Most of the hungry customers that flock to Philippine Smoked BBQ and Grill come for the American-style goods: brisket, ribs, and pulled pork.
But the unassuming Wilmington barbecue joint has another trick up its sleeve. Every Saturday, you can get authentic Filipino lechon. A full spit-roasted pig, it's a slightly bonkers dish in all its excess.
Here's Philly food writer Drew Lazor's very good description of it: "The results, when executed with skill and care, are transcendent — tender, melty, mildly fragranced pork, fatty but never greasy, with intoxicatingly crisp skin that cracks like hard candy between your teeth."
It's a mainstay of big Filipino gatherings, served with (duh) rice and different kinds of sawsawan, or dipping sauce, though my favorite is a mix of soy sauce, vinegar, and chilies.
"Don't think about cholesterol," says Lalaine Balan. "It doesn't exist here in Philippine Smoked."
If you're craving Filipino food in Philly, check out Lalo, which just soft opened at The Bourse's new food hall and is run by the crew behind the wildly popular Pelago popup dinners; and Perla, Chef Lou Boquila's upscale take on Filipino food on East Passyunk. Boquila is also opening a Filipino BYOB in Fishtown this fall. There was also a lechon truck roving around Philly, but it's not clear where to find it these days, at least from its Twitter.