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Manila Sunrise Gourmet: A Pot of Filipino Gold in a Mesa Strip Mall

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America is a melting pot of cuisines. But when it comes to Filipino food, not so much.

See also: - The 10 Best Things I Ate in 2012 - 9 Best New Restaurants of 2012 in Greater Phoenix

Unlike its Thai and Vietnamese neighbors, the food of the Philippines has never really caught on in the United States. The criticism? Too sweet, too oily, and, quite frankly, too bizarre.

But there's more to Filipino food than the unusual. And at Manila Sunrise Gourmet, a three-month-old eatery in a Mesa strip mall, diners can find a small array of traditional Filipino dishes, a deli case of delights to order with the meal or to take home, and, like many Filipino restaurants, a small buffet, or turo-turo, of whatever owner and chef Angelito Soliman has decided to make for the day.

It's an affordable, culinary journey -- especially with a few Filipino-food-curious in tow.

Here's an excerpt from this week's review:

"Not for the timid is the Filipino comfort dish dinuguan. Though it may not look appetizing, this dish of fatty and crispy pork belly pieces covered in a clingy, near-black sauce of pig's blood, garlic, and vinegar, and topped with a serrano pepper to bring a bit of heat is as unique as it is flavorful. Best to not judge by appearances before giving it a taste."

Curious as to what else is on the menu? Read my full review of Manila Sunrise Gourmet here.

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