Pampanguena Cafe Restaurant Gaithersburg Maryland

Pampanguena Cafe Facebook Group
October 13, 2009, 9:45 pm
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Facebook Pampanguena Cafe Group

Facebook Pampanguena Cafe Group

To help PPG ( Pampanguenca Cafe ) keep living on we’ve created a facebook group.  It’s a place for PPG fans to mingle and connect.

We all know how good PPG’s food is, so let’s rave about it!

Gayot Review
October 13, 2009, 7:49 pm
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Gayot Review of Filipino Food

Gayot Review of Filipino Food

A noteworthy eatery for those seeking authentic Filipino fare.

This all-Filipino restaurant
changes the impression the cuisine has made on the local culinary scene with its array of native dishes that few Yankees have ever tasted. We recommend the goat stew, chicken adobo and pork stew with loads of rice. Unless you place a special order for certain dishes listed above the cash register, you follow the crowds and line up to pass by the cafeteria steam table, where you can select your choice of two entrées served with rice. Desserts are handed out at a stand-alone counter, where a young man shaves ice for the halo-halo, and dispenses other sweets as ordered.


Official Website of Pampanguena Cafe
April 3, 2009, 2:19 am
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Here is the link to the Official Pampangue Cafe website.

This wordpress website will serve as a sister website and will continue to provide general information for pampanguena cafe.  Any new updates about pampanguena cafe will be posted  Also, new pictures were taken and now are posted on the menu section of  All were taken by me!

Please check out the new coupon promotion on the pampanguena website!

Thank you for your continued support.

More Pampanguena Cafe Pictures on Flickr!
April 1, 2009, 10:59 am
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I, Charles, have been taking care of the pampanguena website for a while now and also have been taking pictures of the restaurant’s food. Recently, they’ve been having me shoot the food they serve. Check them out on



Kojo Radio Station – Pampanguena Cafe Listed!
October 27, 2008, 4:55 am
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Pampanguena Cafe is listed on Kojo’s list of Ethnic Food.  For some who don’t know the station, it’s DC/MD/VA radio station WAMU 88.5.    Check out the link here:

Pampanguena Cafe Listed Kojo's Ethnic Food

Pampanguena Cafe Listed on Kojo's Ethic Food List

If you notice and listen to the radio recording you will hear Pampanguena Cafe mentioned!

Wuma 88.5 DC radio station mentions Pampanguena Cafe

Exact time recording fast forward to: 19:50

Check the original posting:

DC Flavors review of Pampaguena Cafe!

This review is from DC Flavors website:

“The food here is simply an explosion of exotic flavors.”

Pampanguena Cafe

March 17th, 2008 by jungdae

Dan and I were on a jaunt in the Gaithersburg area doing I-don’t-remember-what, but I got hungry (which is the important thing), and Dan gave me the option to eat Indian, Thai or Filipino. Since I have never tried Filipino, I decided to be adventurous and try it. Boy, what an adventure!

Atmosphere: The restaurant has a bit of a cafeteria style feel to it, with a large buffet counter where you choose your food, and some tables facing a large television showing Filipino programs. We were lucky to catch a Filipino program where lots and lots of beautiful Filipino ladies danced around the screen while a grinning Filipino man commented on their performance. The clientele was almost entirely Filipino, so if you want to get immersed in a new culture, this place is perfect. It’s cozy and unassuming and is great for a casual meal.

Service: Dan and I were talking to each other excitedly, pointing at every interesting-looking item in the buffet and speculating as to their contents, obviously looking like folks who have never tried Filipino food before. The staff and a couple of customers all joined in to tell us the best things to get and gave us encouraging smiles and pats on the back for being adventurous and trying their food. So, don’t be intimidated and head out there! Everyone will jump in to help you out.

Food: The food here is simply an explosion of exotic flavors. We tried “ukyo,” a lightly fried concoction of shredded green papaya and shrimp, that we dipped in an onion vinegar sauce. The “ukyo” is a sure hit for anyone. It’s a delicious fried pancake with just a hint of the unknown with its green papaya. So if you’re scared of trying something new, this is the item to get. It’s familiar in it’s fried goodness, and yet different enough that you can boast to yourself and your friends that you are a culinary risk taker. We also got adobo squid (perfectly tender) and tamarind fish soup (a slightly sour yet sweet soup). I was grinning from ear-to-ear at having gotten such a magnificent feast for such a small amount of money. I am such a sucker for fabulous bargains.

Summary: Cafe Pampanguena is a delicious restaurant filled with friendly staff and customers who are all eager to share their native food with you. At the low prices of the food, you can try one of everything, and you probably should. This is a place I would definitely go to again. I just wish they were located next to my work, so I could go more often.

It’s actually called “Okoy.” Thanks for the review!

Tyler Cowens
October 20, 2008, 3:32 am
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Tyler Cowen’s Review

I don’t usually include the excellent Gaithersburg in this guide (just too far for me), but how many good Filipino places do we have? A Filipino reader says this is the best one around.


Cafe Pampanguena is authentic, inexpensive, and a great favorite among Filipinos in the DC area who know that the province of Pampanga, just north of Manila, is the culinary capital of the Philippines. (Current White House Chef, Cristeta Cromerford, is from Pampanga.) Unlike some ethnic Asian restaurants in the DC area that have Americanized their fare, or prepare dishes that only the wealthy can afford back home, the Pampanguena hasn’t changed one crumb of their authentic provincial recipes. The dishes and ingredients are not often found in the US. Try the “okoy,” made from shredded green papaya, topped with shrimp, and lightly fried. The Filipino barbecue is sweet and smoky. Rarely found in the US is a rich dessert, “san srival (spelling?),” a cake created with generous amounts of butter, sugar, and flour, topped with a creamy icing of butter, crushed cashews and peanuts. Diners will find about 20-30 dishes, with take-out and special orders available. The atmosphere is simple, super clean, and friendly. All dishes are served cafeteria style, making the cost even more reasonable. George

Yes, this place is awesome! I miss a lot of Filipino dishes that my Mom cooked for me when I was in Philippines. Finally, I found this place that could satisfy my cravings. Michelle

Review From Don Rockwell
October 20, 2008, 2:59 am
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From: Don Rockwell Website

The Rockville Pike Lunch Club had today’s meeting at this little Filipino buffet spot located in the late lamented (at least by me) Pho Quyen space.

Seeing our looks of befuddlement at the names of the Filipino dishes, the manager kindly went through all dozen or so items with us.

Great lunch deal — a heap of rice and two buffet items for $6.50.

I had a pork kebab that was good if a little on the dry side. The glaze was somewhat somewhat sweet with a hint of what must be peanuts.
My other was the “restaurant speciality” a braised beef. Done very nicely. The sauce was very thick and a little sweet with nice round spices. A couple of dabs of Sriracha (recommended by the manager) served very well to round out the beef.

Serving size was quite reasonable. Enough to fill you up without forcing you to take home two meals worth of food in a doggy bag.

All in all quite satisfactory. I look forward to going back soon and trying more items.

The Examiner Review
October 20, 2008, 2:49 am
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Washington DC – The Examiner

Get your fill of Filipino at Pampanguena

By: Alexandra Greeley

To anyone curious about Filipino cooking, the Washington area has not, until now, offered many restaurant options to explore the cuisine. All that is about to change with the recently opened Pampanguena Café in Rockville. Quite by surprise, this enterprise, which has replaced a Vietnamese restaurant, looks like it is going to make headlines and succeed where its predecessor failed.

Huge portions of food served from the cafeteria line or prepared by special order and very low prices are a few reasons why. And, for most of us, an entirely new eating experience. How many Washington, after all, know or can pronounce such exotic sounding dishes as rellenong ampalaya ($4, stuffed bitter melon), pancit palabok ($5.50, sautéed egg noodles with pork, shrimp and green onions), or the tongue-twister kaderetang kambing ($9.99, goat meat stewed with tomato sauce).

For the uninitiated, Filipino cooking is mix of Chinese, Spanish and Malaysian, with some overtones of Indian and American seasonings and ingredients. While the dishes may sound very exotic, the flavors are comfortably familiar and few dishes are spiked with anything remotely resembling Thai Chilli. Because of this, it would not surprise anybody if Filipino food becomes of D.C.’s next culinary superstars, replacing the flashier Thai-Indian-Middle Eastern-Vietnamese feeding frenzies.

We managed to settle on the goat stew (a special order at $9.99), rice, chicken adobo and pork stew. The latter two, as are most items on the buffet, were priced at two entrees, $5.99. The goat stew is always a special order apparently, and if you like the pungency of goat meat, the stew is great bet, just slightly spiced and very rich.

Not every dish listed on their menu appears on the steam table, and if you want something special- such as those dishes listed on the board behind the cashier register- you’ll need to order them separately. You’ll find two lists there: one called “entrees” and one called “specials.” The prices are comparable.

Save room for the dessert cart, where you’ll find the Filipino-iced classic, halo-halo. Ideal for summer and for an afternoon tea break at any time- and also for dessert, obviously- this iced treat yields to none for its inherent texture and taste combinations: a mound of shaved ice buries such exotic bits of fruit as jackfruit, toddy palm, papaya, bananas and beans. Milk and sugar add texture and flavor; and if you order the “special” halo-halo ($4.50), you’ll receive a scoop of brilliantly lavender ice cream as the garnish.