In January 2015, Nita Armildez opened Little Mama’s Filipino Kitchen, bringing plates and flavors from her home country of the Philippines to Round Rock.
“She just wanted something that was her own,” said Joanna Meyer, Armildez’s daughter and co-owner of the restaurant. “Not everyone is talking about Filipino food; our goal is for people to be talking about it.”
Armildez and Meyer run the restaurant with the help of Meyer’s brother, Michael; her best friend, Kasey; and friend Drew.
“We are here to spread the good love and joy of Filipino food,” Meyer said.
Meyer describes Filipino cuisine as Asian food with a strong Spanish influence but an identity of its own.
“Filipino food just has such a unique taste,” Meyer said. “There are a lot of flavors that people are kind of already familiar with if you’ve grown up in Texas with Tex-Mex cuisine and Chinese food; there’s a little bit of both.”
All dishes at Little Mama’s Filipino Kitchen are made-to-order with groceries hand-picked by Meyer and not ordered in bulk, Meyer said.
“We literally make everything fresh —there’s nothing in the back that’s premade or half-cooked or anything like that; we make everything from scratch,” Meyer said. “You do have to wait a little bit longer, but I think it’s always worth it.”
The menu at Little Mama’s includes classic Filipino dishes, such as pinakbet, which includes kalabasa squash, bitter melon, Chinese eggplant, Chinese long beans and okra sauteed in shrimp paste, ginger, tomatoes and garlic. Diners can add pork or shrimp or have the dish with only vegetables.
The restaurant also offers a variety of Filipino desserts, such as halo halo, a dessert made with layers of shaved ice, green pandan jellies, jackfruit, mung beans, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream, purple yam ice cream, leche flan, caramelized sweet potatoes and a cherry.
“If you are looking for a good home-cooked meal, this is the spot,” Meyer said. “We’re not here for decorations or artwork on the wall; we’re just here for a steaming-hot fresh meal; that’s it.”
Little Mama’s Filipino Kitchen
2021 N. Mays St., Ste. 1000, Round Rock
Hours: Mon.-Sun., hours vary, call ahead