AAPI Heritage Month: Family business brings comfort food to Hinesville community

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 12:47 PM EDT
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HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - Adobo Filipino Restaurant in Hinesville is one of only two Filipino restaurants in the Coastal Empire.

“You cannot hide your culture.”

In Filipino culture, food is how Filipinos show love.

“Kind of like Filipino hospitality, you know how if you’ve been to a Filipino party, there’s always a lot of food,” Adobo Filipino Restaurant owner Lilibeth Madrid said.

Born and raised in Baguio City in the Philippines, Lilibeth and Noel Madrid moved to California in the early 2000′s, then to Hinesville a few years later when Noel joined the army.

After his discharge, the Madrids were eager to share their culture with the community.

“So, we started first with Sariling Atin Oriental Market. Adobo was never a thought, but then my friends and I were like ‘Hey, let’s start up a Filipino restaurant here in Hinesville,’” Lilibeth said.

With the support of their friends, the Madrids opened Adobo Filipino Restaurant in 2017. And the community response was overwhelming.

“We did not expect that [many] people. People are waiting outside,” Lilibeth said.

A welcome sight in a city, they say, has a small Filipino community.

“We want to target everybody to try our food, because our food is not that popular,” Noel said.

According to Noel, Filipino cuisine shares many similarities with Mexican cuisine.

“Our version is kawali, but their version is chicharrone,” Noel said.

Adobo Filipino serves dishes that range from simple, like adobo, which is chicken or pork braised in garlic, vinegar, oil, and soy sauce. To more exotic, like sisig, made from different parts of a pig seasoned with citrus flavors.

Lilibeth says they have put a twist on some of their dishes, so it appeals to everyone.

“If you have had sisig before, we don’t do the pig’s face, pig’s ear on that. We just do the regular chopped meats,” Lilibeth said.

Lilibeth and Noel say Hinesville, and beyond, has welcomed their food and embraced the Filipino culture. A sense of comfort when they miss home.

“We have the pride of being a Filipino,” Noel said.

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