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Entries Tagged as 'Filipino Cuisine'

Fil-Am Star Cafe & Bakery

Got a chance to check out this new Filipino place on BuHi. It’s located inside Asian Square in the old Saigon Deli location across from Quoc Hong. My good buddy-slash-older brother G2 G1 and I went on opening day and it was a madhouse. It took over an hour for our food to arrive and even the table next to ours never got some of theirs. Odd because it’s not like they had to cook our order from scratch. They were mainly stews.

Fil-Am Star Cafe

Anyway. The lunch menu is limited. It’s what they have on special that day and it’s usually about 4 or 5 items daily. The dinner menu is more extensive. We got the Adobo, Caldereta, Pancit Palabok, and Lumpia. The adobo didn’t really have that salty-sour flavor it’s well known for. I realize there are many versions but there are versions that are really good. I’ve had great ones in New York and California. It’s ok here. But it didn’t really make me go wow.

Fil-Am Star Cafe

The Caldereta had fork-tender pieces of beef. It tasted like regular beef stew. Friends have told me that this is prepared with mashed liver to thicken the sauce and make it taste bolder but G2 and I agreed there wasn’t any. I did like the roasted potatoes that they added as a nice touch.

Fil-Am Star Cafe

I liked the Pancit Palabok. But you have to eat it fast or the noodles get gummy. The sauce is thick and flavorful and the crushed pork rind gave it that amazing crunch.

Fil-Am Star Cafe

Sadly, the eggrolls (Lumpia) that were a beautiful golden brown, were undercooked inside, a common occurrence when you deep fry with very, very hot oil. I would’ve eaten it just the same but the filling had pork in it, and, no, you don’t want to eat raw pork.

I would definitely go back to try more of the menu. But I’d wait a couple of more weeks when the kitchen has had time to accommodate an influx of people.

Menu here.
Gene Lee of the AJC has a great description of the dishes as well as pictures here.

Fil-Am Star Cafe & Bakery
5150 Buford Highway NE., Suite A-170
Doraville, GA 30340
678-580-1209.

Fil-Am Star Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon

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Rico’s World Kitchen

A couple of years ago, I went to the new location of Boudreaux’s Cajun in Lawrenceville. It was the sister eatery of the famous one in downtown Duluth. There, a Rico Cunnington was managing the place, and occasionally dabbled in the kitchen where he learned how to cook everything on the menu. While the stint was short-lived, as was the restaurant, he opened his own place right after to do what he loves to do: cook. With a big influence from him mom, Nette, a Filipino who cooked for 20 years at the old Lanier Inn, Rico aims to serve an international-flavored cuisine. You’ll see mostly cajun dishes on the menu with hints of southern and Filipino influences here and there.

Rico's World Kitchen (Buford)

I practically ate off the entire menu on my first visit and I could honestly say everything here is good. First, the famous Nette’s Lumpia, a Filipino-style fried egg rolls is a must try. Rico’s version is laced with cilantro and celery, a nice touch and a deviation from the original version. Still, the requisite filling of minced pork, carrots, and spices are all there, fried to a golden crisp, and served with a side of sweet and tangy sauce for dipping.

Rico's World Kitchen (Buford)

The winner among the appetizers, however, is the Fried Eggplant. Slices of tender, Asian eggplant are dipped in a light cornmeal batter, fried golden, then sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. It is quite light, with a good play on crunch and squishy.

Rico's World Kitchen (Buford)

The Fried Green Tomatoes is an exact replica of the eggplant and while good, just not as great as the fried eggplant. Still a good choice for an appetizer, however.

Rico's World Kitchen (Buford)

The soup of the day was Gumbo. It was delicious. There were chunks of fresh okra, tomatoes, huge pieces of chicken, Andouille sausage, and tiger prawns, then topped with freshly steamed Jasmine rice. The broth was bold with the perfect balance of spices. A big bowl is good enough for sharing, although I have no problems finishing this on my own.

Rico's World Kitchen (Buford)

I requested for a Mojo Pork Cuban Sandwich, and while not on the menu, was readily available upon request. The marinated, slow roasted pork was just delectable. Tender and tasty. It came with house-made potato chips and mojo dipping sauce. Absolutely wonderful.

Rico's World Kitchen (Buford)

My friend, who didn’t want to eat anything heavy, opted for the Fish Salad. Fish salad, you may ask? This one’s simply fantastic. Fresh white fish and crab are minced into a salad (think tuna salad but a hundred times better) then served on half an avocado, with field greens, fresh blueberries, cashews, and drizzled with Rico’s own syrupy balsamic vinaigrette. The combination of flavors were just amazing.

Rico's World Kitchen (Buford)

Stuffed after eating everything in front of us, Ms. Nette insisted we try her cakes, baked from scratch daily. Without any chance to say no, she placed a slice of carrot cake in front of us. This may very well be, the best carrot cake I have ever had. The cake is so incredibly moist with lots of fresh carrot bits. The cream cheese icing is light and not too sweet. Even a non-dessert person like me loved it. I can just imagine how the other cakes tasted. There was Red Velvet, Lemon, and Hummingbird at the time.

This no-frills eatery serves the most refreshing dishes made in the premises from scratch and with love. Do be sure to call ahead as the place have erratic hours, and, most times close for catering.

Note: Our total bill came to $40 before tip which included 2 sodas and the carrot cake. A bit much for lunch but we wanted to try as many items as we (or in this case, my stomach) could handle.


Insider tip:

Located on the corner of Woodward Crossing and Mall of Georgia Blvd in the Ivy Creek Plaza.
Patio dining available.

The scoop:
Rico’s World Kitchen
2720 Mall Of Georgia Blvd
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 831-7484

Rico's World Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Pinoy Cuisine

CLOSED — as of the week of April 27, 2009. Apparently moving to 1300 Indian Trail.

I was so excited to find out that there’s finally a Filipino restaurant in Atlanta. Okay, it’s not really a real restaurant, it’s more like a fast food stall (in a food court of an Asian supermarket), but nevertheless, it’s better than nothing. Opened less than two weeks ago, I’ve visited 3 times. The best Filipino restaurants outside of the Philippines can be found in California and New York. Having said that, don’t get your hopes up too high on this one. It pales in comparison — at least, in taste. But they make it up on price and quantity.

Pinoy Cuisine (Norcross)

Pinoy Cuisine (Norcross)

Pinoy Cuisine (Norcross)

Pinoy Cuisine (Norcross)

Pinoy Cuisine (Norcross)

The daily menu consists of the following dishes where you can choose 2 items for $3.99 or 3 for $5.99. Steamed rice is included.
- Chicken Adobo — stewed chicken in soy-vinegar sauce
- Pork Adobo — stewed pork in soy-vinegar sauce
- Pancit Bihon — stir-fried noodles (similar to Singapore’s meehon)
- Grilled Porkchop
- Chicken Tinola — ginger-infused chicken soup
- Lechon Kawali — deep-fried pork tenderloin with skin
- Mongo — lentil soup
- Pork Sinigang — tamarind-flavored soup with pork and vegetables
- Fried Tilapia — deep-fried whole fish (average length is 8 inches or more)
- Beef Tapa — grilled marinated beef

Outside of the daily specials, they also offer deep-fried whole or half chicken, Lumpia (pork eggrolls), Crispy Pata (deep-fried ham hock), Shrimp Sinigang (tamarind-flavored soup with prawns), and Chop Suey (stir-fried mixed veggies in white sauce). While the soups are watery, the noodles are dry, and the stews and veggies are bland, the deep-fried dishes take center stage here. Meats are seasoned then deep-fried to perfection. The result is crispiness that’s out of this world.

So run, don’t walk, and get some artery-clogging goodness that’s simply exceptional.

Insider tip:
Best time to go is during lunch when everything is still available. By 7pm, most everything is gone.
Buffet on weekends for $7.99.
Located inside the new Hong Kong Supermaket on Jimmy Carter Blvd where Cub Foods (later on International Farmers Market) used to be.

The scoop:

Pinoy Cuisine
5495 Jimmy Carter Blvd
Hong Kong Mall
Norcross, GA 30093
404-806-9685

Pinoy Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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