J&J Turo-Turo, Quincy
Six of us met up for lunch yesterday (Saturday). We ordered:
Pinakbet (mixed vegetables in shrimp paste)
Laing (taro leaves in coconut milk w/chilis)
Sisig (grrilled and chopped pork, pork’s ears, and liver, seasoned with onions, hot peppers, ginger and lemon juice [menu description])
Lumpiang Shanghai (egg rolls)
Sinigang (pork & vegetable soup w/tamarind)
Crispy Pata (chunk of pork shoulder deep-fried and cut into pieces, w/vinegar dipping sauce)
Deep-fried pork belly with sweet liver paste dipping sauce
Pancit (noodles with vegetables)
Yes it was a pig-centric selection. That’s only partly because we like pork; it’s mostly a function of what was available that day (they feature a rotating selection of dishes from the menu).
I’m pretty much new to Filipino food and I didn’t think there was a clunker in the bunch. Personal favorites: sinigang, pata, laing, sisig. (The latter was a mix of soft and crunchy textures that I would not have appreciated before Chowhound broadened my palate, although no arguing with the taste.) The pork belly and the pata were too similar, I wouldn’t order both again (the sweet liver paste wasn’t nearly as weird as I expected but I liked the vinegar dip better).
This place has been on my list for years and now I’m kicking myself for not going sooner. Just the sort of friendly, homey hole in the wall I like. Two tables for six and 4 or 5 high two-tops, and it was fairly busy (also a big takeout business). IIRC the printed menu of possibilities is slightly larger than the one on their website.
I know there's a Place link but it's not working, grrr.
it was great to finally get back there with a large group of people to sample an array of dishes. my personal favorites were the adobo (made with pork belly), sinigang (wonderful sour broth with lots of water spinach), and sisig (lots of crunchy cartilage and great spooned over white rice)
after lunch a few of us went to sure pinoy, the filipino market next door. they expanded the prepared foods section since my last visit. lots of snacks, cakes, and sweets. picked up some ube halaya (purple yam jam), sapin sapin (layered rice cake with purple yam and coconut milk), kutsinta (jelly-like rice cakes made with brown sugar), and a turon (fried plantain spring roll)
ube (purple yam) is starchy and has a unique flavor similar to taro. the ube halaya was a slightly sweet and savory cake
kutsinta were small orange colored glutinous rice cakes made with brown sugar. they had a squishy jelly-like texture and were very sweet
sapin sapin was a layered glutinous rice cake flavored with ube and kutsinta (each layer a different flavor) and topped with a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes. this one was my favorite
the turon had a nice crisp exterior. it was mostly savory with a little sweetness from some caramelized brown sugar
There’s a lot to like about JNJ TT. It’s a bright, cheery space—and any independent family-run restaurant where three generations work so hard to please their customers starts off with lots of points on my scorecard. I don’t know flip about Filipino food, but the dishes have an honest, homey, no-frills quality to them that is appealing.
Having said that, while I do appreciate fried pork in its various incarnations, I can’t honestly say the dishes we sampled did much to expand my appreciation. I found the crispy pata, for example, to be somewhat dry, and liberal applications of the vinegar & liver sauces made only a marginal improvement. And while the few bites I had of the sisig were interesting, I can’t picture myself tucking into a whole plate of it by myself. Which pretty much goes for most of the dishes we tried—with the possible exceptions of the tasty pork adobo and the intriguing laing (taro leaves).
The other dishes were pleasant enough, but I couldn’t help feeling that those of us who didn’t grow up with them might perhaps enjoy them to better advantage on the kind of tropical beaches we saw sparkling from the travel posters on the walls.
More photos can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/84539512...
Note that the actual address is 143 Water St. in Quincy (at the corner of Franklin), and NOT 43 Water (as listed on its website).
After the Filipino grocery store, several of us wandered around the corner to the aptly named Pure Chocolate, a small shop at the corner of Franklin and N. Payne. While it’s OT to give it more than a passing nod in this thread, suffice it to say that the samples we received were delicious, and people attracted to the concept of chocolate truffles infused with, say, lavender, basil, rose oil, champagne, or single malt scotch might well want to put it on their radar. (Not to mention the array of animated Easter rabbits….)
Many places mentioned on Chowhound have "places" links - If you do a search (for instance on turo) it'll pop up in the list (and I've included it below) There are probably other ways to find these "place" links also, but I don't know them offhand.
Also, I think this map is a bit off (travelling south, we took a right, not a left) so use the street number to find it. The map, in general, is helpful unless you know Quincy!
JnJ Turo Turo (Authentic Filipino Cuisine)
143 Water St, Quincy, MA 02169
If you are familiar with Quincy Center, follow Hancock Street going south; right about the point at which Hancock changes to Quincy Ave, Water St intersects. Take a right on Water and it's right there. At that intersection you will also see Sunshine Fruit on the left. They have a few parking spots on the street.
I went to JnJ Turo-turo a few weeks ago since I was craving Filipino food. The service was very friendly and decor cheery and clean. It was a nice small selection of Filipino basics. I had the kare-kare and it was delicious. I think most Filipino dishes could use more vegetables... and would have liked more greens in the kare-kare. The chicken bbq stick was a bit too fatty for me and so was the pork adobo. I'm glad there is a Filipino joint around but I was have like to see them make the food a bit "healthier"... I know, it's very Filipino to love all the fat on the meat! I'm still nostalgic for my mom's home cooked, gourmet-ish Filipino food.
aaawwwwww I now cannot wait to go. I have been wanting to check this place out for the last week ever since reading this thread and your post has just made me want to go even more! I want PORK and that chicken bbq stick sounds perfect to me. Is it chicken butt? because i do love big fat chicken butt and i cannot lie. I do believe i will lay off the fatty foods before i decide to head over though and prepare with some vegetables and fiber before hand hehe. CANT WAIT!