DC - PogiBoy

DC - PogiBoy
It’s Saturday morning and our last day here in DC as well and as I reflect on the past 3 days that we’ve been here that I feel so lucky to have been able to meet all these fellow Pinoy chefs and entrepreneurs here on this trip.

I look at my schedule and realize that this is not the time for reflection just yet as we are about to head out to PogiBoy for lunch. PogiBoy is the new fast casual restaurant set up by James Beard award winning chef Tom Cunanan and chef co/owner Paolo Dungca serving quality fast food type dishes at the Block which is a food hall located at 1100 Vermont Avenue NW DC. I recall meeting Tom about 3 years ago when I first moved back to NY from Italy and finally had a bit of free time to go to Bad Saint which he was then the Head Chef where he won the James Beard Award for Best Chef for Mid-Atlantic.

We arrived at PogiBoy just at 12 around the same time that they had just opened and there was already a short line and delivery orders were coming in already. I was able to briefly talk to Tom and Paolo before their busy service started and our food tour continued. I’ve been waiting to come here for quite some time now to try the food and was super excited as we put our order in at the cashier’s stand.


We put in an order of the PogiBoy burger, The Eugene, Loaded Palabok Waffle Fries, Fiesta Spaghetti and the Pogi Fried ChiQen. As soon as the food arrived we knew that we were in for a feast like no other.

I had the Eugene first which had a burnt onion horseradish and bistek sauce and raw onion rings which was so good that I devoured the entire burger in a few bites. I then had a bit of the fiesta spaghetti which had a nice sweet tomato sauce which they call hotdog bolognese and melted gouda cheese on top, a very nice take on the classic Pinoy dish. The loaded palabok waffle fries was a unique spin as the crispiness of the fries blended well with smoked bacon gravy. Lastly for me to try was the Pogi Fried ChiQen which had the right amount of zest and acidity to it that gave the crispiness a bit of freshness, of course crisp fried to perfection but juicy and meaty on the inside.


As we finished eating the dishes I remembered my meal at Bad Saint about 3 years earlier and the conversation I had with Tom then about Philippine Food and Culture here in America.

As we said thank you to both of them before leaving I told them that once again after having my meal that I am leaving grateful for the experience but most importantly inspired to come back to the kitchen and create new dishes…

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