Last week I returned to my exploration of the many Filipino places in Vallejo. Nenengs has been open for about a year. It serves breakfast and lunch and stays open through the afternoon for to-go business. There are a few vinyl-clad booths for eating in.
The cheery owner-cook described the various dishes on the steam table for me. Nothing too unique. At the same time, these looked different because the sauces were more like unthickened pan juices and there was no heavy layer of oil floating on top of the trays. There were no noodle dishes or pancit available - these come out later in the afternoon.
The lunch rice plate special is $4 for two items, steamed rice, dessert, and a canned soda. I went for the asado pork and sauteed opa, and she threw in a couple spicy chicken wings because it was my first time here. With turon for dessert and a Diet Coke (surprised that name brand was offered), I was set.
For those who havent had opa before, its a long cylindrical pale green squash with smooth skin and small white edible seeds. Its related to the Cantonese git gua or mo gua (hairy melon) and tastes similar to chayote. Quarter round slices were sauteed with the barest hint of garlic and a bit of minced pork until softened and sweet. The asado pork was very lean and a little dryer than Id like with fresh carrots and strips of red and green bell peppers. Again, the sauce was not gloppy nor greasy, and even a little underseasoned. There was no tell-tale taste of added MSG. These two dishes show a fresh and light hand without the fattiness and excess sodium so often found in Filipino steam table food.
I didnt like the turon as much as the cracklier version from Goshen Foods. But for a $4 lunch, I got my moneys worth and more.
Nenengs Restaurant & Catering Services
1030 Tennessee St.