When it comes to Filipino food, there are several options in northern New Jersey. Our favorite place may be a small joint in Bergenfield or the addicting sisig at Mama Fina’s, but for simple, comforting Filipino grub we head to Max’s Restaurant in Bloomfield.
Known for their special chicken recipe that became an instant favorite among American Troops stationed in Quezon City after World War II, Max’s Restaurant’s popularity grew and became known as “The House That Fried Chicken Built.” You can get a whole or half order of it.
To drink, I like the refreshing Calamansi Juice. They also have a blended drink of the Philippine lime with mango juice called Calamango Juice.
A couple favorites are the Lumpia Shanghai (Filipino egg roll) and Pancit Palabok – rice noodles in a shrimp, squid, and ground pork sauce garnished with garlic bits, ground pork cracklings, green onions, and a sliced boiled egg.
The Lechon Kawali Sisig is a sizzling plate of crispy pork belly mixed with Max’s savory sauce.
Always gotta have some Garlic Rice…or white rice…any rice.
Other dishes we’ve tried are the Miki Bihon, a mix of egg and rice noodles with vegetables, pork, chicken, and shrimp. As well as the Nilagang Baka, a beef soup with beef shank and ribs, greens, potatoes, and peppercorn.
The Kare-Kare is a classic dish of beef and oxtail with vegetables simmered in a thick peanut sauce. Don’t forget the bagoong (shrimp paste).
During our last visit, they had Batangas Lomi, a hearty noodle soup with egg, shrimp, pork belly, fish cake, and fried squid. It was my first time having it.
For dessert, the Turon with Coconut Jam is a yummy choice. Banana is rolled in a spring roll wrapper, deep-fried, and drizzled with coconut jam.
A classic dessert would be the Halo Halo which translates to “mix, mix”. It’s a glass of various tropical fruit and jellies with milk and shaved ice topped with ube (purple yam) ice cream and flan (caramel custard). Mix it all up and enjoy. It’s especially refreshing during hot Summer days.
For a global chain, Max’s casual restaurant serves some solid Pinoy eats and the service is always pleasant. Our Filipino food cravings have been happily satisfied every time.
65 Belleville Ave
Bloomfield, NJ 07003