Papalote's Ode to Poleng burrito is filled with the elements of a typical Filipino adobo plate: soy-and-vinegar-marinated chicken, with garlic fried rice and diced tomatoes. What inspired Papalote owners Miguel and Victor Escobedo (stars of last night's Throwdown) to combine Filipino and Mexican influences? Miguel's wife and many of his friends are Filipino, but the adobo burrito is primarily a thank-you to now-shuttered Poleng Lounge for having been such a good neighbor.
It all started in 2006, when Poleng owner Desi Danganan recommended Papalote as a tenant for the vacant storefront next to his pan-Asian restaurant and nightclub. The chicken adobo burrito, aka the Mexi-Pino burrito, was originally intended to live on in the name of Poleng as a once-a-month special. But recent TV coverage on the Filipino Channel sparked such demand that Papalote now offers it daily. You won't see it on the menu yet, but it's there ― just ask. And while the garlic flavor in the burrito we tried was slight, a dose of creamy, smoky, and spicy Papalote salsa made it come alive.
Papalote 1777 Fulton (at Central), 776-0106; Papalote Mexican Grill 24th St. (at Valencia), 970-8815
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