346 E 21st St, New York, NY | Directions 1001040.736115 -73.980716
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Gramercy Park
Great Lunch Spot! – I went here last week for lunch and it was great! It is a small, authentic Filipino place that has a very cozy atmosphere. I have never had Filipino food before that, so it was nice to try something new and different. There is also a few tables outside which is awesome for nice days!...My friend and I ordered the shrimp scampi and the pork binagoongan off of the lunch menu (cheap!) to split, both served with rice, you have to try their garlic rice, DELICIOUS! ...The service was not great but the food and experience is definitely worth the try!
Wait staff are nice, BUT OWNERS ARE ANNOYING! – I went here since it was close to work. I liked the tocino but then again it's not really homemade.
The white husband of the owner is so annoying! He tries to speak tagalog but corny and obstrusive too! He keeps asking me where I'm from for the 100th time! I just ignore him when I go there. The wife pushes people to order other more things but never offer to give extra when I bring a lot of people or order a lot!
Well, move over, cause CAFE 81 is MUCH MORE FUN AND FOOD IS GREAT for cheaper price! And the people are a lot more friendly!
An OK place – I liked the sizzling sisig, pork adobo, bingoongan, tortang talong & pinakbet. However, my family did not appreciate the lady owner's remarks that we are such big people that we should order more food. How insulting! TACTLESS! We just ignored her. I have gone back a few times & luckily she wasn't around. The arroz caldo with tokwa't baboy is good comfort food.
As a Filipino New Yorker, I don't understand why Filipino restaurants scrimp on the quality of the ingredients, ie meats, poultry & sauces. I am willing to pay top dollar for the best.
The Best Thing Was the Kalamansi Juice – Food was sub-par. Correction: food is below sub-par. We ordered the lechon kawali (not crunchy and no salty taste to it), pork binagoongan (all salt, no flavor), pork BBQ (not tasty), molo soup (too much garlic), lumpia (tastes like frozen food), and crab & corn soup (tastes like those Nido instant soups -- Filipinos out there, you know what I'm talking about!). About the only good thing was the kalamansi juice, which came out of a can. Never again will we go to this restaurant. We're sticking to Queens, until something better comes along.
Authentic, friendly, delicious, wow! – The place is tiny, and they had to struggle to accommodate our reservation for six. Soon our six turned into 15, but they still worked for us. It looked like they ran outside and pulled tables and chairs from some unknown cafe. The food was excellent. The pork dishes were oustanding, and the soups were so good 12 of us ordered second helpings. The staff treated us like part of the family! --Eat Club is a roving group of NYC gluttons
So far, it's average. Need to taste other dishes. – I recently had lunch there. Mango juice was in a can. Couldn't they pour it on a glass to make it more presentable? Dumpling soup was above average and had a strong celery flavor, which made it a non-Filipino soup. Bipstik or beef/onions stew was bad. It looked like bipstik but didn't taste or smell line one. I would still go back and try the others, again, with a critical sense of taste and smell. Just avoid their bipstik.
Best Place to take Non-Filipinos – I just had dinner at Grill 21 with my non-Filipino friends and I think it's the best place to showcase real Filipino food with decent presentation that won't intimidate the non-native. I've tried Cendrillon but the food was over priced and I couldn't really say it was Filipino - plus flavor wasn't that great. Kuma Inn is more Thai, Pan-Asian, again - not really Filipino. You can't go wrong with Grill 21's BBQ dishes and laing. It has the traditional Filipino flavor and is presented very well so you can be proud to bring your friends over and say they've tried truly Philippine cuisine. Food was reasonably priced so I was very happy. Dessert wasn't that great though so you're better off taking them to the Baskin Robbins across the street afterwards.
Very good filipino food..with a few downsides. – Food overall very good to excellent if you try the philipino specialties, great breakfast also. soup not as good as it sounds..Cannot speak to the rest which seems to cover most american bar food. The servers are extremely friendly and helpful. Owner can be a bit obtrusive. Last few times I was there he tried to get me to go to his spa or hair salon or something like that. Inexpensive
Editorial Review – Budget-friendly sit-down restaurant serves both American favorites like chicken wings and burgers, as well as more exotic Filipino specialties.
Charming Space, Great Fish! – I had the pleasure of finding this restaurant last week. My friend brought me along and he raved about the food here. I ordered the talapia and it came out perfect. I'm definetly going back to try more as the menu is huge!
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