I’ve always been a bit puzzled by the lack of Filipino restaurants in Atlanta. There is a Filipino community here, and the food, while unfamiliar to most Americans, is a delicious amalgam of Hispanic, Malaysian, Chinese and who knows what else.
Pork Adobo – vinegary & fork-tender
With the arrival of Fil-Am Star Cafe & Bakery, Atlanta now has (unless I’m mistaken) exactly 1 (one) Filipino restaurant. And I’m glad to say (especially after my experience with the last short-lived attempt at the Hong Kong Supermarket food court) – this is a good one.
Sinigang – Sour tamarind broth
Our meal started with sinigang, a sour broth flavored with tamarind. I’ve never liked this soup before – it’s always been too sour, even lemony (a shortcut maybe?). Fil-am’s version was dead on and addictive. I’m not much of a soup eater and I kept going back to the bowl.
The pork adobo was my real barometer. Far too often you’ll end up with overcooked, stringy meat and a pasty sauce with the texture of bad rendang. Our pork was fork-tender and moist with just a hint of vinegar – I would have preferred a bit more.
Fried chicken – adobo marinated chicken, deep fried
Fried chicken is a simple preparation – the chick is marinated in vinegar and garlic and fried. No breading. This can result in the chicken getting a little dry, but the sweet garlic dipping sauce makes up for any loss of moisture.
Guisado Monggo – mung bean stew with pork
This is comfort food for many – a simple stew of mung beans (monggo), meat (pork in this case), garlic, vegetables – whatever you may have on hand. Rich, thick and surprisingly tasty, just not my cup of tea. If you’re into lentils, you’ll really dig this.
Fil-Am Star Cafe & Bakery
5150 Buford Highway NE
Doraville, GA 30340