No cuisine has taken off in Chicago in recent years quite like Filipino. Among other spots, there is Boonie’s and its homey flavors. There is Kasama and its lines out the door. Now joining them is Mano Modern Cafe, a corner joint with big ambitions. The team of five owners, including Melvin Reyes, who has restaurant consulting experience, doesn’t just want to succeed in Chicago — they have their eyes on one day expanding Mano into a national chain.

Early signs are good. You can swing by this all-day café and coffee shop, which opened in November, for lattes made with ube or pandan, or settle in for easygoing Filipino comfort food (this is also a fine place to work on your laptop). Breakfast bowls come loaded with garlic rice, a fried egg, and your choice of longanisa, tocino, or Spam. They’re good, but it’s the other use of Filipino meats you should try first: Pan de Sliders, breakfast sandwiches served on pan de sal, rolls with a pillowy texture and light golden crust. Get the one stuffed with a slice of fried Spam, an over-easy egg, American cheese, and bang bang sauce, which has a creamy punch of salty, sweet, and savory flavors ($6). It’s now my favorite breakfast sandwich in the city.

The hits continue with Mano’s lunch and dinner menu. The crispy lumpia ($7) and hearty Pinoy beef stew with carrots and potato over garlic rice ($11) further prove that the Mano team just might be onto something.