While there are a number of Pilipino restaurants in Chicago, they still rank in minority when compared to the other ethnic fare this city has to offer. Earlier this year, Chef Kristine Subido made a surprising announcement – she was leaving her post as Executive Chef at Wave Restaurant, located along the famous Lake Shore Drive, where they offered a Pilipino breakfast. This isn’t a loss for the city though. While Wave primarily served up Mediterranean fare, Chef Subido opened up her own restaurant this week, one fully focused on Pilipino food and especially on one dish – chicken!
“Pecking Order”, found just north of historic Wrigley Field, offers up Pilipino chicken prepared in a variety of ways: roasted, fried, or grilled. The chicken is marinated in a family recipe that’s very reminiscent of Pilipino home-cooking. It makes sense – several of the recipes belong to Kristine’s mother Melinda. It’s not all traditional though. Pecking Order serves up an arancini (Italian fried rice balls), but here they’re filled with super-garlicky adobo chicken. They also serve up homemade versions of popular sauces like banana ketchup and Mang Tomas (here called P.O.S., or Pecking Order Sauce).
Even the location has some Pilipino-Chicago roots: Pilipino restaurant Fishpond used to occupy the space since the mid-80s, and is across the street from the site of the original Little Quiapo restaurant. My personal verdict: of course, it’s worth the visit to support, but their grilled chicken is amazingly juicy and flavorful. It seems like a great place to bring some friends for a few drinks – whether it’s San Mig or lychee calamansi mimosas.
On leaving Wave, Chef Subido noted “I would prefer to open my own place rather than work elsewhere,” and that “this is one of my mom’s dreams.” It seems things are going to according to plan. In 2008 Subido, who comes from a family of cooks, said in an interview “In five years I see myself opening my own place perhaps here or in the Philippines.” With a year to spare on her life plan, maybe Chef Subido could think about a pork-centric eatery?
Visit the Pecking Order site here: http://peckingorderchicago.com/
Follow Pecking Order on Twitter: @PeckingOrderChi