Last week, a Facebook post featuring a restaurant in Washington, D.C. went viral as it drew flak from some members from the Filipino-American Community in the United States.
The restaurant, named Barkada, is owned by four white men and serves wine and cheese. This irked the Fil-Am community, as Barkada did not serve any Filipino dish, drink, or dessert nor did it employ any Filipino chefs or servers. “What makes you think it’s okay to take a word from another culture when you pay no respect or homage to the culture itself?,” said Jessica Millete, the account behind the viral post.
Eventually, the owners announced that they will be changing their name as they “missed the mark” when they chose to use the word. (Rundown: The New Dine-In Rules for Restaurants, Customers, Staff)
“It was never our intention to appropriate or capitalize on the Filipino culture and we recognize we fell short in engaging more of the Filipino community,” the statement said.
And now, despite the issue of using Filipino words for restaurants, another restaurant has come to the attention of the public—this time in New York. (Read: Meet the Filipino Who Overcame COVID-19 Alone in New York)
Tradisyon is a Filipino comfort food restaurant that is owned by Filipino-American Joey Chanco. It also employs two Filipino chefs—Anton Dayrit and Bianca Vicente—as heads in the kitchen and serves traditional (no pun intended) Filipino food.
Adobo, Kare-Kare, Sisig, and other timeless classics are served in Tradisyon with rice of your choice—white, brown, garlic, quinoa. Their dishes are available for both take out and delivery, especially during these times.
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Popular restaurant critic Robert Siestema has given Tradisyon the nod in his Eater New York review.
“The pork adobo at Tradisyon is a pork lover’s fantasy,” Siestema says. “This marinade-turned-braising solution renders the wobbly chunks richly textured and slightly salty and sweet,” he adds. (Read: Which is the more Filipino dish, adobo or sinigang?)
Siestema says that another favorite of his is the pork sisig which he says is perfect to eat with white rice.
Tradisyon uses the word to catapult Filipino traditions and food into mainstream status while making sure to stick to its original meaning—which many people love.