We plan to meet at Engeline's, a Filipino restaurant, by 7:45pm. And Cecille was suppose to bring Nadia there by 8:00pm. Some of us were running late so we were all texting each other, telling Cecille to stall her from going to the restaurant. Cecille and Jeri did a great job! When all of us arrived, we sat down at a big table and waited for them with the huge menu covering our heads. I bet the waiters and waitress were looking at us strangely. Then we heard them came in asking for a table. We sat there quietly, trying not to laugh and suddenly we heard Nadia said omg and came over to hug us. I guess when Cecille told her to sit at a table next to a bunch of people covering themselves with menus, that gave it away....Nadia's face = priceless!
After all the hugging and surprise we were all hungrily looking at the menu trying to decide what to order. I love Filipino food, I usually go to the Filipino restaurants near 69 Streets! I've never been to this restaurant before but I wanted to try everything! I order a few of my favorites, starting with my favorite Filipino desert (yes, I drink/eat it before my meal):
Avocado Con Hielo (avocado with milk and crushed ice) When I first had this drink, a few years ago, I was like gross avocado as a drink, wtf? But it turns out to be so delicious! The drink is so creamy but not very thick and the milk makes the avocado taste so sweet. The milk really brings out the avocado taste! This has become one of my favorite deserts:
1) Lumpiang Shanghai: ground pork, shrimp, and vegetables wrapped in egg roll, deep fried, served with sweet and sour sauce. When you bite into these babies, the outside crust is crispy and hot and the inside is creamy! This is another one of my favorite and must have at any Filipino restaurant! We ordered 3 orders and finished it in no time!
2) Fried Calamari, the squid was dipped in batter, deep-fried and served with sweet and sour sauce. It was crispy and the sweet and sour sauce was a little spicy.
I ordered the Kare-Kare, a oxtail stew and tripe in peanut butter sauce with mixed tropical vegetables. I love this dish, thanks to my sister who introduced me to it! You probably thinking peanut butter in a stew? wtf? But the very nutty peanut taste and the stew being very creamy makes it awesome. The oxtail meat was very soft and tender, the meat slides off the bone. The portion from this place is huge! In the past, ordering from other Filipino restaurant, they usually give a smaller portion. I was happy because I ate alot and had some left to go!
- Pork Barbecue (2 sticks): marinated pork slices in bamboo skewers
- Kalderetang Baka: stewed beef in tomato sauce with pepper and spices
- Nilagang baka: beef short rib with tamarind and vegetables in broth
- Beef Steak (Filipino Style) marinated beed with onion and vegetables
After our meal, we sat around chatting and giggling. Me and Cecille was trying figure out how to surprise Nadia with her birthday cupcakes that we brought from Sugar Sweet Sunshine. We realized that we had a few problems:
- We didn't have a lighter to light the candle...
- How are we going to actually get the box of cupcakes from under the table and stick a candle on a cupcake without her knowing?
Engeline's, Restaurant & Bakeshop (Philippine Cuisine)
58-28 Roosevelt Ave.
Woodside, NY 11377
MTA: 7 Train to 61 Street Woodside
Sugar Sweet Sunshine:
126 Rivington Street
(between Essex and Norfolk Street)
MTA: J, M, F to Essex Street