I’m going to try to be as unbiased as I possibly can, but you’re truly missing out if you haven’t already indulged in Filipino food. Just like its people, Filipino food is a mix of Indian, Chinese, Spanish and American influences. Most dishes are combinations of sweet, salty and tangy, which basically mean your flavor sensors are going to be very happy.
Growing up Filipino, I was able to enjoy home-cooked Filipino classics like chicken adobo (vinegar and soy sauce marinated chicken), pancit (noodles), and lumpia (filipino egg rolls). Nothing beats Momma’s home cooking and I’m embarrassed to say that I never really learned how to cook these meals myself…sorry Ma. Don’t get me wrong, I tried and the result was sub-par. I’d rather have my Mother make it for me because at least she for sure won’t mess it up.
Anyways, if you don’t have the luxury of having a Filipino mother, or a HUGE Filipino family, like myself to enjoy Filipino food, have no fear because Austin has their very own Filipino restaurant that’s making waves in the local food scene! Be More Pacific Kitchen + Bar, located off Shoal Creek, is whipping up some classics and new recipes with a spin. I had the opportunity to meet the owners and enjoy some dishes off the menu. I highly recommend you try this place if you’re curious about trying Filipino cuisine, but aren’t sure how or where to start.
Kare Kare (Kah-reh Kah-reh)
Probably my favorite Filipino dish ever. It’s stewed beef in a tangy peanut sauce with some veggies and a salty shrimp paste. At Be More Pacific, they make their version with BRISKET. That’s right, glorious brisket meat. Not as good as my Mom’s, but f*cking delicious.
A classic. Chicken marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and ginger. Sweet, tangy, salty. The trinity of Filipino cuisine in one single dish.
Okay so if you’re Filipino, you know what banana ketchup is. Don’t be discouraged by the name, it’s actually really good. I would’ve never thought to mix Filipino flavors with a Texas classic like queso, but I guess anything is possible and the flavors marry surprisingly well.
Tocino is Filipino bacon and it’s so good. It’s sweet and salty and, of course, fatty. Growing up, I would have this dish all the time for breakfast. Tocino with a runny egg topped over rice. This dish definitely hits home and I’m so glad that they offer this on the menu.
Halo Halo (Ha-low Ha-low)
Halo Halo translates to “mix mix” and that’s exactly what you’re supposed to do with this classic dessert. It’s essentially a Filipino sundae and there’s so many variations. When you mix it all up, there’s some surprises at the bottom. It’s meant to share, but if you’re like me, you won’t and instead will hog up all the ube ice cream. *shrug*
Have you ever tried Filipino food? Which dish is your favorite? Drop me a comment!