What’s on the menu at BB’s, Parkdale’s new weekend brunch for Filipino favorites


What’s on the menu at BB’s, Parkdale’s new weekend brunch for Filipino favorites

What's on the menu at North of Brooklyn's Better Half Bar, a new eastern pizzeria and craft beer hangout

Inside Oroshi Fish Co., a sleek new fish counter and sushi shop tucked away in an alley on the west end

Name: BB
Contact: 1566 Queen Street West, @bbs.bbs.bbs.bbs.bbs
Piece: Parkdale
Owner: justin belle
Chief: Robbie Hojilla
Accessibility: Down a flight of stairs, not fully accessible

The food

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.

Chief Robbie Hojilla.

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.

Boneless chicken thighs are marinated in adobo, dredged and fried to a golden crisp with a juicy, tender interior. Served with homemade habanero-pineapple hot sauce. $11.

Corned beef, on its last leg before falling onto a silog plate.

Silog is a portmanteau of sinangag (garlic fried rice) and itlog (egg), usually served with a protein; at BB, you have the choice between homemade longanisa (sausage), homemade corned beef hash or fried milkfish. Pictured here is the version with corned beef, brined for five days before a braise with mirepoix, cinnamon, cloves and anise making it an aromatic and crispy delight. At bottom right is atchara, a mixture of pickled green papaya and carrots meant to serve as a palate cleanser. And on top of the garlic fried rice is a tangy homemade pico de gallo made with calamansi. $17.

It’s the silog with the longanisa house, the Philippines’ answer to chorizo. Coarsely ground pork, annatto, lots of garlic and brown sugar make this an addictive sweet and spicy sausage. It is served in a gastric sweetened with apple cider, the chef’s nod to the classic pairing of pork and apple. $17.

Here we have the silog with milkfish, marinated in cane vinegar and chillies for a touch of spice. The rich, delicate fish is fried to a perfect golden crisp. $17.

Here we have the vegan coconut curry, or ginataan, which translates to “made with coconut milk.” Sweet potato, kabocha squash, cauliflower and green beans are wrapped in creamy coconut milk accented with aromatics and lime. Instead of the traditional shrimp paste, this curry gets its umami note from white miso. It is garnished with crispy fried shallots.

Here is a preview of the finished dish. $14.
The pork sinigang, or braised sour pork loin soup, is outstanding. Beneath the shaved eddo, a tropical vegetable closely related to taro, lies a pork loin so tender you could eat it with a spoon. It sits in a sour, deeply savory broth – tamarind and fish sauce are its dominant flavors, but it’s balanced enough to drink on its own. Wilted spinach, charred heirloom tomatoes, green beans and simmered eddo add a vegetal note. Served with steamed rice. $17.

Taking a slight left of classic Filipino spaghetti, Hojilla’s is meaty, salty, and slightly sweet thanks to hazelnut caramel in place of the standard banana ketchup. It’s topped off with a sliced ​​beef hot dog, beef and tomato stew, and a classic Monté Beurre (“butter-mounted”) for a smooth, emulsified sauce. Finished with cheddar cheese, green onions and the super fun twist of Cheez-It crackers for texture. $17.

And a plan of action, just because

BB’s house salad features a creamy green goddess dressing made with coconut milk, avocado, candied garlic, lime and a blend of herbs: Thai basil, cilantro and lime leaf. It is served over traditional mixed greens with cucumber, radish and lovely charred little tomatoes, which add a warm, bittersweet note. Topped with toasted coconut, it’s a savory and texturally interesting delight, quite the antithesis of a sad house salad. $13.

Inspired by a recipe from Justin Bella’s mother, Marivic, this French toast is a real taste bomb: coconut dulce de leche and mango compote give the base of Japanese milk bread a sweet and sour symmetry, reflecting Hojilla’s keen sense of balance. It is topped with crunchy toasted coconut and almonds. $9.

dream brunch
The drinks

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.

The Tamarind Tito Ceazar is one of three tasty brunch cocktails. It is served with pearl onion skewers and a spicy pickled green bean. $12.

It’s the fruity and refreshing Filipino shandy: Asahi blended with your choice of calamansi, mango, pineapple or orange juice. $9.
Space

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.

From left to right: Justin Bella, Syd Salvatierra, Trinity Regular, Kevin Birung, Robbie Hojilla.



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