Pampanga's Cuisine

Just half a block south on Joyce from Joyce Street Station is a little nest of three Filipino Restaurants in a row, all somewhat similar (but different) in their nature and each with their fans. How does one decide? Why not start in the middle with the intention of trying each of the other two in the future?
I soon figured out that the billing, "home of the original sisg", refers to the province of Pampanga in the Philippines and not this particular cafe. Mystery solved. Pampanga serves typical Filipino breakfasts (silogs) as well as combos (rice and one or two) with any number of favourites in a casual and friendly setting.
Marie and I each chose a combo with two and our cheque came to the ridiculously low price of $21!
These combos are not fancy. A plate of rice and two side bowls of your chosen dishes. I chose the classic Kare Kare. This is stewed oxtail with tripe in what is basically peanut sauce. This was one of the best versions that I have tasted. Get used to that phrase as everything in this humble cafe was wonderful! Meaty and peanuty are the only non-superlatives that I can think of. Served with a small side of shrimp paste to be added at your discretion. I have become somewhat enamored of the salty, funky condiment and it is spectacular on the Kare Kare. I also chose Calderetta. This is beef stew and another very accessible dish for the untrained palate. You can ask the servers what the dishes are as things are not labeled. 
Marie, being Filipina, leaned a little further in. She had Pinakbet which is essentially a vegetable dish with shrimp. There was the aptly named bitter melon along with long beans, okra, squash, and eggplant. She also chose Binagoongan which in this case was pork belly cooked with shrimp paste and coconut. The shrimp paste flavour was quite mild and the result was another meaty rich and comforting dish. We left feeling full and happy.
We had felt welcomed by patrons and staff alike. Admittedly, the arrival of a non-Filipino like myself often causes a bit of a stir. I find this odd as this wonderful food should be sought out by everyone and I should not be a novelty. This food should not be allowed to be the unintended secret of Filipino Canadians alone! 
Simple and family-oriented. Inexpensive and delicious.
For what it's worth and what they provide, we give Pampaga's Cuisine 4 out of 5 .
Pampanga's Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Are you guys eating again? At some point Marie and I became the kind of people who take pictures of everything we eat, whether in a restaura...