Living in Albany Park, it’s a short hop and a skip to Lincoln Square. Weekends and most nights will have a line, so it’s best to make a reservation lest you wait outside for too long. Located in the middle of a strip mall across the street from Burger King and next door to Caesar’s Pizza you’ll see people going about their business carrying brown bags or cardboard boxes probably not noticing that some of the best food in Lincoln Square is sitting right in front of them.
Dinner is sometimes best highlighted by four simple letters: BYOB. At Isla Pilipina bringing your own supply is no problem as long as you don’t spend five hours sitting. While BYOB fare is always hospitable, you’ll find plenty of people enjoying Filipino dishes on every table.
Whether you’re having dinner for two or in with your own personal army, Isla Pilipina will find a way to whet your appetite. Browsing the menu you’ll see appetizers, noodles, veggies, rice dishes, entrees, seafood, and dessert. The craziest thing I saw on the menu was some spaghetti with ground beef, hot dog, served over fried chicken which I’ll have to check out the next time I’m there.
The best thing I had was the marinated grilled pork served with a vinaigrette. Soaked in marinade for over a week, likely best eaten with a bowl of rice, this giant plate of meat will make you feel like you’ve been grilling outside and enjoying the fruits of your own labor. Don’t forget to get some shanghai lumpia or calamari as appetizers.