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Pinoy Grill

Pinoy Grill
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    Post #1 - March 5th, 2023, 6:45 pm
    Post #1 - March 5th, 2023, 6:45 pm Post #1 - March 5th, 2023, 6:45 pm
    Given the abundance of pork belly, fried intestines, and squid balls on the menu at Pinoy Grill, it's hard to imagine why it hasn't developed a following here.

    For those who don't like the odd bits, never fear -- the classics of Filippino cuisine are well represented, as well -- but there is a lot of street food.

    On Rand Rd., at the edge of Arlington Heights, just a few feet north of Camp McDonald Rd., this little place is full of energy and good food. It's small -- though a patio area will expand its range once the weather is more reliable. But it clearly does big business -- more carryout than dine-in, it appears (in fact, people were picking up all the food for a wedding party while I was there -- LOTS of food). But they still kept everyone inside well fed. So impressive.

    I went for some classic things I knew well -- because it's hard to judge a place if everything is alien. Got chicken adobo and some of the best pancit I've ever had, and definitely the best lumpia/egg rolls I've ever had. A charming Filippino family eating at the next table shared their opinions of several dishes with me (you must try the milkfish) and said they were there all the time.

    One thing that might prove of interest to some is that, when I first arrived, they were cleaning up from a party. People had left, but the table (set for 12) was covered in banana leaves and had the remains of fruit (including quartered pineapples) and rice all over, so clearly a more traditional offering than the plate and fork my meal involved.

    There are several "platters" offered for groups of two or three -- so it would be fun to go with a group at some point. Prices are very reasonable.

    It's fun to be in a restaurant where everyone seems to be having a good time -- including the staff.

    Pinoy Grill
    2324 E Rand Rd
    Arlington Heights, Illinois
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan
  • Post #2 - April 3rd, 2023, 12:29 pm
    Post #2 - April 3rd, 2023, 12:29 pm Post #2 - April 3rd, 2023, 12:29 pm
    Returned to Pinoy Grill yesterday. They were again having a party with the palm leaves covering the table and food piled high. Someone at the table mentioned that there were 12 people, and they took up half the room, which gives you some idea how big the place is. I bet they're looking forward to opening the patio. I did ask, and if anyone is interested, the big party is $32 per person.

    But I was just there for lunch with a friend. Last time I was there, a Filippino family at the next table had struck up a conversation with me, and they recommended highly the fried milk fish, so that's what I ordered this time. I think the milk fish at Kusina de Manila in Des Plaines was a little bit better -- but this was mighty good, and if you happen to live as close to Pinoy Grill as I do, it's definitely good enough. Tender flesh, crunchy skin. Mmm.

    My companion ordered the bifsteak tagalog, which was tasty but less interesting than the fish. We both again had pancit and lumpia. So another very nice meal. Oh, and perhaps because non-Filippinos are not all that commen, the owner immediately acknowledged that he remembered me, and after this meal, he made a few recommendations for my next visit (including a milkfish dish where the fish is in chunks and cooked with calamansi juice).
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan