Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

TITO RAD'S GRILL, 49-10 Queens Boulevard (between 49th and 50th Street), Woodside, Queens

Tuna is a fish I usually associate with Japanese nigiri, packed and canned, or lightly seared at a cheesy Pan-Asian restaurant. But I recently discovered that when the belly is marinated and grilled, it is a popular Filipino dish.

This was my first visit to Tito Rad’s Grill, a slightly hidden restaurant in Woodside, a number of blocks away from the congregation of Pinoy businesses known as Little Manila.

Despite its out-of-the-way location (or perhaps because of it), this is a popular spot for large gatherings and for people to try out some Filipino delicacies they have never experienced before.

This is where I tried fresh lumpia (the fried version is quite different) and the fresh wrapped crepe stuffed with vegetables was surprisingly light and tasty. It’s also where I discovered the Filipino use for the chicken of the sea.

INIHAW TUNA BELLY at TITO RAD'S GRILL

The Inihaw Tuna Belly (which just refers to the fact that it’s grilled) is one of the house specialities and comes in three different sizes. The fatty flesh is marinated with soy sauce, lemon, and garlic and then grilled until blackened and charred. What some might consider overly fishy, I found to be pleasantly meaty and all flavors were revealed – sweet, smoky, tangy, and a hint of spice. And the tender tuna meat was impossibly rich and succulent.

So while I am apt to usually write off tuna as super expensive or super cheesy, I think I need to give the fish a second chance. Market Price.

TITO RAD’S GRILL
49-10 Queens Boulevard (between 49th and 50th Street),
Woodside, Queens
(718) 205-7299
titorads.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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