Afro-Filipino Mahal BBQ fires up on H Street
Afro-Filipino Mahal BBQ just opened on H Street NE for a summer of grilled-and-smoked eats and chill cocktails.
Why it matters: Chef Jerome Grant — who earned a James Beard nod at Sweet Home Café — spent the past year popping up around town with a new barbecue concept, which pays homage to his African American, Jamaican, and Filipino heritage.
- Jermone and wife Sophia Grant have teamed up with Maketto's Erik Bruner-Yang for a months-long residency inside the mixed-use space's rooftop oasis aka, "The Birdcage."
What's happening: Diners can drop in Thursday and Friday (5pm-10pm) and Saturday (2pm-10pm), with more hours and brunch coming soon.
🍗 On the plate: Grant specializes in lumpia spring rolls (gingery pork, jerk chicken). For snacks, he reimagines classics such as shrimp n’ grits, served as a crispy grit cake with shrimp and crab fat butter.
- Barbecue — smoked in the alley — is shareable. Groups can splurge on pork belly with smoked pineapple, Inasal-style grilled chicken, or whole fish with coconut adobo.
- Vegetarian options fill the menu, including smoked oyster 'shrooms for entrees.
🍹 In your glass: A "Filipino Long Island" loaded with (nice) booze and pineapple. Also, Sophia's lineup of beers, wines, and spirits highlighting female and minority makers.
🛵 On the go: Pickup and delivery are available, plus special July 4th lumpia and barbecue party platters (orders via Resy).
❤️ What they're saying: Mahal, which means "love" in Tagalog, started as a home pandemic cooking project for the Grants, who moved in with family in Fort Washington.
- Says Jerome: "Mahal BBQ is my family joint — intersecting Black and Filipino culture along with my upbringing."
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