Kamayan Night at Jeepney New York City
Conquering the streets of the East side of Manhattan is the Filipino gastropub called “Jeepney”. Serving Filipino dishes with an American twist, this little place in New York could really make it big. Its’ interesting menu and a “kamayan” gig every Thursday attracts people from every side of New York to reserve seats, eat with their hands and taste the flavors that can take them far, far away from home.
Jeepney owner Nicole Ponseca, took the inspiration from her dad who, as she recalled, ate with his hand while savoring homemade foods. Although Ponseca was born and raised in America, she is still loyal to her roots and wanted to share the great flavors that she grew up with.
Although the pub does not serve hard liquors, they have great cocktails and beer to choose from. The interior is screaming with colors, and lively posters of Filipino pin-up girls are all around the pub. Before, reservations should be made before coming to the Jeepney, but they happily removed the RSVP sign to accommodate the sudden influx of foodies. The ambience inside the restaurant is good too. There’s lively music playing in the background and their servers are as bright as a day when taking orders and attending to their customers’ needs.
Jeepneys’ food is not for the faint-hearted, nor for squeaky clean eaters. This is a place where you eat using your hand and get dirty doing it. Every “kamayan” night serves a buffet style of food in an enormous banana leaf. In the middle of it is Jasmine rice, topped by chunks of crabs and shrimps, with home-cured pork tocino and longganissa. All of it sided by sawsawan of vinegar. The sight is so delighting, it is like a piece of art.
But during regular days, Jeepney serves the typical Filipino dish. Their menu includes Bulalo, Bicol express and their best seller, Defeated Chicken- a slowly roasted chicken in adobo sauce. And for those exotic diners, balut is served every day. It is really good, just don’t mind the feathers though. I told you “Jeepney” is not for the faint hearted. It wouldn’t be a Filipino restaurant with the balut.
If you are craving for something closer to home, then “Jeepney” is the place to go. More and more Filipino restaurants being established in the USA like The Park’s Finest in California.
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