Back in 2008, "Maribelle" left a comment on my April 2006 post on Manila Fast Food informing me that this very popular "turo-turo" shop had come under new ownership. I made a note in my black book, and kinda just forgot about the place for a while, Until reading Kirbie Cravings post a couple of months ago. So a few weeks back, finding myself in the area, I found myself back at the strip mall which houses Seafood City.
And I gotta say, the place is as busy as ever. And it seemed that for every Filipino in the place, there was someone of another ethnicity in line.
The tocino and lechon kawale looked good, so I purchased a two item combo with those two pork items.
The Lechon Kawale, the wonderful simmered than fried pork belly dish looked great.
As with Lechon Kawale, whether at Pinoy Fiesta, Tita's, or Point Point Joint timing is important, so I nowadays, I never set my heart on Lechon Kawale when going somewhere. I wait until I arrive, and if the Lechon looks nice and fresh, I'll get it. This looked good, but the skin was too hard and chewy, and the fat was waxy and greasy, instead of silken and gelatinous. The Lechon sauce was fine, but a bit too sweet for my tastes.
The tocino was hard (even for tocino), and pretty bland. Not the best I've had. All in all, not quite as good as I've previously. So of course, I wasn't about to leave it at that, and returned a few weeks later. This time, there was a full complement of dishes available, and I ordered what looked good.
One of the dishes I quickly pointed to was the Kaldereta (basically a spicy stewed goat dish), one of my favorites. As the young lady started scooping up the Kaldereta, the young lady behind her yelled out, "hey, wait..." and looking straight at me said, "that is goat you know." I found the young lady's reluctance to serve me the Kaldereta strange since I made it a point to wear my "Kaldereta gear":
After pointing to my t-shirt, and telling her that I love goat, she added, "hey, you know it's spicy...." I can sort of understand her reluctance, especially since it seems that the customer base is much more diverse now, I'm wondering how many folks have bought the Kaldereta, and once getting a whiff of the branch chain fatty acids produced by the rumen of sheep and lamb, combined with the thymol stored in the fat might have freaked out a bit.
This was very good, the meat was tender and moist, very gamy, mild spice, and well flavored. It was perhaps over stewed as the potatoes had melted away, but that didn't bother me at all.
I always thought the Sisig on my previous visits had a decent sour and spicy flavor, but was always a bit too wet. And indeed it did look a bit wet on the steam table, but I decided to have it anyway.
Wow, this was waaaay to soupy. I did think the flavor was good though, a nice amount of sour and decent spiciness. In my opinion, if you combined the flavor of the Sisig at Manila Fast Food with the texture from Betchays, you'd have some pretty good Sisig on your hands.
And of course, there's still Crispy Pata ($11.99)..... well, maybe next time!
Manila Fast Food and Desserts
8979 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126