Renzie’s Metro Manila Food Cravings, circa 2009.

food adventures in Metro Manila with Renzie Baluyut.

Every Filipino who’s been away from the Philippines for a fairly extended period of time (like myself, while I was in L.A.) will always have a craving for Pinoy food.

I’m talking about the kind of food you can only get in the Philippines.  I consider myself to be fortunate to have stayed in a fairly Filipino-friendly neighborhood in Los Angeles, so
Asian supermarkets and Pinoy grocery stores selling (and serving) Filipino food were rather common.

Despite the Philippine community’s attempt to bring in, replicate, or locally reproduce many of our Pinoy favorites, there are still quite a few food items I miss so much from the Philippines.

For example:

KFCs Hot nKrispy Chicken
KFC's Hot n'Krispy Chicken

KFC Hot n’Krispy.

I was really amazed that Hot n’Krispy KFC wasn’t available at all in Los Angeles.  It was all original- which really wasn’t bad, but for me, nothing is quite like KFC’s very own Hot n’ Krispy in the Philippines.

Before I left, KFC was pushing this new Grilled Chicken, and I know quite a few friends who like it.  And they had these wings that they pushed last Superbowl season.

Some might suggest going Popeye’s, or Church’s- but no, KFC Hot n’Krispy is KFC Hot n’ Krispy.

I actually ordered a whole bucket for home delivery the moment I got home from the airport.  And it was awesome.

Vendors preparing shawarma in a stall near Virra Mall in Greenhills
Vendors preparing shawarma in a stall near Virra Mall in Greenhills

Shawarma.

There used to be this shawarma place near Pioneer Center- and I’d grab a few shawarma right after I’d get groceries done on the weekend.  It’s a Persian-style wrap with chunks of beef, and lots of onions, tomato, cucumber and cheese, then drizzled with garlic sauce, and rolled into a round flatbread.   Awesome.

Now you can get shawarma just about anywhere- most malls usually have a shawarma vendor somewhere, and then you have restaurants- particularly those of the Persian persuasion, and then standalone food stalls selling just that- shawarma.

Cheap-ass Pizza.

Sure we have all kinds of great pizza in LA.  One thing we don’t have, though, is cheap-ass pizza.  Pizza so basic, it strangely has a comforting quality to it.

I was looking for the most basic pizza I could remember: Fiesta Pizza.  Which essentially was cheap-ass ham and cheap-ass cheese with cheap-ass pizza sauce, on a cheap-ass cardboardlike pizza dough.  Couldn’t find one, or even a 3M pizza, so I settled for the next best one: Lotsa Pizza.

Lotsa Pizzas basic ham and cheese pizza.
Lotsa Pizza's basic ham and cheese pizza.

There’s actually so much more, I have drawn up a list of 10 20 food items I totally miss from the Philippines:

  • KFC Hot n’Krispy
  • Superbowl Hakao.
  • Andok’s Liempo.
  • Jonas Pares.
  • Barbeque.
  • Laing.
  • R&J’s Bulalo.
  • Sisig.
  • Tapsilog.
  • Hot Pan de Sal.

Check out my post on this set of ten Pinoy food favorites here on my other blog.

  • Via Mare Bibingka.
  • Takoyaki Samurai Balls
  • Jamaican Patties
  • Shawarma
  • Banapple
  • Burger Machine
  • Chicharon Bulaklak
  • Cora’s Teresas
  • Cheap-ass Pizza
  • Purefoods Hotdogs

Check out my post on this set of ten Pinoy food favorites here on my other blog.

Are you Pinoy, and have you been away from the Philippines for quite some time now?  What foods do you miss most from the Philippines?

Please do share!

Cheers, everyone.

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