Every year at the annual PhilFest, I stop by the Ice Ice Boba stand for some bubble tea and Halo-Halo, a Filipino dessert that comes from tagalog meaning “mix-mix”. The owners of this stand have finally opened a retail store in Tampa named Filipiniana Philippine Café and opened today for their soft opening. I stopped by with some friends to check out the shop and was impressed.
The cafe is located near the original Saigon Deli (named so on purpose due to a dispute with the old location) in the plaza behind La Quinta on the corner of Waters and Dale Mabry Highway. The shop has been in development for months and I was excited to finally read on their Facebook fan page that their soft opening was occurring.
The menu is packed with lots of great items including authentic Filipino coffee and baked goods, in addition to shaved ice and bubble tea. Prices are fair as well. Being someone the loves Filipino food and sweets, it has previously been a long wait between Filipino events for me to get access to Filipino treats, I couldn’t be more excited for the Filipiniana Philippine Café to join the PAO Truck in spreading Filipino food culture around Tampa.
The Halo-Halo Supreme ($4.99) comes with a mix of blended fruits, sweet preserves, evaporated milk, shaved ice, and a scoop of ice cream. You have to mix the ingredients together to bring the full flavor of the dessert out. Halo-Halo has been featured in the United States on television shows, such as Top Chef and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
The layout of the cafe is modern and although there is clearly some more work to be done on signage and things of that sort, it looks great for a soft opening.
We couldn’t resist ordering some baked goods and ordered the Ensaymada Ube Bread (~$3). They warmed it up and the bread was excellent. Ensaymada is originally a 17th century pastry product from Majorca, Spain, and Peru and is commonly found in a number of former Spanish territories including the Philippines. The Filipino version is baked with butter versus lard and topped with grated cheese and sugar and has been eaten for over 300 years. Ube is a purple yam and is stuffed inside this bread and is frequently used to sweeten Filipino baked goods. The combination was excellent and very enjoyable and I could definitely eat this regularly!
Overall, we were really impressed with Filipiniana Philippine Café and it’s great that Tampa is becoming a really diverse city with many different cultures and foods represented! We will be back soon!
Restaurant name: Filipiniana Philippine Café
Cuisine: Filipino, Cafe
Address: 3848 W Waters Ave. Tampa, FL 33614
Phone Number: (813) 748-1457
Sites That Link to this Post
- Talk of the Town Tampa Bay | Lechon Bros | July 16, 2013
- Philippines Relief Tampa Fundraiser: Operation Tulong II - 11/23 : Carlos Eats | November 18, 2013