Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Filipino Food Favorite: Perlas (Queens)

Got a text message from J., asking if I wanted to go to Perlas for lunch. He hadn't had Filipino food in a while - given last week's crazy eat outings at Bouley, Nobu, JoJo, and Masa, I agreed that a return to some native food was in order so we decided to meet up there, along with R.

"Perlas" is actually Perlas ng Silangan (Pearl of the Orient), one of the better and more authentic Filipino restaurants in NYC. It is located right under the elevated #7 line in Queens, on the block where all the businesses seem to cater to the needs of expatriate Flips, including a bank branch for remittances, air cargo delivery for those sending home huge boxes containing assorted "imported" goods, a mini-grocery to buy Chippy and Clover Chips, and a few restaurants (five, at latest count) satisfying the cravings for high-cholesterol dishes the way we remember and want them.

We actually like schlepping all the way out to Queens just for the food - we ordered our usual favorites - crispy pata, chicharon bulaklak, sisig, and ginisang mungo with chicharon. (Sorry, am unsure about English translations). Crispy pata (Pig's legs?) was tender and succulent, the deep fried skin was to die for. Sisig (pig's ears?) is always something I personally crave for, and it is consistently well-done here. After an extended pig out session (literally, as all our dishes contained pork), thought of having some special halo-halo for dessert, but I simply would've exploded right on the spot (or at least, my pant buttons would have).

Another positive for Perlas are the relatively reasonable prices. Total damage came to around $13/pax. Best to go with a group to sample different dishes and indulge yourself in the artery-clogging Philippine cuisine.

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