So I recently started working out of an office nearby, along the SE 17th St. Causeway, a stretch of road with an odd mix of businesses catering to the yachting class (high-end restaurants and nice hotels, yacht brokers and provisoners, gourmet food shops and a Publix with two aisles of wine) and to the transient community of people who work on those boats and on the cruise ships that dock nearby (phone calling centers, cheap barbershops, immigration services, and fast food). Many of the crew on the cruise ships and staff in support businesses onshore are Filipino, so there are a few businesses catering to them, one of which is Pegasus Pinoy Restaurant, theoretically at 1075 SE 17th St., but really tucked into one of the old strips of stores between Cordova and Miami Ave., in a building next to Waxy O'Connor's.
It's a turo-turo most of the day--in other words primarily a steam-table counter with various dishes, most in the $4-$6 range, all a la carte, and a plate of white rice to pour your stews over is 50 cents. Point at what you want, ask the nice women in hairnets who work there what things are, and they'll ladle it up for you into styrofoam bowls or takeout containers. There are a fair number of tables, too, a bit (but only a bit) nicer than you'd expect at this kind of thing--which isn't to say the dull greenish walls and dim light aren't dreary. They do also offer table service, at least for dinner, with a full menu of stuff cooked to order, at double to triple the lunch prices.
A number of things looked pretty good (and about half involved organ meats, pig's blood and/or small, bony fish), but all I had was their menudo, one of those quintessential Filipino basics, theirs a stew of pork, liver, raisins and bits of potato and peppers in a salty (by definition) soy-vinegar gravy. I spiked it with Tabasco. Tasty and decent enough, and not something you're likely to run across in any other restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. I like it much better than the menudo at Elvie's Turo-Turo in Manhattan, which is my only point of reference besides the recipe I've made it from myself. They also had a tureen of a very austere fish stock that you could take free with lunch, flecked with bits of fish. Spoon in some white rice and it's not bad--very similar in flavor to a Korean fish broth. This is the opposite of fancy food; every scrap of every ingredient seems to get used. I suspect their food is identical to what you'd find at a similar place on a backstreet in Manila. Not exactly delicious, but definitely transporting. I'll be back.
Side notes: this is an area with bars and restaurants for any budget.. Bimini Boatyard, Chuck's Seafood and Steaks, the oft-mentioned Tom Jenkins and all manner of other stuff are around. For down-to-earth beer and bar food, there's Waxy O'Connor's which is a comfortable Irish pub in the modern (somewhat posh and fern-y) style, and the Village Well, a cheap, divey neighborhood watering hole.
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