Everytime the local Filipinos hear the word sisig, the crunch of pork belly served in a sizzling plate topped with an egg, instantly waves hello in their minds. Through the lingering taste, other added flavors to sisig such as chili and chicharon makes it more enticing to have. Even the smell of it invites a gathering– making the simple sisig serving much more special as everyone also shares a cold beer with every serving. If that sisig made you curious, what more to the locals living in San Francisco, where the popular “Señor Sisig” can be found? A sisig business with a much more twist that can make you buy more.

The Filipino food movement Señor Sisig was popularized by Evan Kidera and Gil Payumo in 2010. Kidera and Payumo’s vision of sustaining traditional Filipino food flavor and making it more approachable to foreigners or even Filipino-Americans in San Francisco resulted in the birth of Señor Sisig. But the success of it until today did not happen overnight.

In order to make the traditional Filipino food approachable, the two decided to fuse their food with other popular Mexican-American food like tacos and burritos so those who had never had Filipino food before could dip their toes in it and get excited to dive deeper.

After having the concept of food, the two worked together on bringing the taste of sisig tacos and burritos by delving on the root ingredients of sisig in Pampanga, Philippines. They tapped Payumo’s family sisig recipes, which is a highly seasoned mixture of chopped meat from the head and snout of a pig. The two then tweaked the recipe for Señor Sisig by using chicken, tofu, and their new 100% plant-based “Vegano” meat alternative offerings.

Aside from the mouth-watering flavors of Señor Sisig, its service through a food truck made it a game changer in San Francisco by the time it just started. Señor Sisig gained popularity for its unique approach to Filipino-American-Mexican food, and the experience that customers get when they visit one of its trucks– bringing the food closer to the customers.

After ten years of food mobile service, Señor Sisig now has a brick and mortar restaurant in Oakland, which opened in January 2021. However, despite the transition, the two reiterated how the food truck brand can be carefully translated well to a permanent space to retain the same vibe of ordering at a truck and then finding a spot outside to eat. With this evolution of food service, the owners hope to evolve in  bigger ways regionally, nationally, and even internationally but will still uphold to their Bay area roots.

Written by Karisma Primero

Karisma Primero is currently a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise, and a 3rd year Broadcasting student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines - Manila.

Andrei de Guzman

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