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Pinole: Abby’s Grill and Restaurant – Filipino fusion and regular stuff

rworange | Jan 26, 2012 09:24 PM

Abby’s Grill opened in November 2011. It has a small menu that is mainly classic Filipino with crispy pata and such.

There are a few classic Vietnamese dishes also such as chicken pho. Then there is the fusion such as chicken adobo bahn mi and tuna ceviche tower. There are American touches such as Caesar salad.

No steam tables here. All dishes are made to order.

Here’s what I had
- Grilled pork belly sisig
- Crispy leche flan
- Weaver’s coffee


This is served on a sizzling cast iron skillet which crisped up the pieces of pork in contact with the platter. It was borderline oily but not too. The finely chopped pork had good flavor with hits of fresh jalapeno. A little onion, ginger and liver paste completed the dish. It was a little salty so if you are not a salt lover, tell them no extra salt.

It comes with steamed rice but you can substitute it for the excellent garlic rice which was light and had fresh garlic flavor. The menu says there are also steamed veggies, but the long green beans tasted more stir-fried.

The dish comes with a small dish of house-made achara. This version of Filipino pickled veggies had slivered red onion, carrot and daikon in slightly sweet vinegar. I liked it a lot.


This was flan in lumpia wrappers that was deep fried and drizzled with caramel sauce. It was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with reduced balsamic (maybe) and slices of fresh strawberry and kiwi. There were a few definite dabs of balsamic next to the flan lumpia.

It was all good and the presentation was pretty though it was like two separate desserts … the ice cream with fresh fruit side and the lumpia side.

There are four Filipino owners and the kitchen staff is young and fresh out of culinary school. So it looks like they get to play with few dishes such as this one.

One of the specials of the day was a spinach salad with strawberries, tofu and fruit vinaigrette.


Weaver’s is a San Rafael coffee company which was started by John Weaver, a master roaster at Peet’s for two decades before he started his own company in 2008. I liked this roast which was classic coffee shop … but good classic coffee shop … robust, but not so strong as to dissolve the lining of your stomach. More on Weaver’s


Seriously, until I was handed a menu I had zero clue this was a mainly Filipino restaurant. It has the look of a sleek, modern but comfortable café. Nine four top wooden tables nestle nicely in the small room. One wall has family photos and the other paintings by local artists. There are two outdoor tables.


For a restaurant this small, I was really impressed with my server who answered all my questions without missing a beat. She knew the menu well. One of the owners was there and it was pleasant chatting with him.


There is also a small breakfast menu on the weekend which in addition to champurado and silogs serves a few American dishes such as a Denver omelet. The pork and peas skillet seems interesting.

I’ll probably try the bahn mi next time to see if fusion works and if it is worth $7.95. Other than that, most of the dishes seem reasonably priced.

They are starting with a small menu and hoping to increase it over time, seeing what works in the area.

They seem to be trying to please both the Filipino customers and those new to the cuisine without dumbing down the menu and having a little fun in trying to fuse together a few worlds.

Address and phone on yelp

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