Filipino cuisine has had a hard time getting a foothold in the Twin Cities. At Cora’s Best Chicken Wings on Concord St. in St. Paul, you could occasionally find a few Filipino dishes on offer, but not any more. Mabuhay in St. Paul and Subo in downtown Minneapolis lasted a matter of months. That’s a shame, because it’s a complex and interesting cuisine, with Chinese and Spanish influences.
Now comes Pacific Islander Cuisine (the banner is wrong), a new food stall at the Midtown Global Market, at Lake St. and 10th Ave., Minneapolis. The prepared dishes change from day to day, but you can get a good sampling by ordering their $6.75 combination plate. which includes a couple of meat entrees and an eggroll, plus rice, noodles or macaroni salad. And if you want a dish that isn’t being featured, co-owner Noemi Castrence can prepare it for you if she has the ingredients on hand.
I’ve had a chance to sample a few of the menu items – the skewers of barbecued pork and chicken ($3.75 for two) were meaty and basted with a flavorful glaze; I’ll be curious to also try the beef barbecue. But the more interesting dishes are the stews, such as the chicken Adobo ($6 a la carte), a traditional dish simmered in a blend of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic bay leaves and pepper corns, and the well-done Filipino beefsteak with sweet potato. I also enjoyed the chicken Afritada ($6 a la carte), a stew of chicken, potatoes and chick peas and tomato.
There is a lot more I would like to try, including the kare-kare, a beef stew in peanut sauce ($6), casava cake with coconut milk ($1.25), and the banana que – deep-fried banana and sweet potato with brown sugar ($1.75).
Pacific Islander Cuisine, Stall 114, Midtown Global Market, 10th & E. Lake St., 612-874-0944