As a break from the pastas and pizzas I’m consuming when in Rome, I’m closing in on an unassuming Filipino spot called Neighborhood Restaurant in this episode. The Philippines is around 90 percent Catholic and is the fourth largest Christian country in the world, so the Vatican is of considerable significance to much of the country. Still, the focus at Neighborhood Restaurant is all about the food, like perfectly prepared pork and fish, and excellent, hearty soups.
Filipino flavors are complex, and they tend to favor sourness and sweetness, as well as embrace the funkiness that comes from liberal uses of fish sauce. You’ll find pork on nearly every menu, frequently prepared so that the skin is perfectly fried and crispy. The sour soup I had stands out to me as an excellent, wonderfully tangy preparation of some seasonal vegetables, which the owners of Neighborhood are sourcing from a local Filipino farmer.