Filipino food is underappreciated in the US, probably because there are very few Filipino restaurants. It’s quintessential grandma cooking, with some unusual menu items, but generally tastes that are easy on western palates. I had two great meals in Quezon City today, first lunch with colleagues at Wooden Spoon, Tripadvisor’s top restaurant in the city. The three dishes we shared were (top then left to right) bicol express (slightly spicy pork in coconut milk, kare-kare (slow stewed beef in peanut sauce, and my current favorite), caldareta (spanish influenced beef stew) and some kind of stuffed vegetable dish. All were excellent, and the atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable. My solo dinner was at Romulo Cafe, more upscale atmosphere, with lots of stainless and glass and waiters in white shirt and ties. It’s Tripadvisor number 15, for what it’s worth. I had one of my new favorite dishes, ensaladang pilipina (steamed or boiled vegetables plus egg with bagoong, shrimp paste). The vegetables included okra, radish, and green mango. I ordered (on the waiter’s advice) an adobo-style chicken in coconut milk, a dish I haven’t had before. Despite his protestations that he had brought me that dish, it was clearly bicol express once more. I didn’t argue since I like it almost as much as kare-kare. Both dishes were very good. And to be clear, upscale in this context means $12.25 for the two dishes plus rice and a San Miguel. Lunch was 27.50 for the four dishes plus rice and multiple glasses of iced tea, so really about the same prices. No one here (or in the US) knows why there aren’t more Filipino restaurants in the US. Whatever the reason, I hope that changes soon!