One down, Ninety-Two to go!
Today is an intentionally light day for 93 Plates. Up early to finish some errands, left late because Michelle (the writer accompanying me today) had an in-law event to attend and won’t be getting in until lunchtime; I’ll even be spending a few hours over at my friend Steve’s place in the ‘boke. It’s unfortunate that Jersey gets such a bad rap when it comes to food; there are some gems over here. I was in Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop yesterday waiting for my phone to be “fixed” (it’s still broken), this guy who lives in Hoboken overhears me talking about starting out in NJ and he just starts railing on the quality of the places over here.
By all logical arguments, this must be true. Competition is the incentive to progress, and if there’s less competition, there’s less progress; less progress, less excellence.
I had three items from the menu: the ensaymada, the macapuno tart, and the bitcho-bitcho (sic).
The ensaymada was was the house favorite. I asked an old Filipino lady in line what I might try for my first Bread House experience, and she said, “well, you might not like it, but it’s bread, butter, and sugar.” Who in the heck does she think she’s talking to that wouldn’t like something that’s primary ingredients are bread, butter, and sugar? I know I’m white and all, but in what culture does bread, butter, and sugar equal deliciousness? Every other customer had ten of these things in their basket and I understood why after a bite. I ate it like a muffin (I tore off the buttery, sugary top). It’s a substantial breakfast pastry that should probably come with a surgeon general’s warning.
The macapuno tart was my least favorite. When I saw it, I was looking forward to more of a brulee-ish consistency (see what I mean ?), but it was a lot thicker; almost like a coconut paste. The crust had some kind of nut in it (I would guess macadamia) that was a nice touch, but I couldn’t get past the consistency thing. The one thing I did like were the strips of coconut in the pie; so thick I thought they were onions.
The bitcho-bitcho was my favorite of the three. It was a more delicately-fried, doughier churro. Yes, it’s actually called the bitcho-bitcho. I am dubbing this donut the “two-bitches.” Kind of like McDonald’s has really adopted their “Mickey D’s” nickname, this new moniker will make it more marketable. It’s a sugared donut – simple, yes, but it hit that just-fried-enough post like Casey Kasem.
If you’re around Journal Square area and looking for some pastries, you can’t miss with the hospitality at The Philippine Bread House. Pick yourself up a dozen two-bitches and a few ensaymadas; you’ll be the hit at the office.
Guest Writer: It was supposed to be Michelle Weber, but she had some in-law stuff last night
The IRL Arts Foundation and The Wandering Foodie thank the Philippine Bread House for providing this meal.
Phillipine Bread House CafÃ©
530 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJâ€Ž