Filipino food is really good. I say this even though Nana and I spent a shameful amount of time in the Philippines eating fast food. That's because the Philippines boasts some really tasty fast-food options--and even a few welcome wrinkles at McDonalds!
Jollibee is the undisputed champion of Filipino fast food chains. Not only does Jollibee outnumber McDonalds in the Philippines, but Jollibee also owns Chow King, the second most ubiquitous Filipino fast food joint, and a 70% stake in Mang Inasal (see below). As a result, I'd guess that roughly half of our meals in the Philippines came from Jollibee in one way or another.
We hit Jollibee up at two different times of day. First, a Filipino breakfast, fast-food style: garlic rice, scrambled eggs, corned beef hash, and a pandesal (a local roll) with sausage.
We also stopped by Jollibee for a late dinner, where in addition to the standard Yum Burger, we sampled Jollibee spaghetti and some fried chicken.
The spaghetti was . . . odd. Not unpleasant, but the sauce was sweet, with a very faint hint of chili. It's almost like they accidentally dropped a packet of spring roll sauce in the mix.
McDonald's, by the way, makes its own variation on the pandesal--a "hamdesal" with ham, egg, and (yes) honey mayo.
Mang Inasal ("Mr. Barbecue," if anyone bothered to translate) is best known in the Philippines for offering unlimited rice with every meal.
But it's best known in our little family for selling tasty, super-cheap barbecue.
Further evidence that, if I lived in the Philippines, I might weigh 400 pounds.