Wednesday, July 9, 2014

flipping out in Little Manila - Jersey City NJ

For those of you who have been following us for a while now and have read our regular stream of posts on New York City NY and Union City NJ, it's become obvious that these neighborhoods are our regular Stateside haunts.

But with Mahala visiting my little barrio for the first time, we decided to widen our range and reach. One day we agreed to meet a writer friend of ours in Jersey City for lunch and coffee.

We used to meet in Hoboken but with all the detours from the viaduct under construction, we decided to meet in her neck of the woods instead.

Although we had a wonderful buffet lunch in an East Indian restaurant neither of us had ever eaten at [Rasoi] - it turned out that the true treat for us was the Filipino [Pinoy] community in her neighborhood.

Seven per cent of Jersey City's population is Filipino. The Five Corners district [where we found ourselves] has a thriving Pinoy community. Dubbed Little Manila, it is the largest Asian-American subgroup in the city. Newark Avenue's strip of Filipino culture and commerce dwarfs that of New York.

Five Corners District 
Five Corners Branch Library
Red Ribbon Bakeshop
To walk off our full bellies after getting stuffed on the buffet, we meandered over to Red Ribbon for coffee and dessert. No Pinoy meal is ever complete without dessert! 

It was a toss up between mamon or ensaymada - which the mamon won, hands down. Mamon Especial, a Filipino delicacy - is a yellow sponge cake baked in flutted tins.

These buttery little cakes are delicious, light and fluffy wonders that just melt in your mouth. They go perfectly with coffee for the perfect merienda treat.

The contents of our day's loot bag.
We could not resist walking off with a bag of freshly baked pan de sal to take home with us - yum!

Outside, we walked past Max's Restaurant, famous for it's roast fried chicken. 

Another regular feature of any immigrant community are freight forwarders. In the case of overseas Pinoys - the infamous balikbayan box.

The better means to pack home all the goodies purchased at the Phil-Am Grocery - the biggest and oldest in the district.

Where else can you shop for groceries personally endorsed by the great PacMan himself?

An added treat - we qualified for the grand raffle! We made sure to drop our stub on our way out.

Out on the street there were many other Pinoy treats being offered.

Made to order lechon & brazo. Avon products for sale.
We had a blast and we'll definitely be returning for more! 

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