Philippine BBQ & Smokehouse, Elsmere

In most respects this place is an unremarkable corner BBQ place, serving mostly takeout, but we were intrigued by a note on the website that mentioned that Filipino dishes were served on weekends. So we took a ride over to Elsmere on Saturday night and put ourselves in the hands of the owners–the menu doesn’t really tell you much, being mostly things like brisket, smoked chicken, etc. We asked what the Filipino specialties were that day and ended up being given samples of the night’s options, including sisig, garlic rice, “omy fingers” (tiny deep-fried egg rolls), Filipino cole slaw, a cucumber-onion salad, and the (non-Filipino) smoked brisket. We ended up getting a full serving of the sisig, which is a spiced pork belly hash–it was served on a sizzling platter with garlic rice and a raw egg cracked over the top, the star dish of the evening. We also got servings of the brisket (very good, although ask for the sauce on the side, because it was very sweet), the cole slaw (basically cabbage in a sugar-vinegar sauce, pretty good), the cucumbers (I didn’t like these as I thought they had a weird taste), and a steamed pork bun for good measure. We ate in the restaurant, which was good as far as the sisig was concerned because the sizzling platter was an integral part of the whole thing–it was needed to cook the raw egg, and also gave the garlic rice a great crispy crust. Everything else would have been fine for takeout–in fact, the steamed pork bun should have come home with us, because the center was still a little frozen when we got it.

The owners are very nice and I wish them well. There’s not a huge Filipino community in the area (my old standby for this food, Pilipino Restaurant & Grocery on Lancaster Ave. in Wilmington, disappeared years ago). Mostly this restaurant serves standard-issue BBQ, which is good, but I can get good BBQ closer to my house. But if you want a slightly more interesting experience, head over on a weekend and see what’s cooking!

How interesting, Travelmad. That sounds like the kind of place you wouldn’t just stumble upon, or, if you did, you probably wouldn’t give it a second glance. Where in Elsmere is it?

We decided to look into it because we were intrigued by the word “Philippine” on the sign–there’s really not much in the way of Filipino anything around here, and I like the cuisine. It’s at 1700 Kirkwood Highway, right in the middle of Elsmere and directly across from the VA Hospital. I don’t know if I would make a special trip from Kennett for this, but if you’re in the neighborhood on a weekend, you might stop in for some takeout.