PAO Cafe Tampa presents: Filipino Kamayan

Are you guys ready for our FIRST Filipino Kamayan Dinner! It’s happening Friday, June 5th, 2015 at the PAO Cafe (14837 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33613)!

FRIDAY June 5th - 7PM-9PM (1)

A Kamayan is a Filipino Feast served on banana leaves – patrons eat with their hands. Dinner will begin promptly at 6PM.

The event is BYOB – so feel free to bring over your favorite Filipino beverage or another drink.

Tickets are $45 in advance (plus tax) and available for purchase online! Hurry! Seating is limited at the event and ticket prices will increase at the door.

Buy tickets:

8 PAO specialties will be served on the menu:

-Garlic Rice
-Turkey & Lola’s Lumpia (Filipino-style egg rolls)
-Cucumber & Tomato Salad
-Lechon Kawali (Crispy and juicy fried pork belly)
-Pinakbet (Traditional Filipino vegetable stew made with shrimp paste)
-Kare-Kare (Filipino oxtail stew made with a thick savory peanut sauce)
-Filipino Chicken on a Stick

We’ll finish off with Halo-Halo Supreme for Dessert!

*No substitutions
*Served family-style
*Silverware will be available


PhilFest 2015 tickets on-sale at PAO Cafe

Tampa is home to one of the biggest Philippine festivals in the United States of America and PAO is happy to be a partner food vendor in this event. Each the year the festival attracts thousands of visitors.


This year the Philippine Cultural Foundation celebrates the 20th year of the annual PhilFest from Friday, April 10th, 2015 to Sunday, April 12th, 2015 at the Bayanihan Cultural Complex.

There will be non-stop entertainment all weekend long including folklore dancing, a singing competition, a hip-hop dance competition, Mr. and Mrs. PhilFest competition, Grand Flores de PhilFest parade, Musikong Kawayan Bamboo Ensemble, Philippine Choral Group, Philippine Performing Arts Company, and more. See a full entertainment schedule at:

If you love Filipino food, there is nothing like PhilFest which has vendors all over the festival serving all kinds of traditional Philippine cuisine for hungry visitors to enjoy. Our PAO Truck Filipino Food Truck will be at the event and there will be all kinds of other vendors serving delicious food as well. Full PhilFest vendor list:

Discounted pre-sale tickets are available at the PAO Cafe! Come and buy your ticket today!

PhilFest is sponsored by the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County Arts Council, Asia Trend Magazine, TFC: The Filipino Channel, One Philippines Florida Edition, and more.

Chef Jonjie joins Top Local Chef competition

Chef Jonjie of the PAO Cafe and PAO Truck will be getting saucy at the 5th Annual Top Local Chef competition on Sunday, April 26th, 2015 from 5:00PM-7:00PM.


Top Local Chef is Tampa Bay’s hottest competition, connecting the area’s foodies with the best restaurateurs and private chefs in the region. The event also features the Neighborhood Market, a specially selected collection of local vendors with unique locally sourced products. Top Local Chef supports local nonprofit: the Gulfport Historical Society.

The Gulfport Historical Society operates the Gulfport Historical Museum, which houses the world’s most complete collection of information on the history of Gulfport, one of the oldest cities in Pinellas County. The museum, at 5301 28th Ave. S in Gulfport, features thousands of photographs and other records, archived with the support of city historian and local author Lynne Brown. Membership is available to individuals and families. For more information check out their website,

General admission includes tickets for samples from two of the competing chefs. Limited supplies of additional samples available for $5/each. Tickets are now on-sale for VIP and General Admission.

Top Local Chef is produced by LocalShops1 and Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces. For information on how you can be involved as a participating chef or event sponsor, email

Now Serving Halo-Halo Dessert

As spring heats up in Tampa and we get back to this warm tropical weather, come cool off at the PAO Cafe with our Halo-Halo dessert! Halo-Halo is an a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans, jello and fruits. It literally means “mix-mix” because you mix your ingredients served to you to make the dessert.

Halo-halo was featured as a Quickfire Challenge dish in the seventh episode of the 4th season of the American reality television series Top Chef. It was also featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, where Bourdain visits Jollibee, a popular Filipino fast-food chain.

Enjoy a regular Halo-Halo for $7 which includes an iced mixture of various sweetened beans, jellies, fruits, ube halaya, house-made flan, and ice cream. Order Halo-Halo Supreme for $3 more and add ube ice cream and turon!

We will have a special for March Madness. Enjoy 50% off Halo-Halo Supreme Daily in March from 3PM-5PM!


PAO Cafe Catering Menu

If you need catering for your event whether it is corporate or special events, we have you covered at the PAO Cafe. We have our Filipino food available in trays. In addition, if you have other needs for your event feel free to inquire and we can provide a wide-variety of cuisines. A half-tray serves 10-12 people with a full tray serving 20-25 people. Call 813-443-4855 to place your order or ask us questions.


Halloween Special: Dinuguan

Come down to PAO Cafe and celebrate Halloween with our Dinuguan special ($8.99). This dish featured cubes of pork in a tangy pork blood stew, a vampire favorite, and is served with white rice. This dish is also known as Filipino chocolate meat due to its chocolate-like color and consistency.

Tracing the origin of Dinuguan in Filipino-cuisine is a task, but some stories claim that the tendency for Filipinos to waste no part of the food they eat (pig blood in this case) helped inspire the creation of Dinuguan as a dish in Philippine cuisine.



The term Dinuguan comes from the Filipino word dugo meaning “blood”. Although often thought to be quite foreign, Dinuguan is not too different than European-style blood sausage or British black pudding with the main difference between vinegar and peppers. A similar dish is melas zomos (black soup) which is an ancient Spartan dish.

Other names for Dinuguan include dinardaraan in Ilocano, tid-tad in Pampanga, dugo-dugo in Cebuano, sinugaok in Batangas, rugodugo in Waray, andsampayna or champayna in Northern Mindanao.

PAO Cafe’s Spooky Halloween Extravaganza this FRIDAY!

Come out to the PAO Cafe on Friday, October 24th, 2014 for a spooky extravaganza! We will be celebrating Halloween and have vendors as well as food trucks in front of the cafe with a spooky twist!

Even better! We will have a photobooth and costume contest – wear your most unique Halloween attire and receive 10% off your order (if you come up with your own PAO costume you may even make it on our Facebook page ;D)! The lucky winner will win a free gift card to the PAO Cafe!


The Escomo Truck will be serving their signature ice cream sandwiches so come out and get festive with them!

Filipino Feast “Kamayan” Dinner Recap

The PAO Cafe participated in a Kamayan Dinner last month on September 22nd, 2014 in Orlando at East End Market. It was the first its kind in Florida and allowed diners to experience Philippine cuisine in a format often enjoyed by actual Filipino with food served family-style on banana leaves (utensils were available for interested diners). The event was SOLD OUT which was awesome and showed there is certainly some support for Philippine cuisine to succeed in Florida.

We were joined by Filipino MasterChef 5 contestent, Francis Biondi and Filipino chefs from Kappo at East End Market, an amazing new culinary spot in Orlando serving up excellent Japanese cuisine. We brought along our halo-halo machine for the event and had an excellent evening!

Here are some photos from the evening:






Until the next Filipino food event. Stay tuned! 🙂



Bamboo & Strings 2014

The Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc. will host the Musikong Kawayan Bamboo Ensemble at the Bayanihan Arts and Events Center (14301 Nine Eagles Drive Tampa, FL 33626) in Westchase on Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 3:00PM. Tickets are $10 and children ages 6 and under are FREE.


The concert will be one you do not want to miss and the ensemble will be playing with a string quintet consisting of the Bayside String Quartet with bassist John DiMura and pianist Dale Williams, all members of the Florida Orchestra. Guest performers also include PCFI’s very own Philippine Choral Group and the Philippine Performing Arts Company. The program will consist of original compositions and arrangements of Nhick Ramiro Pacis which include Filipino ethnic, folk, and popular songs. Traditional and popular American favorites like music of Richard Rodgers will also be performed.

The Arts Council of Hillsborough County support the Philippine Music, Theater, Dance and Art Program making the Bayanihan Arts and Events Center the ability to share Filipino culture with the Tampa Bay community Area community and surrounding counties and states through free classes and outreach performances.

For more information about “Bamboo and Strings 2014″, contact PCFI at (813) 925-1232.

Yelp Tampa Bay visits PAO Cafe for UYE

On Saturday we hosted Yelp Tampa Bay at the PAO Cafe for an Unofficial Yelp Event (UYE). We were happy to expose many of them to Filipino food for the first time and look forward to seeing them again in the future. If oyu have a networking event that you want to have at the PAO Cafe please contact us – we would love to have you. Here are some photos from the event:

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