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Monday, March 09, 2009

Why You Should Eat In Jersey City - Fil-Am Food Mart & Red Ribbon

L to R: Chicken Empanada, Lumpia Shanghai, Pampanga Longanisa

So I wrote last time about where to buy Filipino treats in Jersey City. This post will cover two other places you should check out if you've got a hankerin' for some Filipino food and not a lot of time.

Fil-Am Food Mart
685 Newark Ave Ste 1
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 963-0455

This store has changed a lot over the years, and yet it hasn't. One half of the store is the grocery area, the other a luncheonette. The grocery side is filled with all the things you would normally expect in a Filipino shop. When you first enter the store, you're greeted with bags of chicharon, clover chips, and other plautan types. They also sell baked goods similar to what you find at PBH. There are aisles and aisles of foodstuffs from the Philippines, although I wonder about some of it. Why ship over things that are already being sold here? Is the taste really that different?

For a store of its size, it has a decent seafood/meat section. I don't know how comparable it is price wise, but I don't really remember my parents ever buying fish from there. I quickly walked through there, but it was clean enough. The one thing that did catch my eye was the self-serve breakfast meats. There were several types of longanisa (Philippine sausage), and tocino (sweet cured meat). I don't eat them often, but they were there and I had to give them a try. I bought some Pampanga and Manila styled longanisa and some of the tocino.

If you're not one to cook (Matt, this is directed right at you) then you should proceed right over to the luncheonette. I'm not sure if the menu changes daily, but there are plenty of dishes to choose from, and you can pick a la carte or go with the combo meal. The combo meal is any two meats with your choice of white rice or pancit canton (noodles... lo mein if you must have an equivalent) and it comes with a soda. I think it comes out to ~6 bucks. They also sell appetizers and desserts. I bought lumpia shanghai (meat filled egg rolls) and chicken empanada. You can eat it in their dining area or bring it home.

Red Ribbon Bakeshop
591 Summit Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 795-1988

[I don't have any pictures from Red Ribbon, but that's only because my meter expired and I didn't want to get a ticket.]

Out of all the places in Jersey City, this is the only chain. They are all over the Philippines, but strangely enough, I never saw one when I was there. It's relatively new in JC's Filipino food scene, but it seems popular enough. RR is primarily a bakery, but they do sell some non-bakery items (pancit sotanghon, kaldereta, bbq). I bought two beef siopao and was on my way. They were a little doughy, but still hit the spot.

So there you have it. If you need something quick to eat, these are the places to go. I'll see about trying some of their restaurants soon.


Matt said...

what's that filipino chicken called that i really like... name me some filipino chickens please

Lilimonster said...

I wonder if you're talking about chicken adobo. It's a popular dish, and one that filipinos will serve non-filpinos when asked "cook me something filipino."

Some other chicken dishes would be tinola, which is pretty much chicken with greens (some leaf, not sure and green papaya) in a broth; and chicken inasal, which is marinated grilled chicken

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