What’s on the menu at BB’s, Parkdale’s new weekend brunch for Filipino favorites
Contact: 1566 Queen Street West, @bbs.bbs.bbs.bbs.bbs
Owner: justin belle
Chief: Robbie Hojilla
Accessibility: Down a flight of stairs, not fully accessible
The original incarnation of BB – BB’s Diner, on Lippincott Ave – closed at the start of the pandemic when the building was sold. Fortunately, Kensington’s favorite modern Filipino brunch has found a new home in Parkdale and a very fun sister business. BB’s does his weekend brunch in a basement he shares with Saree Not Saree, a multi-purpose nightclub that hosts club nights, comedy nights and Raptors viewing parties. Both businesses are cultural hubs for the Filipino community, and you’re likely to see sleepy faces from the Friday night party turn into brunch the next day.
In the hands of Hojilla, Filipino dishes retain a strong connection to their traditional counterparts, but adopt a modern distribution. His approach is centered on balance above all else and sometimes incorporates elements of his experience in French and Italian cuisine. If your standard Filipino spaghetti is typically sweet, Hojilla’s leans more into umami; there’s a strong backbone of aromatics, and it uses caramel in place of the typical banana ketchup for a nutty bass line. Playful and cheerful, yet steeped in meticulous technique, the menu is exactly what we want brunch to be: light, mood-inducing and utterly delicious in a way that can only be achieved with sober attention to details, even if your Sunday morning self is only half-sober when you eat it.
Cocktails with a Filipino twist include the Tito Caezar, a classic Caesar enhanced with sweet and sour tamarind. Or get a mimosa with calamansi juice, a citrus fruit native to the Philippines that tastes like a mixture of lime and lemon. There is also tea, juice and of course bottomless coffee.
It’s a cheerful and kitsch space, with peach-colored cabins from old BBs, neon lights, and a huge colorful mural on one side by local Filipino artist Ilona Fiddy. The aesthetic is inspired by sari-sari shops, ubiquitous family convenience stores in the Philippines, and Poblacion, a historic cultural district near Manila that Bella describes as the Filipino equivalent of Kensington Market. When the lights go down, the tables empty out to reveal a dance floor and moonlit booths as bottle service joints. But whether you’re here for Jäger shots or French toast, the space’s most notable feature is its warm, friendly vibe.