taste of philippines
The vegetarian pancit is vermicelli mixed with a variety of vegetables and sometimes seitan (vegetable meat).

Restaurant Peek: A Taste of the Philippines
16th Street and Stout | Downtown Denver
Tel: 720.746.8880 | www.atasteofthephilippines.com

By Mary Jeneverre Schultz | Twitter: @Jeneverre

Filipino food evolved from origins of Chinese, Polynesian and Spanish cuisines. The mixture of these cuisines brings an eclectic taste of delicious food involving seafood, chicken and pork dishes.

For more than a year, A Taste of the Philippines brings an array of Filipino cuisines for downtown workers, corporate executives and business travelers into the downtown area of Denver.

“I believe my food cart stands out from the rest because Filipino food is still so new to the scene,” said owner and chef Kathy Gietl. “The unique flavor of the dishes keeps my customers coming back.”

Gietl added that her cart is the first one of its kind to offer Filipino food in Colorado.

Her cart attracts foodies and adventure eaters. “A lot of them started out just browsing at the menu, then turned in to customers and turned regulars which I’m really happy about,” Gietl said. “I never expected this kind of response and I am extremely grateful for.”

kathy-gietl
Kathy Gietl, Owner and Chef of A Taste of the Philippines

Ranging from $1 to $9.50, her cart offers these entrees:

  • Chicken Adobo: The most popular entree on the menu goes to the chicken adobo. Tender chicken simmered in fresh garlic, soy sauce and a hint of vinegar makes chicken adobo the classic favorite.
  • Manok Sa Gata (Chicken cooked in coconut): With the unique blend of coconut milk, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, bamboo shoots all simmered with chicken, the Manok Sa Gata it is a must try!
  • Pancit: The vegetarian pancit is really popular as well. Vermicelli mixed with a variety of vegetables and sometimes seitan (vegetable meat) makes this pancit popular with the health conscious and vegetarians.
  • Kare-kare: The hearty pork and peanut sauce with eggplant, green beans and cabbage mix makes kare-kare another unique option.
  • Chicken or Pork Skewers: For those wanting to taste delicious sauces, try the chicken or pork skewers, which is offered through her special menu.
  • Lumpia (egg roll): Each lumpia is hand rolled and filled with either ground beef with vegetables or tofu with vegetables paired with Gietl’s very own sweet and sour sauce.
  • Ginulayang Shrimp or Tofu: This is the perfect dish for seafood and vegetarian lovers during the winter time.

Gietl’s lumpia, selling for $1 each, are one of the most popular appetizers on her menu. Party packs are available by calling her in advance. In addition, Gietl works closely with two bars to offer lumpia. She works at different music and art venues, including the annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.

photo 1
Chicken Adobo is tender chicken simmered in fresh garlic, soy sauce and a hint of vinegar.

After a Bronco win or maybe even on Hump Day, Gietl sells two lumpias for the price of $1, regularly at $1 apiece. Occasionally, she offers specials on her Facebook page or Twitter feed. Follow her through these online media outlets to catch her daily and weekly specials.

In addition, she maintains a box of frequent customers’ cards. Every time you purchase a meal, she stamps it and keeps it in her box. After ten meals, a free meal is offered to the frequent diner.

She also passes out flyers to her weekend events, distributes stickers with the cart’s logo and even t-shirts mass produced in the Philippines, showing off the name of her cart.

Her downtown location introduces the cuisines to Filipino transplants, foodies and curious eaters interested in Asian culinary delights. “It’s a great place to introduce the Filipino cuisine,” Gietl said.

Starting on April 16, 2012, Gietl began the food cart after leaving the corporate world. With fierce determination to succeed with the food cart concept, she researched, created and perfected recipes from the Philippines.

She credits her success to the uniqueness of the Filipino food and the support of her downtown friends and family.

Like on Facebook: A Taste of the Philippines
Follow on Twitter: @FilipinoCart