Pinoy, an authentic Filipino restaurant in the ever-evolving Baum Avenue Market is now open. St. Pete has broadened its culinary horizons over the course of 10+ years, and we’re all benefiting from the growth. Now the devastatingly delicious cuisine from the Philippines will be represented in one of the ‘Burg’s most bustling districts.
Pinoy is a passion project from jubilant Chef Raquel ‘Jingle’ Baluyut. Jingle is the sister of Karma Juice Bar owner Josie Barber, and Pinoy will join the popular smoothie bowl and health food concept at 1113 Central Avenue. Prepare to indulge in recipes from the Tarlac region.
The interior features murals paying homage to Jingle’s roots in the Philippines.
For Jingle, this concept is all about good vibes and positive energy. The plates prepared at Pinoy are crafted with love and meticulous attention to detail. The owner and chef has hired an all-Filipino team to help bring her menu to scintillating life. In the restaurant industry, it’s understood that beyond selling food, you’re selling an experience. When you dine with Jingle, you’ll feel like you’re eating with family.
The EDGE’s first authentic Filipino restaurant
Platitudes aside, here’s what you need to try now that Pinoy is open.
Note: The restaurant is currently offering a limited to-go menu, and is not open for sit-down service. Pinoy will be open Monday through Sunday from 11am-9pm.
First course: Pork Lumpia
No utensils required. These crispy handheld delights are one of the most popular Filipino dishes out there. Jingle is offering Pork Lumpia with carrots and a special seasoning. Each order comes with five pieces that you’re welcome to share, but I would probably devour on my own.
Second course: Pansit
Pansit is Pinoy’s own twist on stir-fried noodles. The dish consists of rice noodles, carrots, celery, green beans, onion and cabbage. You can add either pork or chicken to the dish.
To drink: Buko Juice
The electrolyte rich, super hydrating Buko (young coconut) Juice features coconut milk with young coconut meat. It’s clutch on these dire summer days.
What to try when the full menu launches
I always start with dessert, and those with a sweet tooth will be beyond satiated when they experience the ocular and taste sensation that is ube ice cream. The vivid purple treat, made from purple yams, should most definitely be paired with delicious flan.
The dessert menu also includes banana cue, a delicacy featuring deep fried bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar.
Before dessert, there are ample extravagances to experience.
Signature dishes at Pinoy
Start with kare-kare, a Filipino stew made with a thick savory peanut sauce.This recipe features oxtail, in addition to okra, squash, string beans, and eggplant. Kare-kare is typically reserved for special occasions, but I’m pretty sure every meal out in the Sunshine City is cause for celebration.
Seafood lovers will be totally captivated by escabeche. Savor deep fried whole snapper in sweet and sour sauce served with jasmine rice. The snapper is extra crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and dressed with vibrant vegetables to add an alluring tangy taste.
Tapsilog is the main speciality at Pinoy. The dish is the distillation of the words “tapa, sinangag, itlog” (tap-si-log) which translates to beef tapa, garlic fried rice, and egg. The dish is a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and savory.
Many of the items on the many can be prepared vegetarian-style, too.
Dishes to share when you visit
If you’re looking for plates to share, consider starting with sisig, a famous street food in the Philippines. Dig into a sizzling plate of deep fried pork belly and chopped onions with citrus dressing. Seriously, the sizzle is a total bop.
Baum Avenue Market is currently in the process of adding expanded private dining on the second floor for future events including kamayan or better known in the U.S. as “boodlefights” where diners share a long table covered in various dishes and typically eat with their bare hands as utensils. Google the term and you’ll be instantly excited by the images. They’ve also added new tables on the ground floor, and have always offered ample outdoor seating.
If you’re ready for a new foodie experience, then keep Pinoy on your radar.
Save room for Halo-halo, too. The ultimate summer treat is a combo of shaved ice, layers of sweet beans, fruits and other treats, and topped with leche flan, and ube ice cream.
Wine and beer from the Philippines will be on the menu
Jingle is in the process of building out a bar on the first floor of the market and will offer a selection of beers and wines. The restaurant is still in the process of acquiring a liquor license.
Pinoy, 1113 Baum Avenue North
Follow Karma Juice Bar as well. St. Pete’s favorite smoothie bowl concept has even more plans for expansion in the next few years.