A couple months ago, Steph and I were discussing the idea of whether or not Filipino food could work as a fine dining (or at least mid-range dining) experience, which spawned a lengthy Yelp Talk thread called Filipino Fine(r) Dining. So it was apropos that Steph got to say farewell to her SF Yelp family with dinner at San Bruno’s Patio Filipino.
Patio Filipino is definitely fine(r) Filipino dining with prices to match. They do spruce up the presentation of a lot of the dishes and use more expensive ingredients, like ribeye steak for the excellent Bistek Tagalog. Grace took care of ordering and got us a wide variety of extremely satisfying dishes with nary a lumpia or pancit to be found.
Speaking of the Bistek Tagalog, which is sliced ribeye marinated in soy sauce and lemon that is sauteed with onions and served topped with French fries. This was easily my favorite dish of the night. I could have just ordered that with some steamed rice and been completely content. There was plenty of sauce to spoon on top of the rice, and when we got close to finishing it off, I told Steph to throw some rice in the serving dish to soak up all the sauce and then pass it back around the table. I think it was better the second time around.
We had a lot of food, so to break it down, aside from the Bistek, we ordered:
– Calamansi Juice
– Mango/Calamansi Juice
– San Miguel Beer – Ito ang beer!
– Paella Valenciana – chorizo, mussels, scallops, shrimps, and chicken in aromatic saffron rice (EXCELLENT. Must order in advance because of the cooking time.)
– Gambas al Ajillo – Shrimp sauteed in olive oil, garlic, paprika (good starter but wasn’t spectacular)
– Balut a la Pobre – Duck egg/fetus simmered in special gravy (only for the adventurous, i.e. not me)
– Sinigang na Bangus Belly – A prime cut of Bangus (milkfish) belly that’s boiled in tamarind broth (very sour, but I liked it)
– Beef Bulalo – Beef shank and bone marrow boiled to tenderness with mixed vegetables (pretty good, but I’ve had better)
– Adobong Kangkong – Kangkong leaves blanched in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic (good, but for some odd reason there was some fried pork on this veggie dish)
– Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa – String beans and squash sauteed in coconut milk (it was good, but my wife said Graceypoo’s version is much better)
– Bangus Belly – Deep fried Bangus belly served with tomato, salted eggs and mango salad (REALLY GOOD)
– Crispy Binagoongan – Crispy pork served on grilled eggplant and topped with bagoong (i.e. shrimp paste…love the tang from the bagoong with the pork)
– Crispy Fried Chicken – prepared in a special seasoning (ordered in honor of Steph. Good but not great.)
– Crispy Pata – Deep-fried pork leg (AWESOME…as expected)
– Sizzling Sisig – Pork parts chopped with onion and jalapeno pepper with egg (pretty good)
– Buko con Seta – Patio’s version of Halo-halo served in fresh young coconut and topped with ube ice cream (interesting and good…beautiful presentation…purple)
– Leche Flan – Filipino custard (the smoothest, creamiest leche flan I’ve ever had. Flavor-wise, not as good as my mom’s…but the texture was amazing and made up for it)
– Turon a la Mode – Crispy banana turon served with ice cream (I’m not big on turon, but it was pretty)
– Mango Supremo – Mango roll cake with mango ice cream and topped with puree of mango (this is like mango three ways…pretty good.)
Overall, it was a delicious well-rounded meal, and there was plenty of food for all 11 of us. Actually there was more than enough food for about 20 people, but 11 hungry-ass Yelpers cleaned house.
But it was also bittersweet because we had to say goodbye to Steph, who left the Bay Area for the home of Prince and SPAM to continue her post-graduate studies as a Golden Gopher. She’d been in SF for about a year, and I don’t think she expected to get so close to so many people in such a short of amount of time, but that’s the power and beauty of Yelp. Good luck, Steph. We’ll miss you here in Cali, but the door’s always open for you to return.