made in the city, we had asked the grapevine, like we always do, to try out the finest pandesal in Davao City. The team hopped from bakeshop to bakeshop, looking for Dabawenyos’ favorite pandesal like we are looking for the fountain of youth.

The search led us to Angliongto St. in Damosa Land, Lanang and even dragged us further to Cabantian. Three bakeshops had made it on the list, namely, budong malunggay pandesal, balolong hot pandesal and haona.

Budong Malunggay Pandesal

This pandesal is not only famous for its taste but also for its healthy flavor. Malunggay, also known as Moringa oleifera, is known for its nutrients. Now it can be enjoyed with your favorite pandesal.

Budong’s pandesal is a little bit crusted. Its crunchiness goes best when it is eaten fresh from the oven. The moment its cold though, it would turn very firm. So it is much better if you have it all eaten while it is still hot.

Rating

CCC: 3.5

RCP: 2.5

ASP: 3

Balolong Hot Pandesal

What is immediately noticeable and admirable about this pandesal is its delicious smell that could easily entice you to have a bite or two the moment you held it in your hands.

After taking so many twists and turns just to find their bakeshop (we learned that their branch in Lanang had been closed down), we had finally found one that is operating in Cabantian. We ordered the garlic-flavored pandesal and its smell and taste are just right. It was not too sweet and you can still enjoy it even when it is already cold.

Rating

CCC: 4

ASP: 4

RCP: 4

Haona Pandesal Bar

We heard about Haona from media friends who vouched that this pandesal tasted so good that it would make you forget your name for a while. Intrigued as we were, we asked where we can buy this wheat pandesal and it led us to corner Bonifacio St., Quezon Boulevard in Barangay 31, Davao City.

I love its smell-one like that of vanilla. It tasted sweet and one you can eat even without any drink. The good thing about Haona is that it is soft and can still be enjoyed even when it is already cold.

Rating

RCP: 3

ASP: 4

CCC: 3

Winner!

Based on our tabulation, Balolong takes the top spot. Kudos Balolong for winning this month’s Best of Davao: Pandesal.