I first tasted these lumpia at Smorgasburg last year, and I was blown away by how good they were. Filipino food isn’t known for being vegetarian-friendly, and yet at Lumpia Shack they have plenty of vegetarian (and even vegan) options. In this episode of “Lost Vegetarian Presents…” Lumpia Shack chef and owner Neil Syham talks about why he has so many vegetarian dishes, making the lumpia, and waiting for Filipino food to break through to the mainstream. Enjoy!
You probably think Red Hook, Brooklyn would be the last place to find Filipino food. But if you know the story behind Philly Pinoy (used to be the “Bait Shop” with a tiki bar looking exterior) then you know it’s exactly where it should be. Catered to the large number of Filipino cruise ship workers that come in with the Queen Mary 2 and Caribbean Princess, Philly Pinoy is just mere blocks away for the homesick workers to get some home cooked meals. Last time without knowing how Benjamin David, owner of Philly Pinoy, runs his shop, I went looking for lunch and failed to get any food.
This time armed with my new found knowledge and the handy Brooklyn cruise terminal schedule, I didn’t fail.
Last week I got super excited when I read on The Awl about Philly Pinoy in Red Hook, a hole in the wall place that serves as a restaurant and grocery store for everything Filipino. Filipino food is probably the one cuisine I don’t know much about or eat enough of.
And having a weekday off lets me go to Red Hook and see if I could score some tasty Filipino food without the crowds that will hopefully start showing up at this place because he needs you, you food lovers!
At around 12:30p today I walked into a grocery store with lots of instant noodles but no delicious smelling food. I found the owner, Benjamin, outside reading the article on The Awl and asked him where’s the food?! He explained to me. And so here’s the deal. If you want Filipino food he only serves it when there’s a cruise in town WHICH you can check the schedule here (I found it on this site). On other days he serves hot dogs, burgers and Indian food!
This coming Wednesday, 6/22, he will have Filipino food! And of course the careless ole me didn’t ask the MOST important question. Will there be Filipino food for dinner as well? Guess I’ll just have to find out the hard way again.
– Philly Pinoy Pioneer St and Van Brunt, Red Hook