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by • July 22, 2011 • Uncategorized • Comments (0)552

NYC: Krystal’s Cafe 81

Tocino, over-easy eggs and garlic rice

In the East Village, you can find a variety of restaurants serving food from all of the globe. A block away from the bustling St. Marks Place is a Filipino restaurant and bar called Krystal’s Cafe 81.

On the menu are typical Filipino dishes, and drinks. They serve two brands of Filipino beer: Red Horse and San Miguel. Red Horse is a lager brewed by Philippine-based San Miguel Brewery with 8% ABV. It’s a decent tasting beer, although I recommend San Miguel for its smoother taste at about 5% ABV.

Buckets of beer go for $30. You’ll think it’s not much of a bargain since a bottle of beer costs $5, but it comes with a small bowl of Tokwa’t Baboy, crispy pork and tofu with vinegar, onion and soy sauce.

On the food menu, you’ll find the usual items that you’d get at a Filipino bar – sisig (boiled and then fried portions of pig intestines), calamari, and lumpia (fried spring rolls).

Breakfast is served all day – various meats served with a choice of garlic or white rice, and two eggs cooked the way you want it for about $8 a plate. I recommend ordering the tocino (or tocilog), slices of pork that is cured in annatto powder, sugar and garlic, then fried in a little oil to caramelize the meat.

The fried tilapia, grilled pork belly, and kare kare are also delicious. The grilled pork belly is sliced into small pieces, like bits of bacon, and served with sliced onions and scallions along with rice and sauce. Kare kare is a Philippine stew made with peanut sauce, a variety of vegetables, oxtail and tripe. The stew’s consistency isn’t as thick as I’m used to, but it’s delicious. It is a served in a large bowl, and is enough for two people to share.

Grilled pork belly
Kare kare

If you have enough room in your belly, get one of their desserts: Halo-Halo Special, Turon, or if you like cake, Sans Rival.

Overall, the food is great here. The prices of dishes range from $6 to $12 – not a bad deal for the amount of food you get.

If you live in Queens, there’s a Krystal’s Cafe on Roosevelt Ave in Woodside. That’s the first Krystal’s I’ve dined at, probably about 15 years ago.

Krystal’s Cafe 81
81 E 7th Street
New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 473-4900

Krystal Cafe 81 on Urbanspoon

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