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Seafood City

Seafood City
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  • Post #31 - January 13th, 2020, 6:42 am
    Post #31 - January 13th, 2020, 6:42 am Post #31 - January 13th, 2020, 6:42 am
    Like G WIV, I like Sea Food City but rarely go anymore.
    There are many Filipino delights such as eggplant that I discover.
    The fish is all frozen but that said the Pompano has been universally good along with the large Amberjack. A relative of the Mackerel family.
    But I don’t use the fish cleaning service. First it can take 30 minutes if busy and second, the process for such a high volume can spread contamination. I have seen no evidence of this occurring but just clean myself and be happier.
    The aisles and fresh fruit and produce are great to peruse.
    The frozen Mil Fish is on my list if I can get up the courage.
    Spam Tochino has also been available.
    Fried chicken good, Grill City a hit or miss.
    I would expect the quality for Grill city to be better on a heavy shopping day.
  • Post #32 - January 15th, 2020, 8:32 am
    Post #32 - January 15th, 2020, 8:32 am Post #32 - January 15th, 2020, 8:32 am
    A few comments, as we still go about once a month for Filipino staples:

    1) Is the food hot? Unfortunately, this is pretty common Filipino style--things get cooked, and then sit out under heat lamps, or on steam tables, or nothing at all. The turo turo/carinderia experience is like this the world over, from Manila to Chicago--pots of ready-cooked food sitting out, to be spooned over your fresh rice. It's less than ideal for me, but it is authentic.

    2) Grill City is better when you see them actually cooking. I don't much care for the other dishes, but we do frequently bring BBQ skewers home for later. Don't forget that the "spicy" vinegar is vital--we also bring some of that to go. It's not particularly hot, but very flavorful, whatever they do to it. As for the other places...we always pass on the noodle stand, and occasionally we bring home lumpia (again, sauce or vinegar necessary). I've also enjoyed the fried chicken skins from there, almost like potato chips-meet-chicharron.

    3) Our typical bang-bang is Jollibee while we're there and Grill City bbq to go. I enjoy the chicken at Jollibee well enough, but have never appreciated the spaghetti. My FilAm spouse always gets a combo of both. I prefer the infinitely-trashier Burger Steak with a side of Adobo Rice and Extra Gravy. It's just the hamburger patties served over rice with a weirdly-tasty, school-cafeteria mushroom gravy. The rice-and-gravy combo really scratches a bizarre itch.

    4) Valerio's is our preferred bakery. We rarely grab anything from Red Ribbon (mostly sweets), and skip right past the stuff in Seafood City's bakery section. At Valerio's, we particularly love the pimento bulilit--little rolls stuffed with Filipino-sweet pimento cheese--and their bolillos, which are very lightly sweet and addictive. All the bakery is pretty good, though, including the pan de sal. We didn't have the best experience with their dessert sampler at Christmas, but I will vouch for the baked goods. We haven't had too many of the prepared foods in the case, like empanadas (Filipino style isn't my favorite) or embutido (easier/better to make at home).

    5) Most importantly, the Max's restaurant is now open there. We love Max's--an efficient, reliable sit-down Filipino experience. The spring chicken is fried simply and pretty tasty, and their other food is solid--not best-in-show, but dependable. Max's in the Philippines is slightly different in terms of menu, but the Las Vegas location (where we've been a number of times) holds up pretty well in comparison. I'm confident the Chicago location will do the same once we hit it up.
  • Post #33 - January 15th, 2020, 8:50 am
    Post #33 - January 15th, 2020, 8:50 am Post #33 - January 15th, 2020, 8:50 am
    mtgl wrote:A few comments, as we still go about once a month for Filipino staples:

    1) Is the food hot? Unfortunately, this is pretty common Filipino style--things get cooked, and then sit out under heat lamps, or on steam tables, or nothing at all. The turo turo/carinderia experience is like this the world over, from Manila to Chicago--pots of ready-cooked food sitting out, to be spooned over your fresh rice. It's less than ideal for me, but it is authentic.

    I agree this is standard practice.

    It is now closed, but there was one Filipino food concession in the rear of a grocery store in North Chicago who bucked the trend. Instead of large pans filled with an item, they had many inserts. In small steamer display, they had a broad range of food. As stuff ran low, it was replaced from the kitchen behind.

    I talked to owner about this being almost non-Filipino management of pre-cooked food. He could not understand how everyone else got away with it. When I walk into a Filipino place with piles of food, it looks like yesterday's leftovers warmed over. This place in North Chicago looked reasonably fresh.

    He talked about opening a similar business in the Niles area as he was closing. That was a few years ago, and I never heard from him.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #34 - January 15th, 2020, 9:58 am
    Post #34 - January 15th, 2020, 9:58 am Post #34 - January 15th, 2020, 9:58 am
    I mean, it's not all that bad given the nature of Filipino food and the business models--much of the food is taken to go and will need to be reheated anyways; and much of it is soupy, stewed, or otherwise pretty moist, and these things tend to improve as they sit. I almost prefer things like sinigang and arroz caldo the next day. I also think that, given the tropical heat in the islands, there's not much need for any extra BTUs. Typically the hot, fresh rice is sufficient to reheat room-temp foods as you spoon it over. I also suspect that, when the chef is mom or grandma, this pace of service is all they can muster.

    I've grown used to it, but I do wish your acquaintance had started to win some fellow restaurateurs over to his cause. That's one reason we'll probably be eating at Max's more than Seafood City's offerings. We'll try to get up there soon and post a review.
  • Post #35 - January 15th, 2020, 11:08 am
    Post #35 - January 15th, 2020, 11:08 am Post #35 - January 15th, 2020, 11:08 am
    mtgl wrote:I prefer the infinitely-trashier Burger Steak with a side of Adobo Rice and Extra Gravy. It's just the hamburger patties served over rice with a weirdly-tasty, school-cafeteria mushroom gravy. The rice-and-gravy combo really scratches a bizarre itch.

    Sounds quite similar to Hawaiian Loco Moco (minus the egg on top), which is a truly comforting dish.

    Definitely appreciate the season intel on these places, as I've never been truly smitten with anything I've order from them.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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