Filipino Food Tour with Backyard Bite Part I

Karena & Amy Eating Turon

 

It’s been a hot minute since we posted up a video, like 2 freagin years! It’s only because we like to get shit  right and we did.  With the help of uber blogger Amy Shuster aka Backyard Bite, we’ve got a hot one for you.  Pig Parts took Backyard on a tour of some of our favorite spots for Filipino grub and goodies. First, we hit up United Bakery in Silverlake. Owner Andrea De Guzman drops some old school 411 about her ”hood”, what Filipinos eat and why she’s not “playing around”. Check out the video and watch us throw down like dainty beasts.

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Short & Sweet; Banana Coconut Cake

Whole Banana Coconut Cake

Banana Coconut Cake

Lemonade, the cafe/lunch counter, is one of my favorite spots. They make salad look so darn good. I’m pretty proud of myself and my choices up until I hit the register. That’s where they get me. Those refrigerated glass boxes are strategically placed and packed with sweets and treats aka my kryptonite. Macarons, cupcakes and blondies fill the shelves, but my favorite is spinning in the well lit display case. It’s the layered banana cake. The bananas taste fresh. The cake is always moist and the frosting is slightly tart creamy cheesy goodness. I order it almost every time. I’m so in love with this slice of heaven that I decided to make my own version, tricked out of course.

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Love For Leche Flan; Baker Kristine de la Cruz

 

Original Leche Flan  Photo: Let Me Eat Cake

Original Leche Flan
Photo: Let Me Eat Cake

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins

Kristine, co-owner of Creme Caramel LA,  and I met a couple of years ago. She had a small sweetly -intoxicating booth at Unique LA.  It featured two of my favorite  desserts, bread pudding and Filipino  leche flan. I had never tasted flan this good and with such a variety of flavors.   I’ve forced her to be friends with me ever since.  I got a chance to sit down with the self professed “bread pudding maker” to chit chat about life, love and leche flan.

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Filipino Pantry Staples; Banana Ketchup

 

Fried Chicken & Banana Ketchup

Fried Chicken & Banana Ketchup

 

by Allan Roman Reyes

I don’t claim to be a  “ketchup aficionado or even think there’s such a title out there, but an early dinner at Max’sRestaurant got  my mind going about a new career, “Condiment Sommelier”.   OK, it wasn’t THAT dramatic, but the flavor of their “banana ketchup” was so memorable that I went a little bananas(get it?). Banana ketchup was created and formulated in the Philippines during World War II because of a tomato shortage. Ingredients consisted of local mashed banana, cane sugar, and native vinegar with “colorants” added to emulate the red pigment of traditional catsup.

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Chef Sheldon Simeon Showcases Filipino Food

Chef Sheldon Simeon

A Pleasantly Surprised Chef Sheldon Simeon

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

Chef Sheldon Simeon is on a roll. On last week’s battle he seduced the TOP CHEF judges with his Sinigang (tangy tamarind soup) and this week…Well this week he won the naysayers over with his delicious “modern Filipino” restaurant concept, URBANo.  “Urbano”, named after Sheldon’s  Lolo (grandfather), went head to head with the twisted French flavors of Chef Kristen’s “Atelier Kwan”.  Unfortunately and fortunately, Ms. Kish’s concept, team and execution could not conquer the war. It was a close call, but ultimately Sheldon lead his team to victory by staying calm, cool and collected. I’m sure he would’ve lost his shit if he knew about Stefan’s front-of-house shenanigans.

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New Filipino Breakfast; Ube Pancakes

New Filipino Breakfast; Ube Pancakes

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

I heard about this cafe in the valley whose cook was flipping Ube Pancakes and was like wha? where? Balls! I never got to actually try them.  Its like a “in the know” type situation, where they only serve these purple masterpieces on the third moon of every Saturn rising or some shit like that. So…I decided “screw going to the valley!I can make my own.” Hello? Gas is hella expensive. I have to say, of the things I’ve  baked or attempted to cook, this recipe came out surprisingly de-freakin-licious on the first try. Serve these purple flapjacks with butter and good old pure Maple Syrup. Enjoy.

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Cap’n Crunch Halo Halo; Chef Dale Talde

Cap’n Crunch Halo Halo; Chef Dale Talde

Most of you know him as the hot headed Filipino dude with glasses from Top Chef Season 4, but Dale Talde’s got all that under control now (so he claims). He better! He’s got shit to do and a restaurant empire to run. This m*ther f*cker (I mean that lovingly) has not one, but two NY spots; Talde and Pork Slope. Talde is “a hit” and Pork Slope is just getting started. From what I can tell (by the online menu and YouTube videos) Chef Dale  ain’t apologizing for sh*t;  not his potty mouth, nor his love for Filipino food.  This assertive Pinoy opened Talde, “the neighborhood joint” in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The menu incorporates Asian, Island and American  cooking methods and ingredients.

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I Reminisce I Reminisce; Jeepney Grill in Cerritos

I Reminisce I Reminisce; Jeepney Grill in Cerritos

I grew up in mid-city LA, before it was Koreatown, and one of my favorite spots for a plated Filipino meal  was Jeepney Grill on 6th street. Jeepney Grill was one of the  many Filipino restaurants that ruled Los Angeles in the early 90′s, and although they are long gone,  they are definitely not forgotten. (Shout outs to  Betsy’s on Vermont, Barrio Fiesta on 6th and Turo Turo on Wilshire).  From what I can remember, LA’s Jeepney Grill was delicious, decorative and…there was a real life, bad-ass Jeepney sitting in the middle of the restaurant!

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The Park’s Finest: LA’s Home for Backyard Boogie BBQ

The Park’s Finest: LA’s Home for Backyard Boogie BBQ

by Allan Roman Reyes

Located off  Temple street, at the edge of Historic Filipino Town, sits The Park’s Finest BBQ. The place feels like your best friend’s mamas house, and the proprietor, Johneric Concordia, your homie. The space is warm, unpretentious and familiar. It has roots.

Johneric’s cousin greets and seats us. We excitedly read our options.  The menu featured items such as barbequed tri-tip, hot links, pork ribs and riblets, pulled pork, grilled veggies, and something called coconut beef. There were also appetizers and desserts, two of which caught my eye: off-the-cob elote and a magical fusion called cornbread bibingka (more on this later). 

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Caramia! It’s freagin hot!; Chill Out With Filipino Gelato

Caramia! It’s freagin hot!; Chill Out With Filipino Gelato

Holy Shiz Balls it’s hot, and what better way to chill than with a cold, tasty, creamy scoop of gelato! Gelato is an Italian frozen treat. Made with more milk and less fat and air than ice cream, gelato’s traditional flavors are served in a small cup with a wafer. Well move over traditional, here comes contemporary! Caramia Tropical Gelataria offers a mash up of Italy’s frozen goodness with delicious dessert flavors of the Philippines. What! My personal favorite is the Sans Rival gelato. The rich, cashew-y-buttery, layered cake is crumbled into sweet vanilla gelato. Need I say more? Yes, I need.

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