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 is located in the space formerly occupied by Saigon Cafe in Asian Square. They have a website, but they update their Facebook page regularly with specials, etc.

Fil-Am Star Cafe & Bakery
5150 Buford Highway NE
Suite A-170
Doraville, GA 30340

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