It can be tough finding traditional Filipino food in the North, but Apoy in Kingfield delivers the goods in spades. Their unapologetic menu serves dinuguan (pork blood stew), sisig (more pig parts, including belly, cheeks, and ears with chicken liver), sinigang (a tamarind soup with head-on shrimp, taro root, bok choy, and okra), and more — with no concessions made for milquetoast palates.
Co-founders Curt Rademacher, Shawn Nafstad, and Sherwin “Ya Boy” Resurrección are determined to turn Minnesotans onto the explosive flavors of the Philippines. They’re doing that by hewing to grandma-knows-best recipes with a handful of non-traditional items like a soy-and-lime-marinated longaniza burger thrown into the mix.
To sample as much of their menu as possible, reserve a table at Apoy’s weekly Kamayan feasts. Available for two to 12 people on Thursday nights, the generous vegetarian ($25/pp), meat ($30/pp), and seafood ($35/pp) spreads invite customers to eat with their hands over banana leaves, the same way a family might for a special occasion in the Philippines.
If you’re new to Pinoy cuisine or simply a more timid diner, try Apoy’s date-night combo on Mondays (two drinks, one app, two entrees, and one dessert for $45); the soul-restoring Mami noodle soup on Wednesdays; or a hangover-soothing brunch on the weekend. The silog, pictured up top, comes with your pick of tocino, longaniza, or Spam plus a fried egg and lumpia on garlic fried rice.
Sampling a dessert is another great way to dip a toe in. We’re crazy about halo halo: shaved ice drizzled in evaporated milk and topped with shredded coconut, jackfruit, red beans, chickpeas, vanilla ice cream, and a blob of creamy purple ube mash. Mabuhay!
P.S. ~ Also keep your eyes peeled for the Pinoy Fusion food truck parked at 789 University Avenue in St. Paul. Unrelated to Apoy, they typically roll out on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; check their Facebook page for details and the most up-to-date menu offerings.
4301 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, MN; 612-824-4719.