I received a phone call from the Missus the other day, informing me it was "Pata time". Which for us means a trip down to National City and Villa Manila:
Villa Manila occupies a space in a strip mall on 8th Street; many people will recognize this as the former site of Max Restaurant. The location is also right across the street from Zarlitos Restaurant. Villa Manila is a good sized Family style restaurant, featuring such favorites as Nilagang Baka (Beef Shank and Vegetable Soup) and Sinigang(Tamarind Based soup).
But the main reason we come to Villa Manila is this:
By Neptune's Trident! That is a whole Crispy Pata($19.00). In case you are not quite sure what Crispy Pata is; it's a Deep Fried Pork Leg (Pata). From what I understand, the Pata is first boiled, then dried, and finally fried. The result is a rich, decadent dish. You get the crispy skin, the rich subcutaneous fat, the soft gelatinous connective tissue, and the flavorful meat. Forget about this being the "other white meat", this is the real thing. You really can't mistake for anything else; it's 100% pig. You can order a Half Crispy Pata for $10.00, but the way we look at it is; if you're going to have Pata, you might as well "go all they way"!
Like the saying goes; "pork fat rules"!
The first bite, crunchy and gooey, is amazingly good!
The second bite is so decadent and rich, delici-yoso!!!
The third bite; is that some sweat on my brow? Guess my body is starting to work kind of hard...
By the fourth bite, man this is rich; think I'm getting a bit dizzy here!
By the fifth bite, I've called and made an appointment with my Cardiologist!
Luckily, the Missus has no such problems! And of course the Boyz get the bones!
We also ordered Lumpia Ubod ($7.00):
These two burrito sized "lumpia", feature Ubod (Hearts of palm), of course, as well as pork and shrimp. You can get them "Fresh"(unfried), or "Fried". We got the fried version which was fine, except the lumpia was not heated all the way through.
I ordered the Regular Half Fried Chicken combo($7.50), which comes with fries or rice; guess which one I got?
Unfortunately, I ordered this with Garlic Rice, but got the Fried Rice instead. The Chicken is pretty good, just simple seasoned fried chicken which I like to dip in vinegar. The white meat is on the dry side but the dark meat is very flavorful. There is something called "Jumbo" chicken that costs a bit more; but they've always been out of them when I'm here! Guess Jumbo Chicken is hard to come by!
Villa Manila may be a bit more expensive than the usual Filipino Restaurant, but the food is done well, and the service is always good.
Villa Manila Restaurant
500 East 8th Street
National City, CA 91950
Of course after this calorie dense and rich meal The Missus "needed something sweet to clear my palate". No problemo; just a quick trip to Jollibee:
For a Halo Halo Supreme ($3.99):
1401 East Plaza Blvd
National City, CA 91950