One of San Francisco’s most familiar food trucks, Señor Sisig, has found a brick-and-mortar home for its Filipino burritos and other fusion favorites. The address is 990 Valencia Street, a space with an adjacent parklet and a sunny back patio that was formerly home to the Blue Fig, a cafe that closed this fall citing staffing difficulties.
Señor Sisig’s Evan Kidera co-founded the business in 2010, which he calls “back in the day” for food trucks. For the past four years, he’s sought a brick-and-mortar location suited to the brand, but without success — until now.
“We’d never found the location that we thought felt right, and we continued to just grow our business as a food truck,” says Kidera.
Grow it did: At any given time, five Señor Sisig trucks are roaming town or parked at events like Off the Grid. In case of all kinds of potential problems, a sixth is always waiting in the wings as backup.
“That’s one of the things that comes with a food truck, it comes with inconsistency,” says Kidera. “We’re a restaurant on wheels, but it’s a totally different game with the issues you have to deal with.”
The new brick-and-mortar location, which will provide both permanence and new challenges, could arrive by May, Kidera hopes. The neighborhood is familiar to Kidera, an SF native, and fans already flock to a Señor Sisig truck location nearby.
The restaurant menu will hew roughly to that of the food truck, with the addition of beer and wine. That’s perfect, because sisig, a dish of chopped pig head and chicken liver, is traditionally enjoyed as a drinking food in the Philippines.
By presenting sisig in a hand-held format familiar to non-Filipinos — on tacos, in burritos, atop nachos, and so on — Kidera has sought to bring Filpiino flavors to the masses. “It might be different from what you grew up on — but whoever you are, your’e not intimidated by it... [it’s] familiar and welcoming.”
As Señor Sisig prepares its new location, Kidera also hopes to remain true to the brand’s mobile, populist beginnings.
“Señor Sisig will always be a food truck… that’s who we are. That’s where our roots are.”
“This is a huge step for us…. But it’s another branch on the tree.”