I haven’t eaten much Filipino food, let alone Pakistani food so eating Filipino-Pakistani food (or Pakistani-Filipino food?) at Lola’s Fine Kitchen, in Ankeny, a suburb of Des Moines, was an adventure. I liked what we tried, although I’m not sure which country or cuisine the entrees originate. One was a tandoori bowl – grilled chicken over biriyani rice with Garam Masala-seasoned roasted sweet potatoes with mango chutney and cool refreshing raita – so I’m guessing Pakistan, since this is a common dish in neighboring India.
The other was perhaps more Filipino – shredded pork atop what may have been mung-bean noodles with slices of sweet vinegar -pickled cucumber (aka “Asian quick pickles”). Whatever it was, we enjoyed it.
The place reminded us a bit of Chipotle because it’s quick, reasonably priced and food is served in disposable containers. But unlike Chipotle or Subway, Lola’s entrees are not made as you glide along the counter, picking out this and that. We hope to return and try some other bowl or roti combos, although we don’t often get to Ankeny – and Lola’s is located in one of those spanking new commercial developments that tries to imitate an old town center. (Lola’s is on a short and sterile “SW Main Street”). There were also a lot of choices, which can be a bit overwhelming — including many different hot sauces to choose from, which are Lola’s original claim to fame.