Dong Juan Brings Cebu’s Favorite Pizza, Pasta and Burgers to Marikina
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Dong Juan is one of the eight popular restaurants at Lamp Quarters, the barely one-year-old dining hub in Marikina that’s already getting a buzz from food lovers all over the metro, gushing over its variety of food offerings, cozy ambiance especially its courtyard and the overall fine dining vibe without burning a hole in the wallet.
Originally from Cebu, Dong Juan offers gourmet burgers such as its signature Dong Juan burger, cheeseburger, mushroom and cheeseburger, red hot chili burger, which it describes on its menu as “a piping hot concoction of zesty, smooth and sweet, red hot Malaysian chili with the natural umami of prawn paste.”
There is also the Dong Juan ultimate bacon burger (naturally smoked thick-cut of bacon on top of bacon), Korean burger (kimchi relish topped burger with Korean pancakes), Japanese burger (kani and wasabi flavored), red hot double “D” burger (red hot chili burger twice the taste) and the double “D” burger (almost half a kilo of beef patties) for the ultimate burger experience.
For pasta lovers, Dong Juan has a variety of tasty offerings to choose from such as the linguine meatballs in marinara sauce, Cebu native chorizo pasta, Spanish chorizo pasta, linguine carbonara, gambas al ajillo pasta and pacific pasta, that is, pasta made from assorted seafood in marinara sauce and crab roe.
Then there are the mouth-watering pizzas such as its signature Dong Juan cheese and garlic, Hungarian special, all-meat special. They are available with regular or flavored dough, which is kneaded with basil, oregano, parmesan cheese, and superior grade olive oil imported from Spain.
To provide more variety to its customers, the restaurant also serves some Filipino dishes including its own version of the crispy pata called Asian pork knuckles.
“Dong Juan is actually American-Italian when it started off in Cebu. Then it expanded into a variety of Filipino food simply because we are in the Philippines so we also have to offer what people also like,” says Myla Gonzales, who owns the franchise for the restaurant inside Lamp Quarters.
Myla is the first franchisee of Dong Juan in Manila. Its main branch in the metropolis is located along Mother Ignacia St. in Quezon City. It has more than a dozen branches mostly in the Visayas such as Cebu, Ilo-ilo, Dumaguete and Cagayan de Oro.
Finding Dong Juan
When Myla and her partners were about to open Lamp Quarters, they searched for restaurants that they wanted to occupy its eight dining places. They searched for restaurants in Marikina, nearby Antipolo and Quezon City whose food – quality, taste – would appeal to them since they didn’t want to open up a restaurant in Lamp Quarters that they themselves would not patronize.
“So in our search for restaurants, we found Dong Juan. We tried their food and we liked it because it’s delicious. We kept on going back there until we became close with the owners. Then one day, we asked if we could be a franchisee,” Myla says.
Dong Juan on Mother Ignacia has been operating for three years now and this is the first time that it allowed to be franchised in Lamp Quarters.
Since the restaurant opened in Lamp Quarters October last year, it has become a favorite among Marikenos as well as diners from other places in Metro Manila. Aside from families or group of friends or lovers on a date, Dong Juan has hosted corporate events such as Christmas parties.
It has received rave reviews on Zomato such as this one: “For Filipino-style burgers, riffs on pork knuckles and baby back ribs, easy to eat fish nuggets and refreshing drinks, Dong Juan is the place to go at Lamp Quarters. It’s cool, with relaxing interiors and quiet music. Their Dong Juan burger reminds me of the classic Filipino burger, with punchy flavour and gravy too. Served sizzling with rice on the side, you’ll want the gravy.”
Myla says the bestsellers include its own burger and pizza, the gambas pasta, pork knuckles and for drinks, its calamansi blush, which is strawberry juice mixed with calamansi and milk. For dessert, one of its much-sought after is the blueberry cheese cake, which is perfect when paired with a piping hot coffee.
“The cake here is soo good, it’s worth the calories,” says Dotie Cleofas, one of the owners of Lamp Quarters and a long-time friend of Myla.
Prices are affordable with a full meal at around P200 to P300. It also serves value for money lunch meals that start from around P155.
G. Fernando Ave., Centro De Buenviaje, Sto. Nino, Marikina City
(632) 866 4158/ (63) 917 709 5969
Sunday to Thursday -- 11am to 11pm
Friday and Saturday – 11am to 1am
For more about Dong Juan, please check out the Facebook page of Lamp Quarters:
(Photos taken from the Facebook pages of Lamp Quarters and Ms. Myla Gonzalez)
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