Kirbie's Cravings

Manila Fast Food Restaurant & Dessert

Manila Fastfood and Desserts
8979 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA


I realized not too long ago that I haven't done a post on Manila Fast Food since showing the spread from Boyfriend's birthday last year.  Manila Fast Food is a regular spot for Boyfriend and I when we are craving Filipino food, though we haven't gone much recently.  The main reason being it closes early, like many of the turo turo fast food type Filipino places.  Usually we want something for dinner and we don't eat dinner that early.

Manila Fast Food offers a pretty large selection of popular Filipino dishes.  The prices are pretty reasonable.  A two item lunch combo is $5.99, and it's enough for both Boyfriend and I to share one.  For a dollar more, you can get pancit instead of rice. The store is family run, and it's usually a bunch of women working when we are there.  It used to be run by another family; I'm not sure when they changed owners but it's been a while.

Last time Kirk of mmm-yoso suggested that I try the goat.  Unfortunately, goat is only offered on Fridays and Saturdays.  On this particular night, I got the pork menudo (stew) and chicken adobo.  We got the food with pancit (rice noodle dish) instead of rice, though Boyfriend then ordered a small order of rice because he can't eat the pork stew without rice.

Finally, we got some lumpia.  I think since the place has changed owners, they are a bit heavy handed with the salt.  The lumpia are saltier than before, and I found the other food was slightly saltier as well.  Overall, I still enjoy coming here though.

The pork stew has a tomato based broth.  The stew is savory with a bit of sour.  The chicken adobo is also savory with a sour vinegar aftertaste.  Both of these dishes remind me of dishes my mom makes, which is why I think I like these dishes so much.

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18 comments on “Manila Fast Food Restaurant & Dessert”

  1. National City has a lot of Filipino Restaurants. Go there and you’ll get tired seeing Filipino restaurants. LoL! Jollibee has the best Fried chicken ever!

  2. … My bad.. auto-correct prevailed. I meant “pancit”.

  3. I’ve forgotten how different Filipino foods can be depending on who’s cooking it. I’m still learning! The cross section of the lumpia made me appreciate the one I make even more. I’ve still have to perfect my pandit.

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  9. hi kirbie
    anything ‘sinigang’ (sour soup with meat/veg. the souring agent being either guava or tamarind) or ‘nillaga’ (boiled meat w/veg) is good too. those are more everyday type foods. of course, chicken adobo is also a good choice. if you try the chocolate meat, you should blog it. most people get squeamish over it since it has blood in it, but it’s really good.

  10. Most of my experience with Filipino food is the party food. hehe. Since I usually only eat it with Boyfriend or at his family parties. Thanks for the suggestions. Whenever I see something and ask Boyfriend what it is, he never knows. I did try the Lechon before and liked it! I haven’t tried the others, but they sound good.

  11. Aww, that’s too bad. There should be some good places in West LA right?

  12. Manilamesa is too far for me. I live down in Chula Vista and the closest place I go when I want ready made Filipino food is Lutong Bahay (a small mom and pop place) in the Ralph’s shopping center on Otay Lakes Rd, or JNC Pinoy Food Mart (across from Southwestern College). Prices are about the same. Otherwise, I can just go to my mom’s for the homemade stuff. 🙂
    If you want to venture from adobo, pancit or lumpia (the last two being pretty popular but are really not eaten on a regular basis for most Filipinos; they are considered party food), here are a few suggestions:
    Pinakbet (vegetable stew with fermented shrimp paste)
    Adobong Pusit (squid adobo)
    Diniguan (pork blood stew – aka “chocolate meat”, ha ha) and Lechon Kawali (fried pork belly).

  13. I used to live nearby but never tried Manila. Now I’m sad…and craving lumpia and pancit. I guess I need to go hunting for a good Filipino eatery in West LA.

  14. Portions are still bigger at Sam Woo, but this place is pretty filling too.
    Lumpia are a lot thinner than a spring roll and are filled mainly with meat. There is a tiny bit of vegetables, but you really only taste the meat.
    I’ve never tried goat before! But Kirk recommended it, so I thought I would try it and see. I did have goat’s milk once in Taiwan and was not a fan…

  15. Hi Sawyer! My experience is pretty limited too. Boyfriend doesn’t know too much about Filipino food and eats all the popular more “Americanized” stuff like pancit and lumpia. I’ve been trying to slowly explore more.

  16. Portion looks generous! Would you say it’s more (portion) than Sam Woo?
    What’s the difference w/ a lumpia and a springroll? The lumpia (in your pic) looks all meat!
    Oh man – courage to you (and Kirk) for trying goat. I read Kirk’s post awhile back and cannot believe he loves goat. I, will, someday, have courage to try goat (…right…)…

  17. first! lol. it’s been a long time since i’ve been able to have some filipino food. and my experience w/ it is pretty much limited to pancit and lumpia. there’s not too many places around where i live that has it…maybe i’mjust not lookin hard enough.

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