Friday, March 13, 2009

Sweet, sweet honey

Posting will be a little light for the next few days, as Fosco deals with a confluence of work (paper draft due) and play (a visit from David!). Even so, today remains "Foodie Friday."

Good news for New York City Filipinos: Jollibee is in town! Buzz, buzz!

For all you white readers, Jollibee is a Filipino fast-food chain, occasionally described as the "Filipino McDonalds." Fosco has been told that Jollibee franchises are on almost every corner in Manila. There are also a number of locations in California. And now, finally, there is one in Queens, as reviewed by the New York Times.

Two summers ago, a branch opened in San Francisco and Fosco and Oz went to try it. Full disclosure: Oz is Filipino, Fosco is white--neither of us had tried Jollibee before.

The Jollibee menu is a bit odd (and not exactly "familiar to anyone who’s passed under the golden arches" as the Times review claims). There are basically four main types of food you can get at Jollibee:

  • burgers (called "Yumburgers")
  • fried chicken (called "ChickenJoy")
  • hot dog spaghetti in a sweet sauce (called "Spaghetti")
  • palabok, intriguingly called "Palabok Fiesta."
You can see a sample of the San Francisco menu below:

When Fosco and Oz went, the place was pretty crowded: Fosco had never seen so many Filipinos in San Francisco (apparently they all hang out at Jollibee). Because Oz is completely uninterested in Filipino food, he ordered a burger. Because Fosco is a well-meaning white man who wants to experience authentic cultural difference, he ordered the Palabok Fiesta. When we sat down, Fosco noticed that the only other white person in the restaurant was also eating the Palabok; all of the Filipinos were eating the ChickenJoy, natch.

And how was the food? Well, the burgers were bad. The Palabok was fine, but nothing I would rush to order again. Here's what it looked like:

Months later, Oz's Aunt M explained to us that the only good thing on the menu is the ChickenJoy. We should have known.

In conclusion, probably the best thing about Jollibee is its mascot. But look out, the mascots have been known to swarm!

Save me, BeeMaster!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not to mention Aunt M gave us an assortment of high tech gadgetry to fight off the Jolly Beez. Midwinter, Oz Midwinter.

*Please note: Oz is not full Filipino.