Kamayan Fiesta, Filipino in Falls Church City

It took me a while to get here, after a couple of previous attempts found them closed when they should have been open. But they were open today for lunch, so I finally got a chance to try it.

The food is laid out on a steam table, already prepared. As I found out later, the steam table is not even turned on. So the food just sits there in an unattended congealed lump. I should have taken this as my cue to leave, but I didn’t.

I went for the marinated milkfish, my favorite Filipino dish. I’ve never had a bad version. I also went for a kind of beef jerky in a tangy brown sauce, served with fried eggs and garlic rice. This is also a dish that can’t be ruined.

Served room temperature and congealed, the food was just this side of acceptable, but nothing I care to experience again. To add insult to injury, it was surprisingly expensive, though it was a very large piece of fish.

Far, far better (and fried to order) is the marinated milkfish at the nearby Fairfax Inn, which is a diner inside a medical building in Seven Corners. It’s a five star Hungry Onion delight. The rest of the food there is served hot as well and with a side of atchara, a sweet picked papaya condiment that is transportive. If you go, the dinuguan is also another great order that packs a wallop.


I finally got around to trying Fairfax Inn yesterday for the first time. I thought it was really interesting and good. My wife had the meatloaf with banana ketchup, which seemed to be studded with chunks of spam; my son had the pancit guisado, which was very similar to Singapore rice noodles, and a good rendition.

I had the Dinuguan, a shiny, jet-black thick stew made of pig blood, garlic, ginger, and vinegar. It was delicious, very heavy on the vinegar, although it got a little “same-ey” toward the end, and would probably be better as a dish to be shared among a few people. Still, it was definitely unlike anything I have ever had before.


I’m glad you went. The marinated milkfish (daing na bangus) is the #1 thing to get and one of the best things to eat in the DC area. The dinuguan is #2, but I don’t go often enough to get past the fish very much. Everything else is a distant third. I usually avoid filipino noodle dishes around here. I sincerely hope the noodles they make in the Philippines are better.

As always, all of these things are best shared. Except for the fish. I want to eat all of that.

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