New NJ Pinoy restaurant noticed by many non-Filipino customers

UNION, N.J. – Calesa opened its doors Wednesday in Union, New Jersey, home to more than 7,500 Filipinos.

Named after the kalesa or karitela, a horse drawn carriage popularized in the Philippines in the 18th century.

Calesa owners promise customers a traditional filipino dining experience.

Miriam Agana Averill, the owner of Calesa, says. “Fine dining kami, nakita mo naman ang ambience namin, it’s really true blue Filipino, from yung mga decorations, galing pang Philippines yan lahat.”

From classic embotido, lechon kawali, or pansit, Calesa serves traditional Filipino food but a little less salt and a little less oily, attracting many locals and even non-Filipino diners.

Griffin Buser of New Jersey said, “All the food were very good, well-seasoned. Service is great. Everyone looks really great. The place is really well decorated. It’s just a great first experience.”

Amy Samson adds, “This will be good because when we have visitors we have a presentable restaurant, which we could bring here. We don’t have to go to New York. This is nice, very nice.”

The best part of the Filipino dining experience is saved for last.

While halo-halo and leche flans are the usual dessert favorites this Calesa original mango cheesecake is sure to hit the spot.

“Sa bahay experiment, experiment,” said Averill. “Why don’t we try this? Why don’t we try that? Something that’s different na Filipino din, so why don’t we put Mangoes in it? So yun that’s where it started.”

The Filipino dining experience is not complete without a sampling of the Filipino talent.

Calesa also features local singers such as Pilipinas Got Talent’s Geo Rebucas, also known as the Mariah Carey of the Philippines.

Calesa owners say the restaurant will also feature kamayan-style dining and Filipino buffet in the next few weeks.

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  • h
    12 May 2016 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    One thing I have learned about Filipinos, they don’t want to help the new kid on the block, when a Filipino open door too a new store or restaurant the Filipinos don’t come around to see the new place. That’s why Filipinos can’t get ahead in life because other Filipinos hold them down, don’t want them to come up in life.