Foreign intrigue

Owner Anthony Altez shows off a favorite dish: barbecue pork, pansit noodles, and lumpia eggrolls.

Owner Anthony Altez shows off a favorite dish: barbecue pork, pansit noodles, and lumpia eggrolls.

Photo By Allison Young

Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lately I’ve been feeling like my life is a little routine, so I thought I’d try to shake things up—at least in regard to dining—by trying some different types of ethnic food. I told my friend Brett I wanted to try Filipino food but when we showed up to the Wienerschnitzel, I was confused. I may have never had Filipino food before, but I was pretty sure they don’t serve it at the Wienerschnitzel.

We walked inside, and low and behold, tucked into a small room off a hallway that leads to the restrooms, ALM Kainan has set up shop. It’s like Wienerschnitzel rented out their employee break room to ALM Kainan, and they now run a small Filipino food stand from it. I don’t know who is responsible for said hallway, but it could use a really good cleaning, and it was strange being so near the restrooms.

Despite their lack of space, ALM Kainan is set up efficiently with a counter to order at in front of serving dishes filled with various Filipino dishes. Nothing was labeled but luckily, the friendly guy behind the counter was willing to help me out, and he patiently explained dishes to me when I pointed at them. I later noticed a small white board that listed everything available, as the menu changes daily. A young woman scurried around behind him in the small kitchen area. I was feeling a little nervous about this and realized that if I didn’t like the food then I would be stuck eating hot dogs from the Wienerschnitzel.

Brett and I decided to go with the combo meals, which are available for $6.99 and come with two decent sized portions of entrees and large serving of white rice. We went with pansit, beef steak, adobo chicken and picadillio.

Since we didn’t feel like taking our food into the Wienerschnitzel dining room, we decided to order to go, meaning my hope for a hot dog was out if I didn’t like the food. I started with the pansit, since it sort of looked like chow mein made with rice noodles. The dish was packed with chicken, carrots, cabbage and celery. The rice noodles gave this a lighter feel and allowed the flavor of the vegetables to shine. The beef steak was very good, with long slices of beef marinated in onions and soy sauce, reminding me a bit of fajitas.

So far, so good, and I wasn’t even thinking about hot dogs.

The next combo plate had the adobo, which are marinated chicken thighs with a rich soy and garlic sauce. I liked the adobo, but all the dark meat of the thighs combined with the richness of the marinade became a bit too heavy. Picadillio is ground beef with a light spice and small pieces of vegetables mixed within. The dish was very comforting, like Filipino taco meat. In fact, overall, Filipino food actually reminded me of a cross between Chinese and Mexican food.

I was beyond full after all of the meat and noodles, and we even had food leftover, so this was quite a deal for under $7. I don’t know whether I will become a regular consumer of Filipino food, but I’m glad I tried it out. ALM Kainan is doing a good job inexpensively serving what I took to be authentic cuisine. Next time you want a hot dog, you should stop by for some Filipino food instead.