Located on 108th and 148th, Cabizerra Bistro is in a little strip mall where 6 of the 7 small businesses are food-related and we have now visited and been impressed with half of them!
The next perplexing fact about CB is the fact that their all-day breakfasts (silogs) are only available after noon along with a number of other menu items. What was available were prepared steam table type dishes and we were OK with that. A lot of Filipino restaurants serve mostly large family-style dishes so it is difficult for a couple without the whole clan, to try things. Cabizerra has small medium and large take out containers so we were able to try a few things in smaller quantities. This is largely a meat fest so be prepared. I want to apologize in advance to my vegan and vegetarian friends!
Lechon Kewali (deep-fried pork belly) is sold by the piece. A small piece (pictured) is $15 and weighed fully a pound. It came with Filipino All Purpose Sauce (should be called lechon sauce because that's what it gets used for) which up until a few years ago was made commercially with pork liver but now uses breadcrumbs as a thickener. It is a tasty sweet, onion-vinegar- garlic sauce that could be used on anything if you ask me.
They offered to chop it up for us but I thought the whole piece made an impressive photo. Obviously, we were able to chop it ourselves.
Next up was very good Sisig. The key to success here is crispy bits and just a sprinkling of raw onion for texture. This was some of the best that I've ever tasted (not an expert, however). A nice little kick from chilis never hurts my feeling either.
There were at least 3 items on the steam table that had goat as the main ingredient. Goat is one of the most environmentally friendly meats (in terms of water and energy required ) and as you will see little is wasted. Pictured above is Kalderetta Kambing, a goat stew. This was a medium-sized portion ($12.50) and our server was not cheap about getting as much as she could into the container. This stew could have used a little more in the way of vegetables. That actually strikes me as being the case with all Filipino food. When Marie makes Caldereta there she uses some carrots, potatoes and tomato sauce ( a lot like my Mom's stews). The goat meat was very tender and it is not gamy or challenging as you might guess.
Speaking of challenging...I will never be a fan of Pinapaitan. Marie loves it and at CB it is one of their best sellers! This is another goat dish although you often find it made with beef. It is the dish that includes all the offal and I admire that nothing goes to waste. To be honest, when Marie got me to try the individual bits (gall bladder, lung etc.) they were not too bad. The overall odour of the dish, which is likely intestine related, is just too much for me though. This is a dish that drives me towards vegetarianism but a lot of folks love it!
Finally, and with a bit of overlap, we tried their Lechon Paskiw. This is basically again the lechon with more all-purpose sauce. It is typically how the leftover lechon might be used ina Filipino home. It was a little chewier than the Lechon Kewali (above) but still tasty.
It felt a little expensive (came to around $55) but really, make some rice and vegetables at home and you could easily feed 6 people! We will be eating leftovers for days! The limited menu before noon is a little annoying so don't do what we did. Show up after noon and enjoy some additional choices!
Food 4 1/2 out of 5 (of what was available)
Service 3 out of 5 (because of what was not available although they were very nice and patient with us)
Comfort NA (except that we were comfortable eating at home!)