1083 Knottwood Road East
I’m going to start this post by saying, Filipino cuisine falls into the ‘rarely ventured’ category. Even with close Filipino friends, I rarely, if ever, get to enjoy the food of this multi-island country. When Anthony Bourdain visited the Philippines last season, I related to his experience almost instantly; for a country that is well represented by population, they are, without a doubt, highly underrepresented in the food world. So, after years of eating lechon and the occasional pancit, I bit right away when I was pointed in the direction of Rolymie Bakery in Mill Woods.
Taking up the corner of a very run down Menisa strip mall, this bakery/catering hall/restaurant is not in the prettiest of areas. I was told that even if there is a party or event running, to just enter through the side door where I would be able to select from an assortment of goodies. With no traffic in the area, I still opted for the side door as I didn’t want to make a grand entrance into an unknown party. Nothing says awkward like a strange white guy walking in unannounced 😉 To my surprise, the entire place was quiet and dark, with only a teenage child behind the counter. While he yelled for his mother, I quickly looked at the menu and thought..oh shit, how do I decipher this one.
With most of the menu looking like gibberish, I made quick work of the mothers knowledge as she politely accepted my request for a run down. After hearing deep fried pigs leg, I stopped her right away and asked to start with that. Not knowing how much of a meal this would make, we kept going through the list and eventually flipped a coin between fried fish and beef stew. The stew won. With a 20 minute wait for the food, I had time to run next door to the convenience store and pull out cash for my order.
Packing my goods up, I was soon on my way out the door and inhaling the perfume of perfectly fried pork fat. I have to say, watching the crew at Rolymie plastic wrap just about everything they sold during my short stay, I shouldn’t have been surprised to find my beef stew wrapped. Maybe an after thought for many, this shows some serious understanding when it comes to liquid takeout!
Opening the containers, both looked and smelled delicious. Thinking the portion of pig was absolutley gargantuan, I was relieved in some ways to find a good portion of this container full of bone. The stew, was also slightly deceiving with regards to the sliced peppers, because after pouring the dish into a bowl, I discovered they were not mixed throughout.
The Crispy Pata was exactly as it sounds. Fried to a crisp on the outside, the inside was succulent chunks of fat with the occcasional slice of meat layered in. This dish probably seems like straight fat (which it basically is), but the boiled and then fried leg yields a tender and gooey fat that will not give you any resistance. Seriously dangerous, you could snack on the skin for hours. The Kalderetang Baka was equally delicious. The beef wasn’t fall apart tender and required considerably more chewing than the pata, but nothing extreme. The potatoes were perfectly cooked, and the token peppers were a lovely addition. The sauce was a mix of sweet with something else, and was strangely addictive. It was nice to bat 2 for 2 on my first visit.
After discovering another Mill Woods gem, and a Filipino one to boot, I’m already excited for my next visit! The toughest decision may be what to try.
P.S. – Was I supposed to pour the baggie of liquid over the meat? I opted to dip pieces of meat and fat into the liquid and it seemed to work well…