Filipino food in Fresno: tapsilog, Tapsi

It’s not the most glamorous meal.

But the hearty and filling tapsilog – a sort of to-go Filipino breakfast bowl eaten for lunch or breakfast, has made its way to downtown Fresno. The plate of meat, garlic fried rice, a fried egg and little Filipino eggrolls called lumpia is the focus of a new restaurant.

Called Tapsi (pronounced “top-see”), it’s short for tapsilog. At 744 P St. near Inyo Street, it’s part of a newly rejuvenated section of downtown in Warehouse Row. Next door are Quesadilla Gorilla and Dale Bros., a coffee shop selling kitschy gifts like unicorn mugs and socks that say “Fresno.”

At Tapsi, the meals on the menu are what owner Doreen Key grew up eating.

“In the mornings on Saturday, Sunday, that’s what we were having for breakfast,” she said. “It’s a complete meal so people will just go buy it.”

Students and workers in the Philippines often buy it on their way to school or work.

It’s very simple to make.

Doreen Key, Tapsi

Though Filipino food in Fresno is relatively rare, you can get it (and tapsilog) at Jowli’s Filipino Cuisine & Bakery at Cedar and Herndon avenues, along with a lot of other dishes. And PhilHouse, the cafe inside the Island Pacific Market at First Street and Bullard Avenue, has lots of Filipino meats and seafood.

But downtown at Tapsi, tapsilog serves the same function as it does in the Philippines, a quick, easy way to get a meal. Most everything on the menu is $8.50 or under. Tapsilog comes with sliced beef marinated in soy sauce, lemon and spices. Other versions of it switch out the beef for tilapia, sweet pork, fried chicken wings or chicken teriyaki.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you go and it seems like there’s a lot of people working in that kitchen, you’re right. The restaurant also houses Moving Feast Catering, which makes 600 meals a day for adult day care centers and Christian schools.

Key moved the business from the Trading Post Shopping Center in Clovis to downtown Fresno.

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