Inside the first floor of a residential building in Mount Pleasant, the Filipino restaurant and bar Purple Patch serves comfort food and family recipes.
Located at 3155 Mount Pleasant St. NW, Purple Patch’s entrance is just through the building’s main door – which is shared with the Spanish tapas restaurant Mola – and opens to a compact dining area. The quaint restaurant serves Filipino-American cuisine based on old family recipes.
White brick walls line Purple Patch’s dining area, and purple paper lanterns and fairy lights wrap around the room. A bar sits in a semicircular area near the front of the restaurant where small plants and glass water pitchers sit on additional tables.
In the back of the room, a long staircase leads to a larger basement dining area with cement floors, red brick walls and a larger bar where customers can sit at the counter. A piano is also flanked between two square tables for customers to play during open piano nights every Wednesday.
The restaurant’s menu is filled with family recipes from owner Patrice Cleary’s Filipino mother. One standout dish is Mama Alice’s lumpia ($8), a plate of crispy beef and pork spring rolls with a side of banana ketchup.
Traditional Filipino dishes like chicken adobo ($16), tender chicken thighs with a tangy soy and vinegar-based broth and sizzling sisig ($18), a sauteed pork dish served with a raw egg, are also included in the menu. You can also order some American fare, like a 14-ounce ribeye steak ($24), macaroni gratinee ($10) and baby arugula salad ($8).
If you’re looking to stick to Filipino-inspired dishes, Purple Patch’s dessert menu is a treasure trove. The desserts highlight ingredients in Filipino dishes like mango, sticky rice and plantains.
I wanted to try a dish that complements the purple in the restaurant’s name, so I indulged in the ube bread pudding with ube ice cream ($9). Ube is vibrant purple-colored yam originally from the Philippines that tints any food a purple color.
It has a slightly nutty flavor and a starchy texture, and its rich color soaked into every bite of the bread pudding. A purple orchid decorated the clean, white rectangular plate to add an accent to the dish.
With bits of coconut in the batter and granola to coat the outside, the dense bread pudding is warm when it arrives at the table. The ube ice cream melts the bread pudding just enough to moisten each bite, and a caramel drizzle beneath the dish adds a salty flavor to the relatively sweet dessert.
If you’re not feeling dessert, you can stop by for brunch Saturday or Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m to try the purple ube pancakes with macapuno syrup ($9). For something savory, try the chicken adobo hash with potatoes and onions ($14) or the Filipino-American breakfast ($15) served with Filipino sausage and cheesy eggs with a lemon aioli and spicy chilies.
Whether it’s for brunch or dinner, its specialty cocktails, like the all berry mule ($12) with berry tea-infused vodka, lime and ginger beer or rosemary pear collins ($12) with rosemary-infused gin and pear puree, are a refreshing way to start or end your meal.
The Purple Patch offers some of the Filipino culture’s most popular dishes, a few of the owner’s personal family recipes and transforms Filipino ingredients like the purple ube yam into a beautiful and sweet dessert.
This article appeared in the December 5, 2019 issue of the Hatchet.