Chicken Inasal at Sa Aming Nayon

What is the pork trifecta and how does it explain Tasting Table’s title and review of a new Filipino restaurant in the East Village? From a little googling the port trifecta refers to Italian cured pork: prosciutto, guanciale, and pancetta. It also refers to pepperoni, sausage, and bacon. There’s even a video of a woman making pork stuffed with pork wrapped in pork, naming her dish the porkpocalyptic trifecta. So I can conclude any three combination of pork, whether cured and raw or stuffed and cooked, can safely be generalized as a Pork Trifecta.

This still doesn’t explain why Tasting Table decided to title this review “Sa Aming Nayon hits the pork trifecta”. It waxes poetic about two porktastic dishes: sisig and pata, but fails to name a third that would justify its title. Whether its an editing mishap or I’m just obsessing about something I’m completely ignorant about is irrelevant. Either way I read the review and instead of adding into my address book of restaurants to check out I made a determined decision to check it out. Angel and I went last night and weren’t quite sure what to expect as the review didn’t mention anything about the setting or environment.

Sa Aming Nayon certainly isn’t chic or hipster, no care for rustic refurbished wooden tables to be found here. It’s pure authentic ethnic food with little consideration for moody lighting or printed menus meticulously designed by a junior graphic designer from Brooklyn. We found ourselves seated in the back surrounded by a giant mirror wall and a flat screen tv which we took the liberty to change the channel to watch a Giants preseason game in silence. There was an unlit backyard with a group of diners eating in the dark which will be tempting were there no threat of a downpour.

Service was mediocre at best, the old couple who I assume are the couple mentioned in the review seemed a bit lost or overwhelmed about accommodating to the demand and attention I assume said review has garnered. I assume pre-review from Tasting Table they were cooking for fellow natives. This night it was packed with your foodie know hows of the white people variety except for the three grandmas sitting in the back with us grappling over the check with their failing eyesight and inability to add on the price of a drink to their separate individual.

Angel ordered a delicious goat stew dish that reminded us of the spicy, comforting food from his Dominican end. I ordered Chicken Inasal which was described as “Grilled marinated chicken breast in vinegar, garlic pepper, and lemon grass served with pickled papaya”. It is by far the juiciest and most flavorful chicken breast I’ve probably ever had the honor to consume. The crispy grilled skin gave way to tender meat that squitred juices of pure spice and slightly sour, perfectly acidicized marinated goodness. A bowl of plain white rice was a great combo, a perfect homecoming meal that is humble, comforting, and soulful.

Next time we go I’ll make sure to fulfill the pork trifecta and order a whole lotta pork. Til then, we’ll be going meatless for a week!


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