Crispy pata, pancit, pinakbet, rice, and lumpia at Nick's Sari-Sari Store and Filipino Restaurant (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Tucson’s Filipino food dry spell since the closure of Pinoy Fast Food has finally broken.
Nick and Helen Subong moved from Inoino City, Philippines to England in 2000, then moved to Tucson in 2005 for Helen to work as a nurse. Nick’s Sari-Sari Store and Filipino Restaurant originally opened four years ago as a Filipino market at 6540 E. 22nd St., then moved into the former space of longtime east side bar Driftwood Pub at 2001 S. Craycroft Rd. in February this year. Last Saturday, it added the Filipino restaurant.
“When we started the store, a lot of people asked to have a Filipino restaurant because we don’t have any in town,” said Helen Subong, who owns Nick’s with her spouse Nick Subong.
For now, the restaurant has only a few plants for decoration. Customers order at the cashier upon entry, then seat themselves.
While pancit, lumpia, and halo-halo are available daily and tapsilog is available for breakfast most days, the menu changes daily. Customers can always look forward to homestyle Filipino food, however. Lunch plates hover around $6.50.
Halo-halo at Nick’s Sari-Sari Store and Filipino Restaurant (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Nick’s Sari-Sari Store and Filipino Restaurant Menu Highlights
- Pancit – stir-fried rice noodles and vegetables
- Lumpia – pork egg rolls
- Pinakbet – green beans, okra, bitter melon, and other vegetables steamed with shrimp sauce and pork (only order this if you know and enjoy bitter melon)
- Lechon Kawali – extra-crunchy chunks of fatty pork, served with a sweet and vinegary dipping sauce
- Sisig – chopped pig’s head parts with diced onion and vinegar
- Arroz Valenciana – Filipino adaptation of paella
- Adobong Baboy – pork adobo braised in soy, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic, and black pepper
- Halo-Halo – dessert made of shaved ice, evaporated milk, ice cream, sweet beans, gulaman (agar jelly), and various fruits (this visit had bananas and cantaloupe)
The market offers a wide variety of Filipino specialty items such as soy sauce with calamansi (a Filipino citrus), banana ketchup, 25-pound bags of rice, and assorted produce.
Nick’s also offers balikbayan box services.
Restaurant hours are 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. or when food runs out Monday – Saturday, market hours are 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday.
Nick’s Sari-Sari Store and Filipino Restaurant is located at 2001 S. Craycroft Rd. For more information, call (520) 406-3593 or keep up with Nick’s Sari-Sari Store and Filipino Restaurant on Facebook.