Cebu

2211 W. North, Chicago, IL, 60647 , West Town

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Cebu

Cebu - Chicago

For some time now, we’ve been hearing that Filipino cuisine is “having a moment.” With the arrival of Cebu, it’s fair to say that Filipino food in Chicago is now firmly established, though it’s anything but everyday food for most of us: it’s still exciting as it becomes known to – and enjoyed by – the larger dining public.

Somewhere between humble, though very worthy, strip mall Filipino places like Isla Pilipina and fancy pants hip-and-happening places like River North’s Sunda, there’s Cebu, a small Filipino restaurant with very big dreams and a very fine menu.

For some time now, we’ve been hearing that Filipino cuisine is “having a moment.” With the arrival of Cebu, it’s fair to say that Filipino food in Chicago is now firmly established, though it’s anything but everyday food for most of us: it’s still exciting as it becomes known to – and enjoyed by – the larger dining public.

Somewhere between humble, though very worthy, strip mall Filipino places like Isla Pilipina and fancy pants hip-and-happening joints like River North’s Sunda, there’s Cebu, a small Filipino restaurant with very big dreams and a very fine menu.

Cebu is an excellent introduction to the food of the Philippines, which because the country consists of over 700 islands, has developed many intriguing and delicious recipes. If you’ve never had Filipino cuisine before, you’ll probably find it familiar and yet…different. Filipino food shows the influence of Asia as well as Spain, which colonized the Philippines centuries ago.

Lumpia is one of the most popular and accessible of Filipino starters; these thin, fried spring rolls are filled with meat and vegetables, usually accompanied by dipping sauce. They are wonderful finger food.

Chicken Adobo, a slow-cooked chicken in a broth of soy and vinegar, seems to be beloved by every Filipino and prepared at home by every Filipino mom. At Cebu, they prepare it with meaty cuts of chicken in the light sauce.

Lechon is the highly addictive Filipino pork, slow roasted until the skin is like brittle candy, sweet and crunchy. The meat is as tender and lush as you could imagine, and you’ll likely find yourself pushing the plate away for fear that you will just keep eating until you burst. Lechon is fabulously delicious.

For dessert, there’s halo halo, a very popular Filipino dessert made of shaved ice and some combination of unpredictable ingredients like purple potato, beans, candy and flan.

If you’ve never had Filipino food before, Cebu is an excellent place to start. If you have eaten some Filipino food in your life, at Cebu you will find your favorites, as well as some innovative non-traditional dishes, like lechon sliders and tacos of sisig, a blend of pork and peppers.

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