Pinoy Pork BBQ from Georgio’s

Updated: 29th Oct 2014; This restaurant is closed.

I am not sure why … not sure if it is coincidence or what.

You see, some of the most passionate foodies I know are of the Filipino heritage. It is strange because the Filipino cuisine is so under-represented in Metro Vancouver. If you think about it, Filipinos makes up a significant percentage of the visible minorities in our city. If I am not mistaken, they are the third largest minority group after the Chinese and the East Indians.

My impression is that Filipinos are shy and private people, event timid. As a people, they tend to blend into the fabrics of society rather than sticking to their own — unlike the Chinese and Koreans, for instance. While one may think that the Chinese are everywhere in the world, I think that in terms of sheer percentage of the Filipino population, there are more Filipinos living outside of the Philippines than the Chinese outside of China. The Chinese is just greater in numbers because of the sheer size of their population.

Yet, the Filipinos seems to have so small a voice compared to the other communities. But one thing I see too … they are proud of their heritage … and even more fiercely proud of their cuisine! Go ahead and ask any Pinoy. Ask them if the Chinese Roast Pig is better or the Filipino Lechon (see pictures) is better. They will go and describe to you twenty different ways why the lechon is more superior. He he he … if not for the fact that they are so mild mannered, they would probably say that the Chinese Roast Pig skin is laughable.

Ask them also about the Crispy Pata (see pictures). I bet they will tell you there is no equivalent in the world … and I have to agree to that.

While we would shirk from even looking at the balut (see pictures), let alone eat it, they might be thinking “What is the problem? It is delicious”. LOL!

I learned a lot about the Filipino people, the culture and cuisine only in the last year or two. I remember the first time I was properly introduced to the Filipino cuisine. It was Pinoy Gourmet who brought us to a feast at the Little Ongpin restaurant in Richmond. What a feast it was!

The Filipinos love their pigs! Many of their best food resolves around the pork.

Pinoy-Pork-BBQ-Goergios-5

Pinoy Gourmet told me about the pork barbeque recently. The thing is, there is no Tagalog name for this pork on skewer. I think it is just called Pork BBQ. The Filipinos should coin an official name for this to make them uniquely Filipino.

I was quite intrigued by what he was telling me. I remembered the BBQ on skewers that I had in Little Ongpin and thought at that time how similar it is to the Malaysian Satay and at the same time I had to grudgingly admit it was better than the Malaysian version in some ways.

Pinoy-Pork-BBQ-Goergios-1

The Filipino meat on skewers are definitely bigger than the satay … way bigger, way meatier. In terms of juiciness, they are are much more moist. What I like is that they uses pork. They have no religious inhibition to pork. Pork satay is virtually unheard of in Malaysia — he he he, no one dared to advertise they have PORK satay in Muslim Malaysia.

The only way that the Pinoy Pork BBQ is inferior to the Satay is the absence of the peanut sauce. LOL!

Oh … you will be shocked when I tell you what the secret ingredient is … further down this post. Not now … hang in there for the next little while.

Pinoy-Pork-BBQ-Goergios-4

So, Pinoy Gourmet told us that he knows the people behind Georgio’s who is a rising star for the Filipino Pork BBQ and asked if we would want to talk to them. Sensing that this would be something interesting to Friends of Chowtimes, I took the opportunity.

So I met Jun and Perla at their hole-in-the-wall shop along Rumble in Burnaby. I went away feeling impressed with what they had done. However, I must say that I had not been successful in verifying what they had told me. I am just being careful because I cannot verify some of the things told to me. This is what I was told:

  • Georgio’s BBQ was present at the Filipino festival held in the Richmond Oval a couple of weeks ago. The food stalls were dominated by Filipino BBQ (eight of them) and among them are heavyweights like Goldilocks and Gardenia. Jun told me that the lines in Georgio’s BBQ is longer than the more established stalls. The lines went on until 6:30PM when most stalls were already packing up at 5:00 PM. I wasn’t there and so I don’t know. I was hoping that someone has a picture of the lines during the event (am sure there are lots out there). Jun said he will pass me the pictures but I had not received it to-date. I’ll post it up the moment I have one.
  • Georgio’s BBQ is also at the Richmond Night Market. We went there two weekends ago just to check out their stall. The BBQ stall was busy and popular. It is one of the stalls where they had an army of people working. If you go to the Richmond Night Market, look out for the stall (closest to the wall) with the Filipino flag. Check them out.
  • Georgio’s was also interviewed by the McLean magazine and the Chinese Ming Pao newspaper. I could not find it on the internet and had asked that they provide me the link or softcopies. I’ll post it up the moment I get it too.

The amazing thing is that Georgio had just started business since April this year. More amazing is that the real person behind the food is Perla who also has a full-time job.

Pinoy-Pork-BBQ-Goergios-3

I must say that the Pork BBQ was great. No doubt about it.

When I visited them, they gave some for me to try. I saw that they took a long time to make it … 10 minutes in slow heat.

The pork meat was very juicy and the meat tender. It is best when it is still hot off the grill. Perla told me that they marinade this for two days.

So I was curious and asked them what is in the marinade. They said it is a secret. LOL!

Pork-BBQ-Vanchow

I am determined to find out and so posted this question on vanchow (click on image above if the print is too small). There you go … it’s POP!

If you want to read that thread in full, you have to have an account on vanchow.

You know, I can see the potential of Pork BBQ making it big in Vancouver. It is delicious, it is big, … and it is satisfying. It is (still) cheap. You could get more meat for $2-$3 a skewer compared to say, the satay or the Xinjiang cumin lamb skewers.

It is unique in its own right. It is not as readily available in food courts or street carts. Not many people even know where you could get one.

OK, I have done all my talking, pouring out what I know … warts and all. Now is your turn to tell me what you think.

He he he … I am hoping all the Pinoys out there come out and tell us more about their Pork BBQ. Come on … educate us!

BTW, Georgio’s hole in the wall is located on Rumble slightly east of the intersection with Royal Oak in Burnaby.

Georgio's Cafe & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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  1. Yes, I can confirm that there was a line-up at Giorgio’s in the Pinoy Oval event. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture to show. Their pork barbq was the best I have tasted so far here in Vancouver. I think it’s not just the marinade that made it so good. Its also in the type of meat they use. Its a little bit fatty that caramelizes really well in charcoal heat. The fact that they use charcoal barbq also added to the deliciousness of their barbq. Yum!!

    You are right, the foremost foodies I have met so far have Filipino heritage. FMED leads the group. He is my foodie idol.

    Do you know you can get a similar Pinoy barbq in the Richmond centre mall foodcourt? The stall name is Goodah and its beside the foodcourt washroom hallway. The girls cooking the barbq’s are all Filipinas. The owner is HK Chinese though. The Korean BBQ place Koryu in the same foodcourt is owned and operated by Filipinos.

    A bit of a trivia. Filipinos are now the number 1 source of immigrants to Canada as reported by The Vancouver Sun. They have surpassed China and India. Here’s the link to the article.

    http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=5df8e84c-15fa-4ba1-8714-d92d9a89aac6&k=37198

    The Filipinos have a good command of English having English as their medium of studies in all levels of schools. That can be the reason why Filipinos can easily assimilate well in English societies like here in Canada and the US,

    1. If you want to taste the best Filipino BBQ skewer in vancouver. they can be found at the Richmond night market called KG Filipino Food. Dont be mistaken by the big sign that said “Best BBQ in town”. They are well hidden in the back. By far they have the tender juicy tasty Filipino BBQ skewer. You gotta try it.

      1. Is that Filipino BBQ skewers from the famed Georgio’s Pizza on Rumble/Royal Oak in Burnaby ?

        1. Hi LR, no its not the same as Giorgio’s. KG is Kebab Grill which has a storefront in Garden City Mall Richmond. Here’s a blog post on KG’s bbq pork in Richmond Night Market. Scroll down near the middle of the post.

          http://gastrofork.ca/2012/richmond-night-market/

          This store is famous for their Filipino tofu-fa or bean curd.
          http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/1519345/restaurant/Vancouver/Garden-City-Kabob-Grill-Richmond

          I dont think they sell the bbq pork in their store but you can pre-order them one day in advance.

  2. A must for me with this kind of bbq is the vinegar sauce with a bit of garlic and chili. Just be careful if you ask for this in Filpino–depending on the stress you put on the end syllable, you’re either asking for the sauce or vomit. And I’ve asked (mistakenly, of course) for the latter many times.

    1. Hi El-Lobo-Solo: What is the name of the vinegar sauce in Tagalog you are talking about? Ben

      1. I’ll gladly defer to someone who knows the language better, but the word is “suka”:

        “soo-ka” with a quick end sound = vinegar

        “soo-kah” with a lingering, which may not be the best description in this context (ahem), end sound = the other thing

  3. I preferred the bbq pork from Gardenia at the Filipino festival, but it was not on sticks. The Giorgio skewer I had was a little dry and too sweet for me. But their lineups were definitely longer for the two hours I was there. I don’t call that a plus, being lineup averse :-).

    My favourite Pinoy bbq pork skewer is not around anymore. It was from Galing Galing. I also think their turon is the best I’ve had so far (but I’m very willing to keep trying!).

  4. I’m drooling right now. Do they have an actual address?

  5. Here s the locatio0n its 5326 Rumble street Burnaby,Its owned by Jun and Perla and its a real hole in the wall

  6. What cut of meat would you use for this – pork butt roast, or what? I would think not the loin as that is expensive and also cooks up dry too easily. Picnic ham maybe, which is the same thing as a ham but not cured and salted yet. We have something called country style ribs which are boneless and take well to long marinating. Maybe that would work.

    If anyone knows, give me a hint!

    1. Pork butt (which despite its name is actually the shoulder) is the most common cut used here. It’s cheap too. You can also make great BBQ using belly – very fatty and delicious, but is more apt to flare up.

      1. I will try this. Soda pop is a secret ingredient I can handle! The tips on using kiwi at the end are useful, since kiwi are a lot cheaper than fresh pineapple. Though now I don’t see that comment…

        1. Hi etranger, I think for the meat, the country style pork rib will be a good choice. It is not as tough and it has a little bit of fat which will be good in the barbq.

          1. I will try that. It will be easy to skewer as it is already in strips.

    2. etranger, goodluck in your barbquing. A couple of suggestions, marinate the meat first before skewering. Take it out of the fridge several hours before you do the skewering. This will ensure the meat is in room temperature and trust me it will easier on your fingers. Obviously, you need to cook the skewered meat right away. As for not cutting the meat. try a couple of sticks with cut meat. I think its easier to skewer meat cubes than 1 long strip. Its easier to eat too. Skewering is the hardest part in making pork barbq.

  7. ang sarap ng BBQ.nio nka2adik san ba ang pwesto nio my restaurant poba kau..

  8. As a diehard foodie, I have done the rounds from upscale Western and ethnic restaurants, through to middle scale and inexpensive places.

    I have to say that having gone to the Richmond Night Market sometime in early July has been a revelation. After going around and surveying the different stalls, I went to Georgio’s Pinoy BBQ place for the simple reason that the line up was long, a sure sign the fare was good. The wait was well worth it. The barbecue was just perfect–neither underdone nor overdone, juicy, a medley of sweet and savoury. It was heavenly–forget pulled pork and Texas bbq. Craving more, I lined up again, and this time ordered it on a bed of Java rice with “achara” on the side (pickled grated green papaya, carrots, etc.)–a perfect meal. Topped it off with their banana turon. I’ve had turon in various Filipino restaurants before, but this was the best I’d had. Lined up for a third time and ordered bbq and turon to take home. The bbq comes alive and juicy in the microwave, and the turon remained crispy on the outside when I got home and long afterward (as long as you don’t put it in plastic and it is allowed to breathe). I am now a Georgio’s fan, have been to the night market several times this summer, and when I throw a get-together at my place, I’ll make sure I have their bbq and turon as part of my fare. Just found out they now do catering too. Just writing this blog is making my mouth water.

  9. hi ben, im pinoy too. the only secret ingredient to the bbq is the pop, yeah, its either 7-up or sprite! asked JS and TS for the recipe. they have a very good one in their blog. it is actually like the way we do it at home.
    btw, thanks for pushing (intentionally or not) the filipino cuisine in your blog. cheers!

  10. I’d love to try making the bbq at home. Does anyone know the proportions of the ingredients? I’ve tried ethnic cooking quite a few times, and the results have always been disastrous.

  11. ben, arent you afraid of repercussions of exposing the secret ingredient in the marinade? now everybody knows the secret. guess it’s not much of a secret now. do you also have the kfc’s herb and spices secret?

    didnt get to try the sergios at the oval but have tried it at the night market. it is good. have to agree the filipino pork skewers are the best. i am almost sold that filipinos make the best meat on a stick. sweet caramelized pork….

    good ah! at rc has pork $1.49 and chicken $2.99 are not that great. marinade more brushed on at the end. sergios and gardenis are way better.

    korean galbi recipes also use coke or pop as well as kiwi in the home made marinade. personally i wouldnt. i dont like drinking pop to begin with and there is nothing good about it. have you seen what coke does when you soak a greasy bicycle chain in coke? that is prob the chemical that “tenderizes” the protein. you can achieve the flavor and some tenderizing using real food, imho.

  12. Our Philippine BBQ posts are always among the most popular. I believe this is just via google searches. We have a chicken BBQ post and a pork BBQ post. Just a note, for Phil Chicken BBQ, it is served with a peanut sauce (different from the peanut sauce for satay, though). =)

    1. Good to see your comments again, TS! And I guess I can expect JS’s soon too. Yeah, your BBQ pork was the best I had ever tried … seriously … beats Georgio’s. 🙂

  13. I bought the Pork bbq as a take-out the other day. They didn’t give me the salad. The rice was very dry. The only saving grace was the bbq which was pretty good.

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