October 19, 2011 | 3:30pm
There's nothing not to like about turon; it's a gift from the Filipino people to non-Filipinos, a non-threatening hybrid of an egg roll and bananas Foster. They're portable, they're cheap, and they're sold by the dozen from turo-turo ("point-point") counters.
But there's turon and then there's turon; sometimes the banana inside is green and starchy and gross, and sometimes it's soft and sweet and lovely. Sometimes the sugar is overwhelmingly bitter and sometimes it's barely noticeable. Sometimes the wrapper is crunchy and sometimes it's flaccid.
My criteria for a great turon is a wrapper that's crunchy on the outside and slightly soft on the inside; a banana that's soft and flavorful without being mushy; and enough burnt sugar that the bitter taste distracts me from what would be an overwhelming sweetness.
Fil-Am BBQ Grill in the Village at Orange makes my favorite turon. They're just about perfect according to the above criteria, and they deliberately make a range of sugar coatings so that you can, if you get there before they're picked over, choose your level of bitter sugar topping. At 75 cents each, you can have two for merienda and not feel the keen sting of your wallet. The service is excellent; they know they're dealing with huge number of non-Pinoys and are willing to explain everything, which is unusual for a steam-tray place.
I haven't tried very much there yet--though their pancits are excellent and mercifully non-greasy--so keep an eye out for a more thorough review.
Fil-Am BBQ Grill, in the food court of the Village at Orange, 1500 E. Village Way, Orange; (714) 921-3848; no website.