Whether you ruled over your high school cafeteria with an iron fist or were so traumatized by its internal politics that you now talk about it every Thursday with your therapist, don’t let your past history with lunchrooms stop you from eating at Bahay Kubo. This very affordable Filipino restaurant is set up “turo-turo,” or cafeteria-style, where you build your own plates by literally pointing at what you want from their broad display of hot foods. If you’re familiar with the cuisine, you’ll recognize Filipino favorites like heaping pans of pancit noodles, turon (sweet, deep-fried lumpia made with bananas), and kare kare (a thick, savory stew made with peanut sauce). But if you’re more of a novice, don't worry, the people behind the counter will patiently walk you through what’s on the steam table, which of course, means lots of tasting.
photo credit: Krystal Thompson