Matt Brennan and Corvette Romero weren't planning on putting a hot pink neon sign shouting "#getshameless" in their new Vancouver restaurant, but it turns out it was a clutch decision. Mounted on a wall of empty Spam cans, the cheeky decor feature is like a bat signal to Instagrammers and TikTok-ers who know a great photo op when they see one.
Spam cans and being "cheeky" are the calling cards of Shameless Buns, the Filipino jeepney-inspired food truck that first revved up on the streets of Vancouver a few years ago. Now Shameless Buns has set up shop in its first brick-and-mortar, a small space on Fraser Street in south Vancouver that is a beacon for food fans across the region.
Brennan and Romero have nurtured a cult following for their big, bold eats, centred on the vibrant flavours of Romero's Filipino childhood. The pun-ny "buns" are in fact pandesal - Filipino buns - that sandwich fillings like sweet and spicy longaniza (Filipino sausage) or Spam with an oozy "sexy" sunny side up egg. They also dish up addicting fries tossed in a salty-sour sinigang seasoning mix, and load them with toppings perfect to cure your hangover or satisfy serious munchies.
Devotees have been known to roll up to the truck - and now the Fraser Street spot - just to sink their teeth into Shameless Buns' over-the-top mash-up creations like their burrito-sized lumpia (egg roll) filled with tangy-sweet Filipino spaghetti.
For their restaurant, Brennan and Romero have got the regular Shameless Buns menu with a couple of new additions, like a hearty meatloaf sandwich and a corn side dish inspired by Mexican street corn, elote, with more surprises from the duo sure to come.
The life and business partners made quick work of turning 5772 Fraser Street into Shameless Buns; in addition to that eye-catching neon-lit Spam can wall there are traditional and contemporary touches all over the restaurant, including a full wall showcasing an image of the truck rolling in Vancouver, with personal touches worked in amidst the scenery, like the names of loved ones on people's t-shirts and business signs.
There isn't a ton of seating at the restaurant, but Shameless Buns' eats have long been portable by design - it's a food truck after all - and you can definitely take your Sausage Party to go. A Sausage Party at Shameless Buns are fries loaded with longaniza, a sexy egg, and other tantalizing toppings, by the way. Those toppings include homemade condiments, some of which you can purchase by the jar or bottle from the restaurant, so you can get a little Shameless at home, too.