The Philippines once was very next on my travel list (exciting!); then, I got married and had a kid. So, I’ll probably never deeply come to know much about the country or, specifically, about Filipino food on its home ground. Regardless, and despite my wishfulness, I’ve not yet been given reason to think Filipino food would be particularly delicious for anyone other than its own. No offense intended---I hope someone/place shows me otherwise. It’s unlikely that 105 million people could be wrong.
My latest attempt at having my mind changed was during this eve’s visit to new arrival Lutong Pinoy, across the street from Pho Hang. It started off well. The place was spacious and gleaming. It was relatively packed with Filipino families and they seemed to be digging it. I was greeted by a woman who carried herself as if she was the manager/owner (albeit…thankfully…wearing short shorts) and she pointed me towards a table with an experienced server. Both were very personable and very charming.
The menu is large and bears many dishes with which I’m not familiar. Take pork for example. They have fried pork skin with ginger sauce on a sizzling plate, pork simmered in beef blood, pork and veggies in a tangy tamarind broth, menudo, pork belly something, etc.. Encouraging. But, I limited my adventurousness to things I thought my wife would let my kid eat: chicken adobo, fried pork skin, stir fried egg noodles with mixed meats and veggies. A la carte plates are $10-$12.
I won’t make myself look more ignorant by attempting to analyze Lutong Pinoy’s execution on these limited selections. I’ll just say that our table seemingly enjoyed the dishes less enthusiastically than did the Filipino tables. (I will comment that the chicken had been broken down with a cleaver, Asian style, and even I can recognize that as a good sign.)
Intrigued by the country, impressed by its people’s world-wide accomplishments, still not personally won over by the food. www.newlutongpinoy.com (site in progress...also Facebook pg of same name) Maybe Erin will have a different take?
Pho Hang Restaurant
30921 Dequindre Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071