Kristine Subido has been through the ranks of fine dining— she worked at Spiaggia and under Steven Chiapetti at Mango and Rhapsody, backing him up as his sous chef as he competed twice in the international Bocuse d’Or competition. After one of them she stuck around in Lyon to stage at Bocuse’s North African eatery Le Sud. That ultimately led to the executive chef position at Wave in the W Hotel, where she worked for eight years. But deep down, it seems, she was jonesing for the comfort food of her Filipino youth— not that she regarded it with complete enthusiasm when she was challenged to do something with the Filipino delicacy balut for Key Ingredient (but then balut is pretty much discomfort food). At last, her comfort food side won out: earlier this year she announced that she would be leaving Wave to open Pecking Order: A Chicken House, a Filipino counter service joint on the north side, using her mom’s recipes. Now she’s announced the address— and a little more about the menu.
First up, the location is 4416 N. Clark, just north of Clark and Montrose. (It used to be a traditional Filipino restaurant called Fishpond; there’s an intriguing LTHForum thread about the space here.) Other locations in other universes are @peckingorderchi on Twitter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/peckingorderchi.
Now on to the food. The heart of Pecking Order, as announced a while back, is chicken marinated in Subido’s mom’s marinade (including soy sauce, sugar, garlic and vinegar), which you can order grilled, roasted or fried. Sides will include “Saucy Tots” which she describes as “a Filipino poutine” with tomato gravy over housemade tater tots, garlic rice, adobo-stuffed rice puffs, or housemade (by Mama Subido) pickles.
To that signature lineup she’s now added a selection of sandwiches on pandesal bread, the primary bread of the Phillippines, similar to Mexican bolillo rolls, with fillings such as chicken, housemade pate, pickles and fried egg. And she’s planning salads with brightly-flavored ingredients like mango, jicama, and calamansi (a Filipino citrus) dressing. There will be beers and alcohol and non-alcohol punches, and Halo Halo, the traditional fresh fruit and shaved ice dessert.
One of the most exciting trends in food in Chicago is younger Asians taking traditional foods and repackaging them for a broader youthful audience— from the chicken wings at Crisp and Take Me Out to the Korean tacos at Del Seoul and Taco Chino to the sudden popularity of banh mi shops in Lakeview. With Subido bringing her fine dining chops to a largely unfamiliar ethnic cuisine, Pecking Order could be the most interesting one yet. Now that you know the address, watch for it to open in late May.