Stepping out of the Roosevelt Avenue subway stop in Jackson Heights for the first time is similar to what I imagine those kids must have felt like stepping into the giant candy room of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Walk in one direction and the street is packed with Indian food and grocery stores, another direction and you'll be surrounded by Latin food, yet another there is Korean and Chinese food, and of course, there are great looking street carts everywhere you look. On a recent trip, we headed west on Roosevelt into Woodside to hit up Renee's Kitchenette, a Filipino restaurant recommended by a friend for its Filipino style BBQ.
Renee's BBQ chicken was good, as were some of the other dishes we had, like the char grilled pork belly, or the Lumpiang Sariwa, two large crepes filled with veggies and meat, then smothered in peanut sauce. But my favorite dish was hands down the Filipino sausage. While some are sour or heavy on the garlic depending on the region they come from, the version at Renee's were sweet-- a characteristic of the sausages from Pampanga. Similar to chinese sausage, but in a thicker chorizo-like form, the homemade longanisa, as they're known in the Phillipines, were cheap, incredibly tasty, and easily stole the show from the BBQ chicken that brought us out there. If this is what Filipino home cooking tastes like, I may need to find a family in the Phillipines to adopt me.
6914 Roosevelt Ave, Woodside NY 11377 (nr. 69th Street; map) 718-476-9002