The latest chicken shack is really an ode to a woman's Filipino heritage. Kristine Subido left her corporate job earlier this year at The W hotel on Lakeshore, investing her time and money into a neighborhood restaurant, hoping to lure guests with the promise of chicken three ways.
You would expect to find chicken on the menu at a place called Pecking Order, but this Ravenswood restaurant goes one step beyond just roasting, grilling and frying chicken. It's emphasizing its Filipino roots through both its sides, as well as the chicken's marinade.
"The marinade has been passed down from my mom and my grandma, so it's very basic Filipino-style marinade," said owner Subido.
That means vinegar, garlic, soy and bay leaves are used in everything from the glazes to the sauces, but Subido also makes her own banana ketchup, which will resonate with Filipino ex-pats.
Other familiar-yet-tweaked items include fried arancini, stuffed with garlic rice and coconut chicken adobo, plus a host of sides, like ripe, fried plantains covered in a sweet-and-fruity jackfruit chutney, plus fried potatoes laced with gravy and aged gouda cheese.
Yet she also branches off into Mexico, topping sauteed corn kernels with lime mayo and Cotija cheese.
"There's a lot of sides I personally love; in terms of Mexican street food like elotes - little twist on the elote," she said. "We have a traditional garlic rice, a staple of our breakfast in the Philippines, you could call a brunch-like item."
Since so much of the menu relies on chicken, Subido sources it from FreeBird Antibiotic Free Chicken farms. She says she wants to use high-quality birds to help introduce her beloved cuisine to the rest of the city.
"Filipino food, or the flavors of the Philippines tend to be unknown; and using chicken as a canvas, it's a great way of introducing the flavors, the Philippino flavors," said Subido.
4416 N. Clark