Things we like: Filipino fare at Nanay's Kitchen

This specialized take-out food is served from the Gnesen Convenience Store.

Nanay's Kitchen, located in the Gnesen Convenience Store on Rice Lake Road, offers up to-go orders of Filipino fare: lumpia (egg rolls), pork adobo, rice and chicken caldereta. (Melinda Lavine /

Nanay’s Kitchen has been on my radar for a while. A Filipino pop-up? Yes, please.

My mom is from Novaliches, Philippines. Mama food is the epitome of comfort for me, and despite my best efforts to recreate her dishes, the end result often looks the part, but doesn’t taste it.

On our visit, owner Beth Canete, of the Philippines herself, dished orders out of the hot food buffet inside the Gnesen Convenience Store. Unless custom made, to-go dishes are pre-planned, each containing a treat for the taste buds.

Pancit (stir fried rice noodles) with celery, onion, peapods and carrots; chicken caldereta (a tomato-based creamy stew served with potatoes); savory, falling-of-the-bone pork adobo (my favorite dish since I was 7); a scoop of warm Jasmine rice; and lumpia, egg rolls fried to a deep golden brown.

We took our food back home to eat, and each bite was warming, stimulating, savory and mouth-watering. Save for a few grunts, we barely spoke, our attentions hyper-focused on the food.


Canete’s cooking tasted quite different from my mom’s, but close enough to transport me back to the house I grew up in, with the rice cooker spewing steam from a fresh batch, and something wholesome heated on the stovetop.

My mom chopping garlic, or her maneuvering food on her plate with her hands.

“Nanay” means “mom” in Tagalog, and I’d say, they nailed it.

Orders are a modest $11.99, which was well worth it for five types of Filipino fare. Hours are set 3-6 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Nanay's Kitchen


6049 Rice Lake Road

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