July 11 -- we're linking up with Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) to do our first Portland pop-up dinner featuring our MAKIBAKA! menu from our January pop-up dinner.
Once upon a time, Filipinos, living in America, wondered: Is Filipino Food Embarrassing? Perhaps we are ashamed of our food, some lamented. But Filipino food trudged onward. Then, big food celebrities caught on and declared: Filipino Food Is The Next Big Thing. And again. And again. Finally, in 2015, Filipino Food Has Arrived to the party.
The trouble so far with the mainstream narrative of Filipino Food’s “arrival” is that 1. for many of us, it’s always been here (arrived where?), 2. it plays into the whole "flavor of the month" carousel that exoticizes, appropriates and eventually moves on from cultures that long existed before and after becoming a "thing" And 3. it’s condescending as shit. It’s almost like that old Cinderella-turned-Hollywood-teen-movie trope: there’s a Cool Food Kids party and poor lil Filipino Food has never gotten the invite. But underneath it’s shy, shoddy appearance is a beauty and personality no one (except its stubborn suitor) has noticed. That is, until it got a makeover, chasing other people’s standards, losing its shoes in the process. (Roll credits, repeat same story with a new cast next year).
On the other hand, it’s a beautiful thing to see Filipino cuisine get some overdue shine and potentially open the door for uninitiated diners to try out what they’ve been missing. That’s great. Filipino food has been great for a long time, is great now, and is currently going in many different great directions, with or without a big name chef stamp of approval or a wave of trendiness. Folks like Filipino Food Movement have recognized the potential of Filipino food long before the spotlights were being turned on, and are doing a great job setting a thorough, inclusive narrative. A look at their instagram feed seems to embrace all styles from traditional to modern, home cooked to fine dining. There are no borders, literally: the narrative is that Filipino food, for many people in the Philippines, in America, in the over 150 countries that Filipinos have migrated to, has been blowing up.
So, has Filipino cuisine truly, finally found a place at the American “mainstream” table? We’ve created a menu to test out that theory. All bagoong everything. Bagoong aramang, bagoong guisado, bagoong monamon, sweet bagoong, spicy bagoong, sweet and spicy bagoong — all infused into a 5-course menu. Yes, dessert too.
If Filipino food is really ready to be embraced for what it is, and not a watered-down version of it, then Bagoong must be invited to the party too. Bagoong: that pungent pinkish grayish fermented seafood semi-liquid that is the soul of many Filipino kitchens. An indigenous, time-tested product that existed before Spanish colonization and American imperialism, always ready to funk the party up.
The late Filipina writer Doreen Fernandez wrote in her excellent book Tikim: Essays of Philippine Food & Culture:
Bagoong is a paste of salted, fermented shrimps or fish. The tiny shrimps or fish (again, those not of commercial size) are mashed with salt... The stage of readiness depends on the region and the purpose. Bagoong can be made in one's kitchen, in a jar, and be ready in a few days... When the poor man has nothing to go with his rice, he may have just bagoong with it, although even the non-poor may have bagoong with rice by choice.
In much of the Philippines, bagoong isn't just condiment, it's a staple. Many of the Philippines rural and urban poor, who make up nearly 70% of the Philippine population, eat it 3 times a day. During the Philippine Revolution of 1896 against Spain, revolutionary Katipuneros were said to have travelled with only two items: their weapon, and a small jar of bagoong. Newer restaurants in the Philippines like Bagoong Club in Quezon City have made it the central flavor of its menu.
Despite its centrality to Filipino culture, for many Filipinos growing up in America like myself, bagoong was and still is also a source of that “shame” mentioned earlier. I always loved it, especially with green mangoes, but always saw and heard non-Filipino folks pinch their nose and crunch their face at it. It became a secret pleasure; I was convinced it wasn’t worth sharing with others out of fear of rejection or shame. For me, bagoong became that homie who’s always down for you, but who you hesitated to invite to parties with your other friends out of fear your homie wouldn’t fit in. Or, worse yet, remind you that you’re trying too hard to.
Sometimes it’s fun to crash a party you weren’t invited to. But the best parties aren’t the ones where people are wondering what you’re doing there (or what they’re doing there) but the ones where everyone wants to be there, everyone wants you to be there, and no one minds if you bring your salty but well-meaning friend with you.
Crispy Kangkong w/ Calamansi Bagoong Mayo
Bagoong Alamang Dungeness Crab & Longanisa Gumbo
Grilled Pinakbet & Bagoong Fried Rice
Bagoong-Brined Lechon Liempo w/ Bagoong Monamon & Seasonal Greens
Green Mango Cheesecake w/ Palm Sugar Bagoong Syrup
BAGOONG is a prix-fixe pop-up 5-course tasting menu dinner (3 appetizers, 1 main course, 1 dessert--does not include drinks). Reservations and advance payment required. There will be two dinner services, from 500-700pm and 800-1000pm. All ages welcome, with bar & alcoholic drinks available for 21+. Seating limited to 45 per dinner. Please make reservations at the link below:
Food & Sh*t presents a two-night limited run of Filipino dishes available on the menu at POT (Los Angeles) on May 23 & 24, 2015.
Eddie Huang speaking at University of Washington April 21, 2015.
Before we get back to our regular monthly pop-up schedule (save the date--Monday, April 20th), we're heading north to Ballard to do two things we've never done before: a one-off menu compiled of favorites from our past pop-up menus, and dinner service during the weekend!
It's happening over two nights at Bloom on Friday, April 10th and Saturday, April 11th. A different format from our regular dinner services, this one is a prix-fixe 8-course tasting menu featuring favorites from our previous pop-ups. Dinner is priced at $48 per person. Reservations and advance payment required (link below).
Seating open at 6pm, first course comes out at 630pm!
FOOD & SH*T'S GREATEST HITS, VOL. 1
1: Shrimp Sinigang Shooter
2: Pomelo Mango Salad
3: Kinilaw na Geoduck
4: Dashi Tinola na Manok (Chicken)
5: Kawaii Rib Loco Moco
6: Crispy Lechon
7: Massaman Oxtail Kare Kare
8: Chera’s Hood Famous Ube Cheesecake
DJ Neil Armstrong is bringing his Dinner and a Mixtape series on the road and we're partnering with Resident Media to host his Seattle stop with a one-off pop-up at Inay's on Monday, March 23rd. Guests will experience Neil Armstrong's latest mixtape, Warmfuzzy Part 2, live while dining on Food & Sh*t's PULUTAN menu with sisigs and new starter dishes, with drink specials curated by Our/Seattle. Limited edition cassettes of Neil's latest mixtape will be available for purchase. And yes, Chera's Hood Famous Ube Cheesecake will be available with the special (see below). No cover and no reservations required for this one. All ages welcome with bar area for 21+.
DJ NEIL ARMSTRONG SPECIAL - 45
- Warmfuzzy Part 2 USB Cassette
- Original5 USB Cassette
- Leaving Dishes Instagram Guide Book
- Complete digital download of DJ Neil Armstrong's Mixtape Catalog including remixes and rarities .
DESSERT & A MIXTAPE SPECIAL - 20
- DJ Neil Armstrong WARMFUZZY PART 2 Cassette Tape
- Mini Chera's Hood Famous Ube Cheesecake
- Bistek Slider - 4
- Adobo-glazed chicken wings - 10
- Garlic Peanuts - 2
- Salted duck egg & cherry tomato - 5
- Balut - 3
*grilled & chopped, served sizzling on an iron skillet, comes with white rice*
- Bangus - 14
- Pork - 12
- Chicken - 10
- Tofu - 10
- Mini Chera's Hood Famous Ube Cheesecake - 6
- Pandan Cupcake & Coconut Rum Mascarpone - 3.5
In 1990, KRS-One became the first of many Healthy Rapper voices in my head with his takedown of the US meat industry with Boogie Down Productions "Beef." Cee-Lo's verses from Goodie Mob's "Soul Food" had me reevaluating my life whenever I had a grease-induced kanak attack. Then, when dead prez said "Lentil soup is mental fruit and ginger root is good for da yout(h)" on "Be Healthy," it was a wrap. Rap made me vegan.
For nearly two years, I grew out my hair, learned how to play the guitar, got deep into spoken word and battle rap, and, to make the cipher complete, became vegan. No more chicken adobo. No lechon. No bistek. No fish? No problem, since I'm allergic to fish anyway. The Halal homies hipped me to gelatin being in candy, so no Altoids or Skittles, either.
The first round of vegan restaurant and homemade offerings I had were terrifying eating experiences. Blandness to the max. Kale before kale became a thing and people learned how to make it taste good. Shit like cold balsamic garbanzo bean salad. Or, the worst: underseasoned tofu. I imagined that if gentrification had a taste, this was probably it.
Thankfully, a handful of local vegan spots that didn't sacrifice flavor for a healthier option. Some of these dishes probably weren't all that healthy, but at least I no longer had KRS-One's voice lecturing me in my head. Just when I was ready to abandon the meatless life, Araya's came into my life. Moonlight Cafe was the first place I had fake meat that didn't taste like shit (who remembers the karaoke & cigarette smoke tho). Hillside Quickie (RIP) was the spot for jerk-marinated tofu sandwiches, mac & yease, and the homie Ayinde Howell, who also did the rap and poetry thing, hosted open mics there--one of the first places in Seattle I ever performed at.
So I started making vegan versions of the shit I missed. Tofu Adobo. Sinigang with nothing but vegetables. They weren't great but each dish cooked was like 3 experience points and it took at least 500 points for reach level-up. Through the Filipino spoken word circuit, I met Jay-Ar Pugao, the triple-OG of Vegan Filipino Food, in the Bay Area. He and his fam now run No Worries Catering and his Soy Chicken Afritada was a staple at the many community events I hit up over the years the Bay Area. More levels up.
But, I missed meaty Filipino food. And could no longer stand the look I got from aunties and uncles when I rejected their meaty offerings ("ako po ang Vegan, not Vigan, auntie"). Rejecting a Filipino auntie's food is just a bad look, period. Filipino vegans who can stand up to that look without letting your soul get crushed, I salute your courage.
So I uncermoniously broke the streak one night at an Anakbayan meeting where everyone else in the room was nomming on Chicken Adobo. I'm a failed vegan, but the experience was fruitful. Maximizing savoriness without relying on meat flavor got me familiar with many techniques I use in many dishes, vegan or not. Every year, I make a monthlong return to Veganland to cleanse my body from 11 months worth of being an animal-consuming Filipino. I begin listening to more Jazz and lighting Nag Champas again. And I feel great.
That's the backstory behind this month's SARIWA pop-up. Many people have asked us if we were going to have more vegetarian/vegan options, and the answer is YES, starting with this all-vegan, gluten-free, Filipino menu. Vegans of Seattle, here's your one-night chance to go to a restaurant for Filipino food you can actually eat. And non-Vegans, here's your chance to witness another dimension of Filipino flavors. Or impress your Vegan friends.
Charred Carrots & Cauliflower w/ Calamansi Cilantro Vege Mayo
Tofu & Oyster Mushroom Sisig
Eggplant and Gnocchi Adobo
Garlic Fried Soy Fish w/ Sinigang-marinated Leek & Cherry Tomato
Vegan Ube Cheesecake
SARIWA is a prix-fixe pop-up 5-course tasting menu dinner. Reservations and advance payment required. There will be two dinner services, from 500-700pm and 800-1000pm. All ages welcome, with bar & alcoholic drinks available for 21+. Seating limited to 45 per dinner. Please make reservations at the link below:
Food & Sh*t Pop-up: AROI/SARAP (February 16, 2015)
MAKIBAKA! A revolutionary dinner.
Here we go again, marching into a new year, witnesses to a fast-changing world, renewing our commitment to better our selves and communities. Food once again becomes a battleground - a chance to refine our eating habits to make sure we're nourished for the long run.
As we pondered a menu of simple Filipino dishes imbued with this forward spirit, we looked toward the Philippines' long history of anti-colonial resistance. Revolutionaries gotta eat too. So, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, in honor of all the women and men from past to present who have fought the colonizer, from the USA to the Philippines, we open 2015 with MAKIBAKA: A Revolutionary Dinner.
The menu is a tribute to the history of anti-colonial resistance in the Philippines. It is a prix-fixe five-course tasting menu including a main course and dessert. Each dish is drawn from historical records of revolutionary leaders’ favorite foods or directly influenced by stories of their resistance.
Lapu-Lapu Escabeche, a fried fish & calamansi sauce starter course in honor of the OG Colonizer Killa, Lapu-Lapu, who shares his name with the Filipino word for grouper.
Tinola na Manok, the dish prepared by Tandang Sora as she housed and fed the Katipuneros. This variation is prepared with a dashi ginger broth.
Pinakbet ken Bagnet, two Ilocano dishes in one, inspired by the bolo-weilding Ilocana rebel commander Gabriela Silang. Sautéed eggplant, okra, green beans & squash in shrimp paste with thrice cooked pork belly.
A Soon-To-Be-Hood-Famous Pandan Cheesecake inspired by Jose Rizal, because he liked desserts and his combover was so sweet. Plus it’s the same color as the bridge in Seattle that is named after him.
This month also marks the 10 Year Anniversary of the founding of BAYAN-USA, a nationwide coalition of 18 Filipino American organizations in support of the national democratic movement in the Philippines. Team Food & Sh*t is fortunate to have many past and current members of BAYAN-USA organizations on our pop-up staff, as well as in the crowd, bringing the same fire and passion that fuels their organizing work into our dinners.
Mao once said "revolution is not a dinner party," which is very true. But he never said a that a dinner party can't be revolutionary. So let's fight the power and eat.
Makibaka! is a prix-fixe pop-up dinner. Reservations and advance payment required. There will be two dinner services, from 500-700pm and 800-1000pm. All ages welcome, with bar & alcoholic drinks available for 21+. Seating limited to 45 per dinner. Please make reservations at the link below:
Oct. 20 monthly pop-up at Inay's featuring Kraken Congee!
Our friends at Asian Counseling and Referral Services (ACRS) have invited us to contribute one of our dishes to their annual gala going down this year at The Westin Bellevue on October 4th along with a great lineup of chefs:
Kristen Kish | Winner, Top Chef Season 10 (Seattle)
Mutsuko Soma | Miyabi 45th
Geo and Chera | Food & Sh*t (no really, that's the name)
Edward Villacorta | The Westin Seattle
$175 per ticket
Reserve your seat at the table now!
Read more about ACRS here.
The monthly pop-up series we launched last September is the expression of many memories and experiences with meals from the Philippines to Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest. But in a way, the spirit of what F&S has become has existed for much longer—first, in every family and community potluck we’ve ever been to, then evolving to dinners among a handful of close friends in South Seattle, many of whom are also raising young children, and who all have familial ties to Hawai’i.
In early 2010, following a simple conversation about how much we missed Hawai’i with our friends Amy & Daniel Pak, we hosted the first of a series of “Kama’aina Dinners.” The only rule was to bring a dish that reminded you of Hawaii. On that cold-ass Seattle winter evening, we were home again: Daniel grabbing the guitar, strumming and singing as Ian & I take turns keeping an eye on our wildling offspring. Carol sharing recipes from an old school Island cookbook. Pai, who ran Pai’s Thai-Hawaiian food truck before moving to Thailand in 2012, kicking knife skills game in the kitchen. Brian’s pidgin accent getting stronger with each drink. Amy, Chera & Cherry discussing gentrification, economics and other serious shit but still somehow enraptured in laughter.
Oh, and the food! The beautiful chaos of pre-made dishes grazed upon while dishes were being cooked. Lomi salmon, kalua pork, tako poke, mac salad, salad salad—mixed with dishes reflecting our family backgrounds: Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Thai. Every dish had a story: Daniel brought a beef watercress soup: an edible homage to the family friends who cultivated the watercress patches next to Pearlridge Mall and always hooked up his fam. Alaea salt everywhere, because there’s always someone who just came back from Hawaii and got some for everybody. And, always in the center of all this madness, tying everything together: a big pot of something.
So, this month, Food & Sh*t celebrates its one-year anniversary, and we’re bringing it back to where it started—with a Korean-Filipino-Hawaiian-Whatever potluck-style feast (we’ll bring all the food) with live music. Amy & Daniel will be joining us in the kitchen as we roll out, in two dinner services, a big-ass Korean/Northwest seafood hot-pot for each table, with 8 panchan (small side dishes) inspired by our Kama’aina dinners, followed by a new soon-to-be-Hood-Famous dessert by Chera.
Daniel, frontman for acclaimed Seattle reggae band Kore Ionz, runs Totem Star, a youth music program at Youngstown. Amy is the founder of Families of Color Seattle (FOCS), a non-profit resource for multicultural families that we’re proud to be a part of. Proceeds from this month’s dinner will be going to support the opening of FOCS Cornerstone Cafe in Hillman City, which, in addition to being a cafe, will also be a drop-in childcare center, and arts & education venue with multilingual classes for children and parents. It is slated to open its doors in mid-October in The Hillman City’s Collaboratory.
We’re fortunate to have Amy & Daniel as friends and collaborators, and they’re a big inspiration for what Food & Sh*t has aimed to do when we launched a year ago. Raising a family while creating and organizing is impossible without community. And a community’s health rests upon its families. It’s all about that nourishment. Of our bodies and our communities. For those who came before, those here now, and those who will follow. One festive, collaborative, delicious, meal at time.
CHEE! is a prix-fixe pop-up dinner. Reservations and advance payment required. There will be two dinner services, from 530-730pm and 800-1000pm. All ages welcome, with bar & alcoholic drinks available for 21+. Seating limited to 40 per dinner. Please make reservations at the link below:
Following a successful run of kamayan-style Filipino pop-up dinners in NYC over the past few years, Chef Yana Gilbuena embarked on a journey to bring SALO to all 50 states in the US. She started back in March and, approaching the halfway mark, has arrived this week in the Pacific Northwest, beginning with the Washington stop here in Seattle this Sunday August 17th. We're honored to have been asked to be in the kitchen with her on Salo's Seattle stop, along with fellow pop-up comrades Lahi Seattle and Kraken Congee.
Tickets available at Feastly
Cooking ube (purple yam) was one of my fondest memories growing up in the Philippines. My mom would put me in charge of stirring her ube mixture to ensure it didn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Similar to stirring a roux, this mixture needed constant attention. The end product was a creamy purple dessert called ube halaya. My childhood favorite.
25 years later and 8,000 miles away, I’m still cooking with ube. Since introducing my ube cheesecake at our second pop up last October, it has resonated with so many people in a way we never imagined. For some, there’s a novelty in eating a familiar dish in an unusual color. For others already sold on ube, anything with ube in it is worth trying. For those who share my family’s story, there seems to be an understanding
Ube, with it’s vibrant color and distinct yet versatile flavor, can be transformed into many things - ube jam, ube candy, ube polvoron (short bread), ube cake, and even ube cheesecake. Adding it to a recipe seems like a simple idea, but I’ve found that it requires patience, precision and a little risk. But when it’s executed well, it can transform something ordinary into a memorable experience. More than just a color or a flavor, ube is the story of my family’s journey—one family of thousands—from the PI to the US. We’ve been transformed, but also, in the process, have transformed and left our mark on whatever new spaces we find ourselves in.
This month, we decided to have a one item pop up - ube cheesecake - after selling out of it each month. If you’ve ever come to a previous pop up for the cheesecake and found yourself being told it’s sold out, this pop up is especially for you. Of course, we welcome all to try this murado (purple) goodness.
We will have 100 slices of ube cheesecake available for purchase ($6 per slice) at Inay’s on Sunday, July 20th from 11am-2pm.
Additionally, we are taking pre-orders of whole 6-inch ube cheesecakes ($32) for pick up at Inay’s during the pop up. Order online by Friday, July 18th at www.foodandsh-t.com/products.
Our pop-ups these last 10 months have been possible through the generosity of Inay’s owner Kuya Ernie Rios. We encourage everyone coming by to eat brunch/lunch at Inay’s on Sunday, July 20th, support the longest running (est. 1991) Filipino restaurant in Seattle, and get that purp.
Summer has arrived in Seattle and we're taking it to the streets.
Following the incredible response to our Adobo Burger collaboration with Lil' Woody's earlier this month, we're moving our usual kitchen service onto the sidewalk. Right outside Inay's, we're setting up outdoor grills and griddles, and fryers to provide an a la carte menu inspired by Filipino street food, which we've themed our Kalsada (Filipino translation: "street") menu.
On this month's menu you'll find Filipino street food staples: balut, fish balls, taho, mom's puto & kutsinta. Our featured item is a tribute to the OGs of Seattle street food--the taco truck--with tacos filled with a sisig-flavored choice of protein to fit whatever dietary parameters you have: pork, chicken, fish (bangus) & tofu. Also, on the menu: a "Breakfast in Hawaii" taco made from the many packs of Portuguese sausage we brought back with us from our recent trip to Hawaii.
Kalsada is also a big-up to the current wave of hood-famous-to-everywhere-famous street food-inspired food trucks and eateries such as Kogi BBQ (LA), Baohaus (NYC) & Señor Sisig (SF). The proprietors of these eateries: Roy Choi, Eddie Huang, Evan Kidera are all homies that I'm fortunate to have met via hip-hop.
As 2nd generation children of Asian immigrant parents coming of age in America in the 80s & 90s, hip-hop wasn't just our soundtrack, but a methodology. When I bite into a Kogi taco, Baohaus bao or Sisig burrito, there's a soulful reinvention present that I could never taste in bourgie "Asian Fusion" eateries. But, like the homies, I always found it somewhere closer to the taco trucks, hot dog stands and falafel carts you'd find wherever people worked or played loud music. Or both.
It's like the difference between a song composed by a technically refined musician vs a song crafted by a knowledgeable DJ who instinctively improvises and samples. If rap was food, this is definitely one genre of it--creations sampled from one's own culture, mashed up with others we've grown familiar with, and reinvented with reverence to where it came from. Asian kids raised on Black music, Brown food and White skepticism making mix tapes you can eat.
Say what you will about the state of hip-hop music in the era of late-stage capitalism--hip-hop in food form is killing everything right now. From the food truck explosion, to big food chains attempting "mash up" menu items, to high end restaurants playing Wu-Tang Clan Aint Nuthin Ta Fuck With while you eat a fancy bone marrow dessert--Kool Herc & Afrika Bambaataa is somewhere embedded in the DNA of the food you just posted a photo of on instagram. Which is great. But sometimes, you just gotta take it back to the street.
Puto at Kutsinta
Hawai'i is where all my food memories begin.
I was 2 years old when my pops got stationed at Pearl Harbor. Before that, he worked at his auntie's restaurant in the Philippines to help pay for school, and when he joined the Navy, he wanted to cook. But hearing how fucked up everyone treated the Filipino cooks and wanting to pursue a trade that matched his interest in math and science, he chose the electrician route instead. But he never stopped cooking. His favorite market was Tamashiro's in Kalihi, where he'd cop octopus tentacles that he'd turn into tako kilawin with seaweed we picked ourselves at some random beach. He'd always make me try it but I hated it then. Now, I crave it. And tako anything is always one of the first dishes I look for upon returning to Hawai'i.
Moms also put work in the kitchen, turning food into a side hustle for the fam. Her puto & kutsinta became legendary at the big Filipino weekend parties. Every Friday, she'd cook up batches that aunties would pick up on Saturday and Sunday. My sisters and I got to eat the rejected ones. Our Toyota Corolla hatchback always smelled like something died in it because when moms wasn't hustling pastries, she was hustling fresh shrimp. She'd get a big cooler-full straight from North Shore shrimp farms, then resell 'em to folks in town in smaller batches. On days where I helped her deliver shrimp, she'd give me a little money, which I'd then spend on rap cassette tape singles and comic books.
Even now, 20 years later, cooking Filipino food somewhere in the Northwestern corner of the "mainland," I carry the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of my upbringing in that small island in the middle of the Pacific. The halfway point between where my parents grew up and where we now call home. Every menu of every pop-up Chera and I have done is woven with these stories.
I'm thrilled to bring Food & Sh*t to the place I think of most when I recall the first time I ate many of my favorite dishes. Especially at a place--Fresh Cafe--that blends together all the creative things that fuel me daily: food, music, art, literature, drink. We're bringing with us some of our popular menu items from our Pulutan, Kamayan & Luzviminda pop-ups and tweaking them to reflect local culture using local food products.
What Hawai'i taught me is that every dish is a story you can eat; a past you can remember, a future you can invent. And, sometimes, out of necessity, a hustle. And here I am, a generation later, still hustling shrimp and dessert.
Prix-Fixe Five Course Kamayan Dinner Menu - 40
served w/ white rice
Shrimp Sinigang Shooter
Pomelo & Mango Salad
Tako Kinilaw & Taro Chips
Inasal Pork BBQ Spare Ribs
Chera's Hood-Famous Ube Cheesecake
Pulutan (a la carte)
Balut - 3
Sisig Lumpia - 4
Adobong Gizzard na Manok - 4
Hi! is a prix-fixe Kamayan (hands only) menu dinner with Pulutan (bar food) a la carte menu available for both diners with reservations and walk-in diners. There will be two dinner services, from 530-730pm and 800-1000pm. Guests are welcome to stay for music and entertainment following the later dinner. Reservations and advance payment required. All ages welcome, with bar & alcoholic drinks available for 21+. Seating limited to 40 per dinner. Please make reservations at the link below:
We're going back to the Philippines again.
Well, not physically. But via the next best way to transport oneself to another place and time: through food and drink. This month's Food & Sh*t pop-up dinner is an excursion outside the familiar dishes of the Filipino Cuisine metropolis and into the countryside, where the provincial and rustic reign supreme.
There are 10.5 million Filipinos working and residing overseas. But even within the Philippines itself, within families themselves, there is a diaspora. Ours is a story that mirrors thousands of Filipino families: recent generations have found themselves relocating and working in urban landscapes, removed from the countryside villages and towns they lived in for generations. Many have left, some have stayed--and with them, a handful of traditions that have survived the journey and others that dissipate along the way and over time.
Our families hail originally from Nueva Ecija, Nueva Viscaya, Benguet & Tarlac, with many more cousins, aunties, uncles spread out through other cities and regions. We spent a majority of our month-long trip to the Philippines last winter outside of the cities and catching a glimpse of livelihoods where "farm-to-table" and "artisan" aren't just recent culinary buzzwords but a way of life that's existed for many generations.
We visited Chera's auntie's and uncle's bakery in Gapan, where Manong Joe, an 80-year old baker who began baking when he was 15, makes fresh baked goods every day with little more than his hands and a wood-fire oven. In Davao, we encountered the best "ceviche" we've ever had in the form of local kinilaw. In Baguio, I finally understood why pops loves goat so much after hitting the kambingans there.
These dishes don't exist on any menus in any restaurant in Seattle. And we can't recreate them even if we tried--many of these provincial dishes rely on locally sourced food items that aren't available here. But, like so many of us diaspora folk have done in our kitchens, we've turned the things that have gone from local to global back to local again: taking what's available to us now and reconstructing them in our image.
It is remarkable that the Filipino identity can claim so many kinds of traditions and tastes. While there's a tendency to identify things as Filipino that are familiar, we often forget that there are more stories that don't fit the main narrative that deserve shine too. On our last trip in the PI from region to region, we witnessed a nation across Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao--Luzviminda--that embraces its multiplicity. In a small way, 8,000 miles away, one dinner at a time, we aim to do the same. -- Geo
Fried Pancit Palabok
Inasal Pork BBQ Ribs
Luzviminda is a prix-fixe menu dinner. There will be two dinner services, from 530-730pm and 800-1000pm. Reservations and advance payment required. All ages welcome, with bar & alcoholic drinks available for 21+. Seating limited to 40 per dinner. Please make reservations at the link below:
The big spoon and fork on the wall, found in many Filipino kitchens, are considered a source of tradition and pride, a symbol of health and prosperity, even the butt of earnest jokes about our love of food. But more than anything to anyone familiar with Philippine history, it is a reminder of our colonized history.
There were no spoons and forks before Spanish conquistadors took over the islands now known as the Philippines. The native Indios, like practical indigenous people all around the world, ate with their hands, kamayan style (meaning "with hands," from the Filipino "kamay" = "hand"). The Spaniards saw this as savagery. Kubyertos--the spoon and fork--weren't merely "introduced" to our ancestors, they were forced upon us as a way to "civilize" us in the eyes of our new colonial masters.
Those who continued to eat with their hands were looked down upon by the master, and so the big spoon and fork on the wall became to natives what the big American flag became to many brown people in the US after 9/11. A visual display to the oppressor that we're down. Or a way to play along and hope they leave us alone.
Whatever the case, we never stopped eating with our hands. And we're not going to stop anytime soon. This month's pop-up, Kamayan, is a continuation of the spirit of our last pop-up, Pulutan. It's a celebration of a new season that merges the fresh local seafood of our Pacific Northwest setting with a tradition that we've always known. This month's menu features one prix-fixe meal--a Filipino version of the Northwest crab pot, including a soup and salad starter course, a gang of seafood, and a dessert.
Kamayan isn't about bringing it back as much as it is pushing it forward. This ain't a yearning for pre-colonial days. What happened, happened. There are bigger battles to be waged on new grounds. Kamayan is a nod to my Ilocano parents and grandparents who taught me and my sisters how to use a spoon and fork at the dinner table even as they ate with their hands. It's us saying "we see you."
Often, my non-Filipino friends, carrying on the tradition of the irony-deficient Spaniards who came over 400 years ago, would come over to eat and make some snarky comment about how moms and pops eating with their hands was gross. Perhaps Kamayan is a way of shedding the shame of moments like that. Plus, it's kind of the thing right now. It's dope to see this way of eating propagated by the current generation of food curators throughout the Filipino diaspora, from the Kamayan Nights at Jeepney Filipino Gastropub in NYC, to the currently-traveling SALO Series Filipino Food in 50 States pop-up project, and even all the way out in Germany and Britain.
Lastly, who doesn't use their hands to eat these days? No disrespect, but if you're cutting up a burger or pizza with a fork and knife, then you are the weirdo, not us. This month, we leave our spoons and forks on the wall, say "fuck the colonizer!" and celebrate our past and future with family, friends, fresh food, and good music. Like we always do.
Garlic Broken Rice
Sinigang Shooter & Salad
Inihaw na Pusit
Lemongrass & San Miguel Manila Clams & Mussels
Uli's Vigan Longanisa
Roasted Red Potatoes & Corn
Alimango (Sauteed Dungeness Crab)
A Bangin' Dessert by Chera
Kamayan is a prix-fixe menu dinner. There will be two dinner services, from 530-730pm and 800-1000pm. Reservations and advance payment required. All ages welcome, with bar & alcoholic drinks available for 21+. Seating limited to 40 per dinner. Please make reservations at the link below:
There’s layers to this Filipino food shit. Level one: the Holy Trinity of Big Filipino Party food: adobo, pancit, lumpia. Level two: Filipino restaurant food. Level three: home cooking. And level four: Pulutan.
From the tagalog word meaning “to pick up,” pulutan is food eaten while drinking with your homies. Auntie and uncle kicking it hard when the kids aren’t around type food. Like Spanish tapas, but with more soul and less toothpicks and bourgieness.
The pulutan du jour, sizzling sisig, anchors this month’s menu (pork $8, bangus $7, tofu $6). Also featured: fried goodness with kamote fries $4 and bagnet $6 (crispy pork belly), two chicken items: pulled adobo chicken sliders $3 and inasal chicken wings $6, and mom’s & pop’s pinapaitan $4 (beef bile soup). For our dessert menu, we’re bringing back Chera’s hood-famous ube cheesecake $6 and pandan flan $5 from our previous menus, and adding a new dish: nutella turon & ice cream $6.
Also, this month my fellow Rapping Filipino Uncle, Bambu, will be joining us in the kitchen. This month marks the release of our new album Barkada under the group name The Bar—a name we chose while eating and drinking at a bar in Hawai’i. So come celebrate with us and get some bar food from The Bar, and be the first to watch our new music video “Barkada,” screening exclusively at Pulutan before launching online the next day.
The pop-up opens its doors at 6pm on Monday, and there is open seating with no reservations. First-come, first-served from our a la carte menu. Have one or two pulutan dishes or share them all with friends over some San Miguel.
MONDAY, FEB 17 6PM
INAY'S (2503 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA)
Living in an rapidly-changing city like Seattle means carrying the fond memory of places that no longer exist, the stories made in them, and the stories shared through them.
For many artists, organizers, musicians, workers and families, Hidmo was such a place. In spite of the creeping curtain of gentrification edging closer with each year, from 2006-2010, a brilliant community ate, drank, sang, rapped, danced, talked and organized in a space open to anyone who didn't believe in margins and boundaries. We were sad to see it close, but thrilled with the possibilities that such a place inspired in many of us.
So here we are, three years later, witnessing the same people who once called Hidmo home continuing to make music and art, mobilizing for social justice, and surviving. Though the place we called Hidmo is gone, the idea of Hidmo still lives. This pop-up restaurant project was born out of the spirit of Hidmo, and many of the same people who you'd see there are among the people who have helped support Food & Sh*t. So when our good homie Rahwa brought up the idea of bringing Eritrean dishes to the menu, we thought, "HIDMO BACK!" Even if just for one night.
Nostalgia is often an excuse to avoid facing the future. For the graduating class of 20th & Jackson, it's always been about the future. This month's pop-up is a homecoming and a reminder that we create and recreate our homes wherever we are, whatever we do, and with whoever shares the same vision. And knowing that the greatest endeavors often starts when you have a room filled with good food, good music and good people.
HIDMO BACK! will be running two pop-up dinner services: one from 6-8pm which is open to the public ($25, limited to 50 seats) and a private 8pm dinner (invite only).
For menu and RSVP (for 6pm dinner) click the image or go here.
Coinciding with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we’re launching a Filipino Breakfast pop-up event titled “Silogs ALL DAY” at Seattle’s Inay’s Asian Pacific Cuisine on Monday, January 20th.
We want to start off 2014 the same way we started off our mornings during our month-long trip to the Philippines: with the simple, hearty and versatile Filipino breakfast. From Manila to Davao to Baguio and back, the ever-present silog (meaning “with egg”) dish found its way into our stomachs, whether prepared at home, in a mountainside village or at one of the many eateries always within walking distance in any city. That combination of a marinated protein, sinangag (garlic fried rice) and itlog (fried egg) is something we grew up with and always appreciated. But experiencing it in the context of a homeland trip in so many different settings has taken that appreciation to a new level. We might call it “breakfast” but it’s really a meal made for any time of day, perfect to set you off before an activity or restoring your energy after just finishing one.
This month’s menu features five “silog” dishes: Tapsilog (marinated beef), Longsilog (pork sausage), Tofusilog (tofu, duh) & two sizzling sisigs—chicken and bangus (milkfish). Additionally there will be three starters drawn both from home recipes and inspired by our recent trip. Our pork belly adobo sliders features homemade pan de sal from a family recipe used by a 74-year old baker in Gapan who has been baking since he was 14. The black rice champorado features heirloom rice grown and harvested by a farmer’s cooperative in Benguet. And ube pancakes because ube.
Unlike the previous pop-ups, which were dinner services, Silogs ALL DAY will run from 10am to 4pm. No reservations required.
Black Rice Champorado - 2
Hot chocolate rice porridge w/ Benguet heirloom rice
Pork belly Adobo Pan de sal Slider - 3
Slow-cooked sliced pork belly in homemade pan de sal
Ube Pancakes - 5
Two ube-flavored buttermilk pancakes w/ nutella & coconut whipped cream
Includes Garlic Fried Rice, Fried Egg, tomatoes, onions & cucumber
Tapsilog - 9
Marinated pan-fried sliced Angus beef
Longsilog - 8
Vigan-style pork sausage
Chicken Sisigsilog - 8
Chopped roasted chicken w/ ginger, onion & calamansi on sizzling platter
Sizzling Bangsilog - 7
Flaked milkfish w/ ginger, onion & calamansi on sizzling platter
Tofusilog - 7
Grilled calamansi & soy-marinated tofu
Fresh Canteloupe Juice
FOOD & SH*T POP-UP #3
“TURKEY & SH*T: A THANKSGIVING/THINGSTAKEN DINNER”
OPEN ONE NIGHT ONLY MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18
We, the Food & Sh*t collective, present our third pop-up restaurant event, titled “Turkey & Sh*t”, at Seattle’s Inay’s Asian Pacific Cuisine on Monday, November 18th.
Growing up in America as the children of Filipino immigrants, “Thanksgiving” was an ever-evolving gathering with multiple layers of history and culture. Like many other families, we would gather around a feast, but with our own dishes, and often with multiple families who would bring their own. Basically, a big ass pot-luck: lechon instead of turkey. All kinds of stews: kare kare, dinuguan, menudo, afritada.
As time passed, the food on the table would reflect our gradual assimilation: overcooked turkeys (nice try, pops) side-by-side with pancit & lumpia, mashed potatoes next to a rice cooker, a cranberry sauce that came out of nowhere and doesn’t go well with anything Filipino. With each year, we’re faced with the decision of which traditions to keep, and which ones, sadly, begin to fade away. It is a struggle we wage on one of this contradiction’s biggest battlegrounds: the kitchen.
Then, we grew up to learn the truth about Thanksgiving. About ten years ago, before the actual Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we began an annual tradition of gathering with like-minded people: organizers and artists and friends from all backgrounds, to throw a “Thingstaken” dinner party—-a feast celebrating the indigenous heritage and struggle many of us come from. It was also a statement challenging the American Thanksgiving narrative which sugarcoats the genocide of and the taking of land and resources from indigenous people. Then, and now.
This month’s menu will combine traditional “American” fall holiday food ingredients with Filipino style preparation and cooking, reflecting our upbringing as first- and second-generation Filipino Americans. It is an experiment in synthesizing traditions on our own terms rather than the terms set for us. We can never go back to what it used to be, but we can move in a direction that says yes, we are thankful for what we have, but we will also never forget what has been taken from us.
Dinner will be served at 6pm & 8pm. $25/person.
$5 from every paid meal will go directly to Philippine Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan relief.
Seating limited to 90 (45 per dinner). Please reserve your seat at foodandsh-t.youcanbook.me.
For full menu go to foodandsh-t.com/turkey
"LOCO MOCO & SH*T" OPENING FOR ONE NIGHT ON OCTOBER 21
SEATTLE, WA—Hawaii & Philippines-themed pop-up restaurant opening for one night at Seattle’s Inay’s Asian Pacific Cuisine on Monday, October 21st.
The pop-up event, titled ”Loco Moco & Sh*t” is curated by Chera Amlag and Geo Quibuyen (Prometheus Brown of Seattle rap duo Blue Scholars). In August 2013, they spearheaded the creation of Adobofest: an adobo cooking contest and block party in Beacon Hill. It was attended by over 250 people featuring 20 competing cooks. Last month, they partnered with Inay’s Asian Pacific Cuisine, the longest-running Filipino restaurant in Seattle, to host their first pop-up restaurant “Gumbo & Sh*t,” which was a rousing success attended by over 100 enthusiastic diners.
With the blessing of Inay’s owner “Kuya” Ernie Rios, Chera & Geo are now launching an ongoing monthly pop-up restaurant event in the restaurant under the project title “Food & Sh*t.” Aiming to bring a fresh, modern and playful take on homemade Asian-Pacific Islander food to the burgeoning Beacon Hill neighborhood, Food & Sh*t will be a monthly event (every 3rd Monday) featuring different themed menus each month and live music. This month’s menu is a culinary homage to Chera’s upbringing in the Philippines and Geo’s childhood in Hawai’i before both settled in Seattle, featuring a menu including:
Jicama and Green Mango with Bagoong Dipping Sauce - 5
Tako Poke Carpaccio - 7
Lomi Lomi Salmon w/ Taro Chips - 6
Prime Rib Loco Moco - 15
Classic Loco Moco - 12
Portabella Mushroom Loco Moco - 13
*Add mac salad - 2
Ube Cheesecake - 5
Pandan Flan - 4
Coconut Ice Cream - 4
Loco Moco & Sh*t will be open from 5pm to 9pm.
Go to Loco Moco & Sh*t Facebook Event page here.