Philippines: Purple Yam Ice Cream

As stated many times before, I don’t understand brunch after noon; however, I won’t make this a diatribe about “brunch.”  Instead I am going to tell you about the most delicious Filipino food I ate around noon time on a Sunday.

We found a little spot in the Mt. Pleasant area of DC for this “brunch.”  Bridget picked me up after I enjoyed a Sunday morning at the DC Record Fair. Walking up to the Purple Patch (www.purplepatchdc.com) we realized it looked familiar.  A good friend of ours was a bartender here back when it was called Tonic.

After talking about the past, we realized how much nicer this place was now.  The staff was incredibly nice and even hooked us up with a little taste of their famous ice cream (something I think was not allowed).

Everything on the menu looked fantastic and made it hard for us to choose. The easiest part, however, was that everything was pretty authentic Filipino and nothing we chose would be “wrong.”  Both dishes we ordered were outstanding but we do regret not ordering the one dish that was so hard to pass up: Filipino Chicken and Waffles.  Neither one of us wanted anything sweet (it was served with purple yam ice cream) though.

Since it wasn’t too early in the day and definitely 5 o’clock somewhere I ordered a Filipino beer, Red Horse.  It was good to see a restaurant that specialized in a cuisine import some of the beers too.  Usually the alcohol of that country is not seen as important but to me it is just as the food the is.

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Bridget ordered Sisig, which is basically fried pork marinated in lemon juice or vinegar.  The Purple Patch uses pig shoulder and belly  marinated in lemon juice and vinegar.  They also use some onions and birds eye peppers.  Throwing a raw egg in it (still raw when served) makes it a “brunch” dish.  The dish came out sizzling and steaming on a cast iron plate.  On the side Bridget received some jasmine rice to eat it with. The server told her to mix the egg into the dish so the hot cast iron would finish cooking it.

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I went with the Tapsilog (or Tapa) which is a cured beef that is thinly sliced.  The beef was served with fresh tomatoes on the side and a bed of garlic fried rice.  On the rice was too fried eggs.  The beef was so damn good and fresh, while the garlic fried rice was different but tasted great.

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There was no dessert to order but we saw the Chicken and Waffles being brought out to another customer with the purple ice cream.  I decided to kiss up to the server a bit and see if we could get a scoop for dessert.  This turned into a long game of wait and see as no one was sure if this was allowed.  I always assumed if something was on the menu, it would be served for a guest.  After waiting a few a manager came over and brought us a small bowl with a scoop, well worth the drama.

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The ice cream is a purple yam and made into an Ube Ice Cream.  The sweetness of this ice cream completely surprised us and it had no “yam” flavor.  The ice cream was that of coconut milk and had a piney or nutty flavor.  It was gone in 30 seconds, quite happily I must add.

The Purple Patch (which as I write this, just totally got the name) was an incredible brunch spot of authentic Philippine cuisine.  We will not only be back for brunch but dinner as well.  Next time might be a bit harder as an article in the Washington Post is coming out next week.  But I will gladly wait in a long line for this cuisine.

-Matt

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