Updated: Apr 13, 2019
Contrary to what many people believe, it is really easy to go out to eat with your friends and stick to your low carb or keto lifestyle. That said, you often have to resort to bunless burgers, grilled chicken, or wings.
If you're the kind of person that can eat grilled chicken and broccoli every day, all day and not want to hit your head off a table, then knowing it's bunless burgers or chicken for you isn't the worst thing. However, if you're like me and you need variety, then see if there is a Filipino restaurant near you.
If you're near Boston, then I cannot recommend JNJ Turo Turo loud enough. It's actually outside of Boston in Quincy, but it's worth it. Filipino food is great to make at home to spice up your low carb recipes, but heading to a restaurant can open up a lot of items you may want to try before attempting in the kitchen.
JNJ Turo Turo is a family style restaurant, meaning you get a bunch of dishes and share with your family and/or friends. Josh and I went with two of our friends and the four of us split several delicious dishes, including:
Kare Kare (oxtail in a peanut sauce)
Egg Rolls (for my non-low carb friends)
White Rice (for my non-low carb friends)
A look at my (second serving) low carb plate, kare kare (over greens), adobo (to the right), bistek next to that, and lechon next to that. The sisig is on the black pan.
All of this food plus three halo halos (not pictured) ended up costing us about $80 (tip included). Reasonable deal for all the food, especially since we left fully satisfied. Now if you're thinking to yourself, those dishes are new and strange to me so I'll pass, don't. You'll be missing out on some truly delicious food. Allow me to ease your concerns.
As mentioned above this dish involves oxtail in a peanut sauce. Careful with this as a lot of places use peanut butter and sometimes uncooked rice grains ground into a powder. Treat this as more of a treat.
There are many different kinds of adobo. You can make it with chicken or pork or both cut into chunks. If you ask Josh's sister, Kat, the only real adobo is made with vinegar, but there are adobos out there made with coconut milk.
When I think of my childhood I think of my mom making enchiladas and putting me on quesadilla duty, Josh, he thinks of his dad making bistek. Bistek is basically just thinly sliced skirt or sirloin steak, some lime juice, a little soy sauce, and onions.
Sisig is another pork dish, made from parts of the pig's head and liver. The meat is marinated in lemon juice and/or vinegar then goes through a process of boiling, broiling, and pan-frying.
Lechon is pork-belly that is crispy from deep frying. Simple enough.
So the next time you and your friends are trying to decide on a place to go, try going to your local Filipino restaurant. For those in the Boston area, I recommend Turo Turo as a low carb friendly restaurant.