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Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on August 13th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 23 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 23

Spotlight on: Filipino Community Center Food Truck

A nonprofit fundraiser

BY AMY ASMAN


MEALS ON WHEELS
Sonia Vea, the Filipino Community Center’s building rental chair, and Teo Camba, the food truck co-chair, helped run the group’s weekly barbecue fundraiser in the Santa Maria Smart & Final parking lot on Aug. 10. Sales from the truck go toward paying off the community center building and scholarships.
PHOTO BY AMY ASMAN

Santa Maria is known for its tri-tip. So much so that the city has its own official style. Most locals know what goes into that kind of tri-tip (red oak, rub, salsa), but what about Filipino barbecue?

“We have a special marinade, but that’s a secret,” said Sonia Vea, a member of the Filipino Community Center, which sells barbecue and adobo through its food truck. The truck is popular enough to have received an honorable mention in a recent Sunset magazine article on Santa Maria-style barbecue.

When asked to elaborate on the marinade recipe, Vea would only say that it’s soy-based. So locals won’t get to learn what goes into this delicious dish anytime soon, but at least they’ll get to eat it! The Filipino Community Center Food Truck is parked at the Smart & Final on Broadway from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

Patrons of this delicatessen-on-wheels can get a meal of chicken adobo ($6), tri-tip ($7), barbecued chicken ($6.75), or a barbecue combo ($10) with sides of rice and salad. There are drinks for sale, too.

“We also do shish kabobs,” Vea said. “They’re all meat with no onions or vegetables.”

Founded in 1972, the community center started doing community barbecues—with picnic tables and a grill—all over town in 1989. Eventually, due to various government and health codes, the group’s leaders decided to purchase a food truck. Proceeds from the truck go toward the Filipino Community Center’s building fund and scholarships for students.

“We really have to work hard to pay off this building, and then there are the taxes, and insurance, and utilities,” Vea said, referring to the large, state-of-the-art community center located at 2270 Preisker Lane.

Purchased in 2000, the “new” community center is used for the group’s monthly meetings, Bingo tournaments—Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m.—and other events, including the annual Anniversary Party, the Mrs. Valentines Queen Contest, and a New Year’s Eve party. The group also rents the building out for weddings, quinceañeras, and other private events for a reasonable price.

The group serves traditional Filipino food at most of these events, as well as its famous barbecue.

“Of course we have to sneak in some tri-tip!” said Vea, who was willing to talk about what goes into the group’s adobo.

“Everybody makes adobo differently, but ours has potatoes,” she said. “There’s soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and potatoes, and the meat, of course.”

It makes this reporter’s mouth water just writing about it.

For more information about the Filipino Community Center Food Truck, call 928-0392.

 

Managing Editor Amy Asman wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.