Sunday, July 19, 2009


Filipinos make up one of the largest immigrant groups in Jacksonville but until the recent opening of Pancitan, I don't remember having seen a representative restaurant around the area. Turns out I wasn't looking hard enough as there are at least four others spread out over the town but, in my defense, they're all pretty low key. Even Pancitan was brought to my attention by a friend and former colleague to whom I also owe my prior introduction to the cuisine of the Philippines. My limited experience consisted of a few home cooked dishes so I was excited to see what new and unfamiliar items I could find on the menu at Pancitan.

pancitan pork

The offerings are relatively small in number but still varied enough to illicit a prolonged period of indecisiveness. My first reaction was to go with the ox tail soup but at the last second I ended up picking something tamer (but I'm still intrigued and that only means I'll have to go back again to give it a try). Instead we got the Tapa Silog, a marinated beef dish served with rice and eggs, and the Inihaw na Baboy, a grilled seasoned pork dish with rice. Although no ox-tail soup, the pork was rather out of the ordinary for me and, for some odd reason, I felt compelled to revisit swine after avoiding it for so long. Though the flavor was nice, I was reminded of my primary reason for avoiding pork: the high fat content which, after half a plate, can be a little trying. The seasoned beef had quite a distinctive taste which was quite unlike anything I've encountered in any other cuisine but, if pressed to make a comparison, I'd say it was similar to something one would find at a Korean barbecue. We also ordered a siopao, a delectable little soft bread bun with chicken, beans, and spices in the center. These could ruin me. Next time I'm ordering the ox tail soup and about five of these things.

pancitan beef and egg

Though that was the extent of our meal, I could offer a few suggestions to the uninitiated based on my past experiences with Filipino food. The Pork Adobo, one of the most popular dishes of the Philippines, has an incredible sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, crushed garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns. It's one of those flavors that will pleasantly linger in your mouth for hours after the meal. Also, if you're a fan of egg rolls then definitely try the lumpia, the Philippines' most iconic food.

pancitan yummy bun

Pancitan is another family owned and operated affair. The service was great and we were given many helpful pointers and suggestions between humorous quips and banter. They also deliver and are open every day from 11am - 9pm except for Sundays. And if you're having trouble finding the place, just look for that giant, orange dinosaur on Beach Boulevard (yeah, you know the one), they're just a few doors down in the same complex.

Pancitan Atbp Restaurant
10150 Beach Blvd #7
Jacksonville, 32246
(904) 647-6746
Monday - Saturday: 11am - 9pm

Pancitan atbp Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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