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Max's of Manila Restaurant in New Jersey

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by Cristina Dimen (subscribe)
Cristina crafts pieces on travel, parenting and lifestyle. Connect with her at or and @CristinaDimen on Twitter. WN mentor link:
Published May 9th 2012
When you're eager to sit down for freshly prepared Philippine cuisine in a casual, comfortable and family-friendly restaurant, spend some quality time at Max's of Manila in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Max's of Manila in Jersey CIty is at 687 Newark Avenue.

In 1945, the first Max's restaurant opened its doors in Manila. Currently part of a global franchise chain of eateries, this Newark Avenue branch offers neighborhood locals and visitors traditional Filipino flavors.

Enjoy some Southeast Asian food culture while you dine in one of two levels of space.

Street-level dining area.

To truly appreciate native dishes, sample a few a la carte items.

Milkfish marinated in vinegar and garlic, which is then fried and typically served with steamed white rice.

Mini bites of crispy Lumpia Shanghai (eggrolls) presented in fried eggroll wrappers shaped like a bowl.

Or pick one of their family-style prix fixe options for a delicious spread of Philippine cuisine—plenty for everyone at your table. Your food items will vary, depending on the prix fixe choice you select.

A bowl of the day's soup accompanies one of the fixed price choices.

Kare-Kare contains oxtail, vegetables and peanut sauce.

Lechon Kawali is tender pork pan fried until crispy.

And of course, you must not miss their house specialty—fried chicken. With a tag line of "The house that fried chicken built," Max's is indeed known for this menu item, made using a special family recipe.

Fried chicken, the item that built Max's of Manila.

While you're indulging your taste buds, try a couple of popular treats.

Traditionally, Buko Pandan contains strings of coconut meat, flavorless gelatin, condensed and evaporated milk, pandan extract and sugar. A scoop of ice cream and a sprinkling of pinipig (crispy puffed glutinous rice) top Max's version.

Buko Pandan, a sweet way to cap off your meal.

Refresh with a tall glass of Sago at Gulaman, which translates to "tapioca pearls and agar-agar".

Sago at Gulaman serves as a beverage, snack or dessert.

And delicious Filipino food isn't the only thing you'll find at Max's. Should you fancy one of the framed paintings that grace the walls, check the price next to each one, and let a staffer know you're interested. Perhaps you'll leave with a full belly and a beautiful memento of your dining experience.

Original paintings surround the second floor dining area.

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Why? Satisfy your curiosity for Filipino fare at a renowned venue.
When: Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: 687 Newark Avenue, New Jersey
Cost: Prices vary.
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