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