Arlina Keough, owner of My Neighbour’s Kitchen and Grill, now located in Bracebridge, serves food with a Filipino flair. June 15, 2021 – Mary Beth Hartill/Metroland
Bracebridge is now home to My Neighbour’s Kitchen, a food truck that dishes up a menu filled with Filipino flair.
When the building that long housed Peter’s Players in Gravenhurst sold, Arlina Keough had to find a new space for her business and landed in what is possibly the prettiest parking lot in town — at Bracebridge garden centre Seasons in the Country, located at 390 Ecclestone Dr.
Now into her third year of owning and operating the food truck, Keough says it is much different than the world of corporate banking she left behind after about 30 years, but it’s a change she doesn’t regret.
“I love to cook and that’s the biggest thing,” she said. “You love to cook, and you can just create your own dishes and flavours. I tried it out and said, ‘This is great.’”
Keough moved to Canada from the Philippines as a child and loves to create food infused with savoury Filipino flavour. She explains that the Philippines is comprised of more than 7,600 islands and the flavour of the food varies depending on the region, which is why Keough gravitates to adobo style cooking imbued with a savoury marinades.
Chicken Inasal, for example, is marinated in ginger, lemon grass, garlic and citrus before it is chargrilled and served on a bed of garlic fried rice.
She gears the menu for every palate and there are rave reviews over her hamburgers.
“People have mentioned they want me to bottle my special sauce,” she said, noting the sauce recipe is a secret. “Well, I do have a little bit of Filipino flair in my sauce, which everybody loves.”
There are healthy and vegetarian choices on the menu and the gravy on the poutine is vegetarian. The dishes will often vary depending on the fresh local produce she has.
She has enjoyed meeting a new clientele in Bracebridge and is pleased when her customers from Gravenhurst make a special trek to dine with her.