Old fashioned slow cooked savory Filipino food!
If Filipino restaurant food was cooked to order, customers would be sitting at a table all day long waiting for their meal. Much of the food in Filipino cuisine is slow cooked. It can take several hours of simmering for something like Pork Shanks and Banana Blossoms (Paksiw Na Pata) or Asado to finish cooking.
Cooking food ahead of time, refrigerating the food, then reheating the food usually results in food that looks like leftovers. This method of handling slow cooked food is not as good as preparing the food items early in the day and then keeping the food warm till it is served. Often, the longer that a slow cooked Filipino entree simmers, the better it gets, so holding this kind of food in a steam table actually is beneficial.
There are many Filipino restaurants in Las Vegas and many are advertise as being "Filipino Fast Food." What the term Filipino Fast Food means is this. Food items that require hours of simmering are held cafeteria style in a steam table. The food is prepared ahead of time and it is ready to eat. There is no customer waiting time.
Customers simply line up and select the Filipino food that they would like placed on their plate. At the end of the food service line, the customer settles the tab and tip with the cashier, just like at an old fashioned American cafeteria. The customer then carries their food to the table and proceeds to chow down. Or like in my case, the customer carries the to-go boxes to there next destination.
Fast food is usually associated with junk food. Fast food does not necessarily have to only be junk food. The real meaning of fast food is food that requires minimal customer waiting time.
Slow cooked Filipino food is not exactly fast food style junk food. It is kind of like the old fashioned slow cooked comfort food that grandma used to make when relatives came to visit. The slow cooked food is traditional, comfortable, nutritious and easy to digest. So when the sign says "Filipino Fast Food," one should realize that the cuisine is not fast food junk food!
Many years ago, I drove taxi for one year in Las Vegas. There were a lot of Filipino cab drivers back then and I became pals with one of those guys. Cab drivers know where the good restaurant food deals are in this city and every cab driver has their own favorite place to grab a bite to eat. Often a group of cab drivers meet at a restaurant and they all dine together, while slinging gossip about the events of the day.
My Filipino friend and I were talking about doing lunch and I suggested going to get some spicy Korean food. The Filipino cabby distraughtly said, "Korean food? What would you want to eat that stuff for? Filipino food is the best!" I started to persuasively describe the Korean food to the cabby, but it was useless. He just kept shaking his head, while saying you have to try Filipino food. So Filipino food for lunch it was.
All that I can say is, after that first Filipino food experience, I was hooked on Filipino slow cooking. Filipino food is the ultimate fast food for busy cab drivers that a limited amount of time for dining. Filipino fast food is perfect for those who are on the go and it certainly is a better choice than corporate franchise chain restaurant fast food junk food.
I have dined at many Filipino restaurants in Las Vegas over the years. It seems like the busiest Filipino restaurants are in Chinatown. A busy restaurant is always a sign of good food is being served. The Fiesta Filipina Cuisine restaurant by far is one of the busiest Filipino restaurants in Chinatown. This is one very popular place!
I happened to be running errands when I visited the Fiesta Filipina Cuisine restaurant. Grabbing some to-go food was the best option that day. I chose the 2 Entree Platter option, because I was going to share some of the food with friends at my next destination. I chose Chicken Pancit and slow cooked Pork Asado for the entree options. The BBQ Pork Skewers looked good, so I got one of those. I had a little bit of a sweet tooth going on and I figured that a banana fritter would satisfy that craving.
When I paid the tab for the to-go food order, a conclusive thought concerning dining value and food quality crossed my mind. At that moment, I just realized that I got a lot of good Filipino food for a price of about $10, in less than five minutes. It was enough food to feed two to three people! This is a great value, especially when comparing the price to a meal at a fast food junk food style restaurant. In fact, fast junk food actually costs more money and the food quality is not nearly as good.
Filipino cuisine is satisfying comfortable food and most people take their time dining at a casual pace when they eat this kind of food. Many Filipino restaurants have a simple plain cafeteria style dining area that does not provide much atmosphere. The Fiesta Filipina Cuisine has a nice Philippine style dining room that offers a relaxed South Pacific dining atmosphere. The dining room at Fiesta Filipina Cuisine is a laid back comfortable zone of its own. The nice dining atmosphere at this place may be the reason why this Filipino restaurant is so busy. Customers that like Filipino comfort food definitely prefer a comfortable relaxed dining atmosphere, like what can be found at Fiesta Filipina Cuisine.
Fiesta Filipina Cuisine is located at 3310 South Jones Boulevard in Las Vegas. This location is in a corner plaza at the intersection of Desert Inn Road. Fiesta Filipina Cuisine is close to the Las Vegas Strip and the Las Vegas Convention Center, so "on the go" visitors that like munching on good to-go food are in luck.
Fiesta Filipina Cuisine offers traditional Filipino breakfast food in the morning hours. Traditionally, the big daily meal is an afternoon event in the Philippines, so this restaurant closes around 8:30PM. The parking lot at the plaza is large, secure and well lit. The open view kitchen and dining room was clean and well maintained. The slow cooked Filipino food in the steam tables looked like it was attended with care and it was held at the correct temperature.
Like all restaurants that I write about, this Filipino restaurant had an "A Grade" Nevada Health Department rating. I simply do not recommend any restaurant that has safe food handling issues. A few Filipino restaurants on the outskirts of Las Vegas have been in the media spotlight during the last year, for not handling ready to eat food properly. This has affected the reputation of all Filipino restaurants in the Las Vegas Valley in a negative way. All I can say is that not every restaurant is created equal and some are far better than others. Fiesta Filipina Cuisine is one of the best examples of a professionally managed Filipino restaurant in the Las Vegas Valley.
Filipino, English and a few other languages are spoken at this restaurant. Questions about the food draw an informative polite response. When I said the word "Pancit," apparently I mispronounced the word. The cooked explained that I was pronouncing it incorrectly and she told me the right way to say Pancit. I laughed to myself about the thought of how it is never too late to teach an old dog a new trick. Even after 30 years of work in the hospitality industry, I still learn something new everyday. Now I know how to say Pancit the right way!
I highly recommend Fiesta Filipina Cuisine for locals, conventioneers and tourists that crave good old fashioned slow cooked Filipino comfort food! When the hectic pace of life becomes overwhelming, just lay back, relax and munch on some slow cooked Filipino comfort food. Yum! ... Shawna