use the term 'filipino' or 'pilipino.' use the term 'intimate' or 'cramped,' either way the food tastes good just the same. what i also cannot decide is if i am giving props where pilipino food is sorely missed-- in manhattan. grill 21 fills this absence sans bayan cafe and elvie's. make no mistake, the interior is shiny, close quarters, and has bright colors to equip you for the food frenzy of the diaspora.
visited here with pilipin@s living in germany and they were itching for any fix they could find. thusly, they gorged on quintessential breakfasts-- each of us tried the longsilog (sausage w/ garlic rice and eggs), danggitsilog (crispy fish w/ garlic rice & eggs), and dasilog (milkfish w/ garlic rice & eggs). to share we had lumpiang sariwa and laing. not to mention, calamansi juice all around! the meal was swiftly delivered as we toiled the server for more toyo or suka, some more juice in the glass please. the rice was wondrously fragrant that managed my piquant fish. i was told the longanisa was cooked too dry. the laing was especially delicious with flecks of sili or chili, thick taro leaves and rich coconut milk. however, the shrimp in the laing was a bit undercooked, therefore towing a fine line. this was disappointing, as the flavor was savory and the delivery needed to be sharper.
if you are to forego the cramped setting, keep your meal time during the day, say right after lunch. enjoy ready service and prices that rightly fit flat iron expectations. grill 21 does not afford a queens or jersey city portions or receipt. will try lunch specials in the future and more dishes for a possible upgrade in rating. [3.5 stars, so close- but not 4 stars]