The pursuit of the secret to a happy life has led people to metaphysical, psychological and religious paths. Where it really should have taken them is to a tiny Albuquerque restaurant in a nondescript shopping center where the secret to happy living is posted for one and all to see. The elusive secret consists of only six simple steps: (1) Come to Fil-Am Fast Food Mart; (2) Check out mouth watering menu; (3) Select items that appeal to your tastes; (4) Pay and leave tip; (5) Leave happy; and (6) For best results, repeat tomorrow and the day after, and the day after, and the day after. I can vouch for one thing–dining at Albuquerque’s only Filipino restaurant will definitely make you happy.
Launched in November, 2004, Fil-Am (shortened version of Filipino-American) Fast Food Mart may sound like competition for 7-11 stores, but it’s so much more. Austere to a fault, Fil-Am includes a small market with Filipino products, but it’s the undersized cafe that will be the huge attraction, particularly because of its proximity to Kirtland Air Force Base. Place your order at a counter for one of the six combination plates (rotating daily) and in minutes, your order will be filled from a steam table supporting trays in which your meal is kept warm.
One combination includes three links of longoniza, the wonderful spicy sweet Filipino sausage along with steamed rice, stir fried vegetables and a soup. The longoniza is a real treat any savvy sausage sage would savor. Another great combination features pork pancit noodles, lumpia (Filipino egg roll) and a grilled pork stick, all of which were delicious.
Filipino cuisine as we know it today is a multi-layered expression of culture and history with various cultural influences: from the Indonesians and Malays, the first foreign settlers on Philippine shores; to the Spaniards who colonized the Philippines for almost 500 years; to Americans and Japanese who took over from the Spaniards; and to Arabs and Indians with whom Filipinos traded long before Magellan landed on the islands.
Considering Filipinos absolutely eat with the gusto of a people who live to eat, it’s a wonder Filipino cuisine isn’t revered in the same vein as Thai or Chinese food. If Fil-Am Fast Food Mart has anything to say about it, someday Duke City residents just might.
Fil-Am Fast Food Mart
600 Louisiana, S.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
LATEST VISIT: 11 December 2004
# OF VISITS: 1
BEST BET: Pork Pancit Noodles, Pork Sausage, Lumpia