To that end, she contributed to the 2018 cookbook The New Filipino Kitchen, which contains the stories and recipes of 30 Filipino chefs and home cooks. She is keenly aware that some diners are getting their first taste of this varied cuisine when they visit Meat on the Street, whether at its standing location in Eleven25 at Pabst or as an ambulating food truck, and she endeavors to make their experience enjoyable.
We sat down with Alfaro to talk about leadership, goals, family and pancit.
Q&A with Alexa Alfaro
You are the face of Meat on the Street. Have you always seen yourself as a leader?
It depends on the day. Some days I’m completely confident. I feel like I’m designed for this chaos. And sometimes it’s really hard. I struggle like everyone else. It comes down to being true to yourself. And [Matt and I] have a passion for this.
What are your goals?
In the short term, it’s trying to make more money in winter. We’re pushing our catering, including vegan dishes. We want to do a pop-up dinner where you eat with your hands. And in the long term, we’d like to expand our reach. Madison is high on our list. Chicago and Minneapolis, too.
Is there one Filipino dish that inspired Meat on the Street?
My parents met because of pancit [a stir-fried noodle dish]. It binded my family together. My father fell for my mom but didn’t have the guts to ask her out. He promised someone who knew her and loved pancit that if he fixed him up with my mom, my dad would make him pancit.
How do you and Matt navigate working together?
Filipino culture is about family. My dad is one of 11 kids. It’s ingrained in us. Five years in, we’ve taken therapy to learn how to communicate better. We want to be the best team ever and create our own rules for how brother-sister partners should work.
3 Menu Must-Tries
Essentially these are chicken, beef or pork skewered and grilled, and served with a citrus sauce. It’s also one of Alexa Alfaro’s family faves, because of the tender blend of meat and fat and the just-right amount of charring on the exterior.
Pork Adobo Bowl
A simple, well-seasoned meal of juicy simmered pork butt in a tangy soy- and vinegar-based sauce, served with white or garlic rice.
A light Crispy Filipino egg roll stuffed with ground pork, cabbage, carrots, green beans and celery. Dip it generously in the sweet chile sauce.