Philippines Best Food in Williamstown is now open for the season!

A relatively new restaurant in Williamstown opened April 30 for its second outdoor season, serving Filipino food on site, for takeout and for delivery to Marietta and Williamstown. Philippines Best Food, the sister location to the original 7th Street restaurant in Parkersburg, serves up comfort food like burritos, fried appetizers, shakes and smoothies and even funnel cake fries.

“We have more concession-style food,” said owner Ellen Lubuguin. “I am considering adding a Filipino-style hot dog.”

While the 7th Street location, which is operated by Lubuguin’s husband, has an indoor dining room, the Williamstown location has a more summery vibe with outdoor lights surrounding tables and large tiki-style umbrellas over round tables. This outdoor seating model served Lubuguin well last summer when the location opened in June, since the COVID-19 pandemic limited many activities to outdoors.

“With the pandemic, everyone wanted to be outside,” she said.

The store overlooks the river and is accessible via boat dock. Customers can also walk or bike across the Williamstown Bridge from Marietta for lunch. Philippines Best Food is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. The Williamstown location was open from June through October in 2020, but Lubuguin decided to open the doors in April this year. She intends to remain open through October.

“People kept asking when we were going to open so we decided to open early!” said Lubuguin.

Philippines Best Food started as a food truck before moving to a small storefront in 2010 she and her husband affectionately called “the cubby hole” next to their home and the hair salon she operates. The space was expanded into the current 7th Street location. It is a full dine-in space with a different menu from the Williamstown location.

We were looking for a second location but God gave us something better.

Ellen Lubuguin

“It’s beside my house,” said Lubuguin. “The beauty shop is on one side and the cubby hole was right there.”

The location wasn’t even on the main drag, she said, but managed to be successful. She applied for the lot there to expand and accommodate their business’s growth. They purchased the Williamstown building on a gamble, banking on being able to get the space approved for a loan. They had been looking for a location in Marietta, but then the Williamstown location came up on their horizon instead. 

“We were looking for a second location but God gave us something better,” she said.

While the menus between the two locations vary, both feature Filipino delicacies. At the Williamstown location, customers can enjoy a sweet shake made from ube, a purple yam from the Philippines. Also available is a boba drink made with passionfruit and a pineapple smoothie. Appetizers include coconut shrimp, egg rolls, sweet chili wings and much more. Entrees include rice or noodle bowls and burritos and a spicy seafood paella.

Lubuguin took care in planning the aesthetic of the outdoor seating, which includes entertainment like a children’s playset and a large outdoor Jenga set built by her son. However, as a note to parents, the Jenga set is intended for adult use only, since the wood pieces are heavy.

Lubuguin was sorry that the Mid Ohio Valley’s annual multicultural festival was cancelled, but said it was understandable due to the pandemic. She expressed interest in someday sharing not just Filipino food, but the country’s culture as well, through a Filipino American Culture Day, giving an introduction “to the culture, dancing, singing.”

In the meantime, Lubuguin is enjoying her surroundings at her job.“I like working at this location because of the view. I feel like I am on vacation.”

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