Pan de Amerikana is not a bakery owned by an American nor a franchise of a bakeshop in the US. It started as a bakery in 1950s, producing extender-free pan de sal baked from wood-fired oven. It is very Filipino - from the garden setup of their restaurant (in Marikina) adorned with antique wood tables, tree house and various assortments, down to their menu of local pinoy fares.
It's the country's first chess-themed restaurant so it's no wonder there's chess everywhere. The owners were not content with putting up chessboard tables, but they also created a giant chess board with pieces imported from US.
The three and a half feet chess pieces, although made of plastic, are pretty heavy; my little girl had quite a struggle moving them from one square to another. It's as if they want visitors to exercise both brain and muscles too.
The surrounding is perfect for those who want to beef up their creativity, thus, the restaurant also serves as venue to various activities like Tai Chi classes, photography club gatherings and free art lessons.
Free wifi is also available which makes Pan de Amerikana a perfect hang out for bloggers and informal business meetings.
Aside from the garden restaurant, the reason why people from all walks of life troop to Pan Amerikana is their pan de sal.
Made of wheat and absolutely without any extenders, the bread is soft and tasty. Pan de Sal (bread with salt) is the most popular bread in the Philippines, although the name was of Spanish origin (probably because when pan de sal was invented, we're a Spanish colony).