Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jollibee's on Beverly

I'm a huge marketing geek - can't get enough targeted messages, commercials, mascots, logos, creative product names, etc. RARELY do I take off my overly-analytical cap and allow myself to be swept up in the magic of a marketing campaign. But one day, two months ago, it happened...

I was driving down Beverly when I saw a new fast food outlet in construction. Red and yellow... a new McDonald's maybe? Blah. Boring. But then a couple days later I saw the sign: JOLLIBEE'S. Complete with a freakin' adorable bee mascot wearing a chef's hat. Jollibee's - Jolly Bee. A jolly bee mascot! Love at first sight, I was hooked.

It took me a few weeks to get out to the new Jollibee's, but in the meantime I did some research. Jollibee's is basically the Filipino version of McDonald's. In fact, there are more Jollibee's in the Philippines than there are McDonald's, probably because our Filipino friends find the McDonald's molester clown just a little bit creepy (understatement) and would rather break bread with a Jolly Bee instead. Wouldn't you?

I also learned that Jollibee's specializes in chicken, burgers, and spaghetti. You read that right - SPAGHETTI. Fast food spaghetti, nonetheless. Genius.

Part of what makes Jollibee's so great is their overly-obvious use of catchy product names and borderline ridiculous advertising. I'd love to hear the creative discussions behind these ads:
"Let's see if we can get the woman's eyes closed in post so she looks more entranced in her chickenjoy experience."
"Spicy chickenjoy is hot, and when you're hot, you sweat, so we need to show the guy wiping sweat off his brow. Yeah, good, that looks perfect. Now we need to fix the top image so that he appears to be 'making love' to the chickenjoy. Perfect."

Product names are everything! I mean, what sounds better: Big Mac or Juicy Yumburger? Fried Chicken or Crispy Chickenjoy? And with Chickenjoy, you even have a choice: you can Chick ENJOY or Chicken JOY. Swell!

Here's what I ate. Make no mistake, it was mostly terrible - maybe the worst fast food I have ever had in my life. But you gotta give 'em credit for the marketing effort...

Crispy Chickenjoy: slightly worse than KFC, not even in the same league as Popeye's. Passable, but not enjoyable.

Jolly Burger with Jolly Fries: Brian said it tasted like a school cafeteria hamburger. Meat was OK, but the bun was particularly awful and really dry. The fries seemed suspiciously like the Burger King fries, but cold. Thumbs Down.

Jolly Spaghetti: This ain't no Italian spaghetti. I'm not sure WHAT is was. The sauce was sweet, almost like barbeque sauce, with cheddar cheese on top (what?). I don't even understand this dish, or the fact that you can order it in the drive-thru (how do you eat it in your car?). Two big thumbs down. Heinous.

The sweets were a little better.
Pearl Cooler: it's like a Boba Tea milkshake. This is pretty good, if you like Boba. Me, not a fan: I feel like I'm sucking eyeballs through a straw. But the taste of the shake part was really good - possibly pistachio flavoured? The Filipino equivalent of the Shamrock Shake - they also have a purple one in Ube flavour, which looks like it would be grape but is actually coconut-chocolate.

If you look at the cup while you're drinking, you feel like you're sucking the little bee eyeballs right out of his head.

Banana Langka Pie: Sort of like the McDonald's apple pie, but supposedly in a different flavour. Langka is jackfruit, which I've never had, so I have no idea what this is supposed to taste like. But it was pretty flavour neutral. I only ate a bite - not worth the calories.

Halo-Halo Supreme: No, there is no regular Halo Halo, just supreme. And, it's pronounced Hollow (as in Mahalo), not HAY-lo as in, the thing angels have on their head. Listen to stupid me asking for the HAY-lo HAY-lo and the lady at the counter says, "OK, one Hollow Hollow." Sheesh.

This was the most interesting dish of the lot. And so COLOURFUL - I loved it! I have no idea what any of the ingredients are, but going strictly by color, some of them were ice creamy (lavender, orange), some of them had the consistency of red bean mochi (maroon, dark purple), some were gummy (green) and some crunchy (tan). It's served on top of crushed ice, so you stir it all up into a big ugly mess. Red + Orange + Green + Purple + Tan = Ugly. But tasty.

After all this food, I was still hungry. Mostly because I only took one or two bites of everything and threw the rest away, even the fries.

Bottom line: Jollibee's did not make me Jolly. It made me Glum. Very Glum.


PghGuy said...

great blog! Talk about making a guy hungry haha

Eddie Lin said...

OMIGOD! That bowl of bbq sauce spaghetti looks like a hemmorhaging brain. Jeeesaahzz H!! Mmm. I'm hungry now.

No, it really does look like a bloody brain. You know the kind that they have in your neighbor's haunted house during Halloween. Halo-haloween. Get it?
Nothin' says good eatin' like jackfruit pie. Bye.

KirkK said...

Hey Colleen - You ate Filipino Spaghetti and lived to tell the tale! LOL! The Missus enjoys the Halo Halo from Jollibee (but we never eat any of the other stuff).

KirkK said...

Ooops, welcome back BTW! Glad to know you're feeling better. Next thing you know, you'll be munching down on some crispy pata!!!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Colleen, great posting on this fast food joint. I swore I saw that bee at a rave once before, or was that part of my 'imagination'. I would never eat at this place... fast food doesn't appeal to me. Well except for, Fatburger. Anything with an EGG is GOOD.

If i'm going to eat fried chicken, i would go to Popeye's. Burger, i'm going to Fatburger. Spaghetti, I'll just make at home. I think they have a nice marketing concept and demographic... STONED males 18-49.

This reminds me of the movie Coming to America, where the guy owns a McDowell's, not McDonald's. Jollibee's seems to encompass the big named fast food franchises, but in a half-ass way haha. Great post though, you saved me $5 and a decrease in my cholesterol score.

elmomonster said...

Aww...well, yeah, I gotta admit that Spaghetti looks pretty horrible. I'm not Filipino, but I hear its catered to Filipino tastes, i.e. sugary sweet. I haven't tried it myself, because I heard once it contains cut up hot dogs. Wait. You don't think hot dogs would make it perfect?! Come on! LOL!

Great post!

Colleen Cuisine said...

pghguy: photos of Jollibee's are making you hungry? I'm concerned =)

Eddie: Halo-haloween! BWAAAAhhAAAHHAaAAHAHA! That's awesome.

Kirk: Thanks! The Halo Halo is good - stay FAR away from the spaghetti

Dylan: I'm concerned that you saw the Jollibee out in public. Maybe they have the same thing going on as that Burger King mascot.

Elmomonster: I think it DOES contain sliced up hot dogs! I threw it away after the first bite, so I'll never know if mine had it or not. But you're right, hot dogs would make it perfect. Yum-yum.

KirkK said...

Ha, the secret to Filipino Spaghetti is Jufran - Banana Ketchup. Also, they should have hot dogs in them.

Jeni said...

It's so funny that you guys ate at Jollibee's. I pass by the place on the way home. My Filipino friends kept talking about this joint when it opened up years ago in LB.

Anyways, that spaghetti looks raaaaaunchy! My roommate used to always make me Filipino spaghetti with hot dogs...but her's looked so much better. And it was super yummy!

I give you props on trying an entire array of junk from Jollibee's. I'll skip Jollibee's and spend my money on a car wash across the street.

meg said...

I live right around the corner from that Jollibee's, and I walked past the construction with increasing trepidation as they got closer to opening.

That's because I've eaten at a Jollibee's in San Fran. Urrrrp.

I don't know which is worse, the food or the traffic caused by their drive-through.

Colleen Cuisine said...

Kirkk - banana ketchup?!?! Is nothing sacred?

Jeni - they have a pretty small menu and I almost ordered everything on it. Some things I missed include "Burger Steak" (hamburger patty topped with gravy and mushrooms), "Jolly Dog" (a hot dog), and "Palabok Fiesta" which is a pork/egg/shrimp/noodle/sauce dish (looked rather scary). I feel sick just thinking about it!

Meg - I feel for you. Hopefully they don't start pumping out the Jollibee food smells a la In N Out.

Total Social Ineptitude said...

Worst meal of my life at Jollibee's. The noodles are accurately described as Heinus. Only restaurant I've ever visited that deserves to be imploded.

MightyMini_SuperWuss said...

LOL -- I just love it when non-Filipinos take a crack at Filipino spaghetti! Sure its an almost atrocious blend of banana CATSUP (not ketchup, mind you), some anonymous cheese product, and hotdogs. Ahh...the hotdogs! I took my American boyfriend out to a similar deal, Goldie Locks, and their menudo had hotdogs. He freaked. Between that and the spam, it almost looked like I was trying to break up with him. lol.

Personally, I adore the spag + hotdogs! I went to Jollibee ONCE, just for it. Sure its pretty hideous, but I get it. If you have it more than once, it'll grow on you.

BTWl: if you ever try Filipino food -- find a friend with a certified Filipino mother that can cook. Like mine. = )

s-poon said...

jollibee's is the best fast food in the world. to all you ignant crackerjack redneck trailertrash fools who think otherwise, that's fine - we don't want you in front of us at the drive-thru anyway. just because it's a filipino place you think the spaghetti, hot dogs and hamburgers there must be some sort of gross, exotic food that you're as scared to try as chicken feet and monkey brains. you don't deserve jollibee's - go play your favorite ted nugent/kid rock mixtape while hunting in the woods for deer and i'll enjoy my sweet, hot dog-infested spaghetti without you in my way.

Anonymous said...

jollibee does "mais con hielo" here in manila...and its just plain yummy...sweet corn,condensed milk, ice...simple, sweet, delicious...theyll bring it there dont worry...

Anonymous said...

Hahaha!!BTW i'm a filipino and're right there...the food in Jollibee is catered to the filipino tastebuds...the spaghetti filipino style is a sweeter version no spices or herbs...thats the way filipino kids love it made...with hotdogs and cheddar cheese(which i never order when I'm there..about the halo-halo...the word "halo" means mix..and thats the way it should be mixit all ip then eat it.its a typical summer refreshment sold even on the streets of philippines...the red one is either nata de coco (coconut gel) or kaong (a kind of palm preserve),ube jam(purple yam preserve),sweetened beans,sweetened mung beans,langka preserves(jackfruit),and the brown thingies are realy crispy rice,then you add some milk and a bit of sugar...i do love the jollibee mascot!!!

scribe_girl said...

First your blog. Your writing is outstanding and I deeply appreciate your inclusion of photos of your experiences.

I am African American and grew up in a diverse neighborhood that includes a large population of Filipinos. My mother tried to learn how to cook Filipino cuisine, such as panzit, from our neighbors.

It's quite acceptable to me that Filipinos, like people of many other cultures, prepare dishes in a manner that suits their palate. I don't like some of it. But I understand that it's not bad food--like, say, canned ravioli--but sometimes just a different preparation of a dish.

I didn't know this cultural phenomenon was at work when at a potluck recently. I was staring at a dish of spaghetti, serving spoon raised, wondering whether to dig in because was that...chopped up hot dogs? Unfortunately, the woman who made the dish was looking at my face and told me that it was delicious, quite briskly and defensively, which of course led me to immediately drop some on my plate apologetically.

I sat down far, far away from her observation and tried it. There was an odd sweetness to her spaghetti. I didn't want more than one forkful. Until I read the responses to this blog entry, I didn't realize that the woman wasn't some bad cook trying to bully me into eating her food. My quizzical facial expression as I'd gazed at her dish, undecided, was insulting to her on a cultural level.

So, now I realize why it might be painful for someone who grew up eating some of these dishes to read this review and the ensuing comments. Or, to have seen my screwed up face.

There doesn't seem to be an excuse for the chicken or fries--cold fries?!?--but the spaghetti probably deserves a break. Who knew?

Gina said...

haha I love this! I am Filipino and was excited to learn waaay back when Jollibee's first opened up in Long Beach. To my dismay, it did not taste at all as good as the locations on the homeland of the Philippine islands.

Yes, our spaghetti is 10x different than that of the very familiar Italian way. I personally don't like the sauce which is made from banana ketchup (where the sweetness comes from) and tomato sauce and yes with hot dogs! But in the PI, this dish is considered a special dish, something you would make for your kid's birthday. Personally, I prefer Prego over the Filipino version. But when I'm feeling more Filipino than American, I'll add in some sliced hot dogs! hehe

As for everything else on the menu, well I can only speak for the chicken, which isn't that great out here. I remember it tasting like the Chicken & Rice my mom would make at home when I ate Jollibee's in the PI. But eating it here was a major disappointment.

I can't say much for the burgers b'coz well, I don't eat fast food burgers... they're all the same wherever you go. I'll stick to Fatburger or TGIF like establishments for a GOOD burger. If I had to eat a fast food burger, I'd go with Carls Jr.

BUT... if you'd like to taste real Filipino dishes, try Jeepney Grill, or Max's Chicken of Manila (order the spring chicken), Manila Goodha. I warn you now, our dishes are salty and oily but mmmm so delicious!

Charles said...

i have been passing by Jollibee for over a year now, entranced by the word "yumburger", and wondering whether or not to actually give it a try. Thanks for averting disaster!

Skye said...

Ultimately, Jollibee's caters to Filipino's tastebud. Personally I grew up eating Spaghetti with hotdogs in it. The reason why hotdogs are in place instead of meatballs and why some (not all) use ketchup instead of tomato sauce is due to economics. It is cheaper. Anyhu, it is an acquired taste. Just like any other food from a diff cultures. I don't think the Jolibbee spaghetti should feel that it has to apologize for what it is. It is culturally Filipino. That's the simplest explanation there is. Long live Jollibee's spaghetti!
The other dishes go ahead and slaughter it. But not my Jollibee spaghetti.


pk said...

wow you have a lot of nerve bashing jollibee's. it's one thing to critique, but your diction was rather harsh. all of you who posted should UNDERSTAND and accept the diversity found in each country and/or culture's food. don't be quick to bash the differences in a culture when YOUR culture may be just as bad or worse to them. (especially with your horrendous, clog-infested bombs.)
it might not be quintessential of filipino food, but it is the number one fast food in the PI. you criticize the appearance of spaghetti joy? sweetie, take a look at MOST of the fast food you eat. (= should i generalize about western/american food based on mcdonalds?
personally, i like the most of the things there. my palate is a bit odd but hey, why should it affect you?

people like you make me about timid opening myself to others when it comes to my culture and food.

btw jackfruit is UNLIKE the apple pie in mcdonalds. don't be ignorant.

Colleen Cuisine said...

Hi all - thanks for your comments. I want to be very clear... I'm not at all attacking the Filipino culture. I'm simply commenting that the food at Jollibee's - IN MY OPINION - tastes very bad. And that's really all it is, an opinion. I also think the fast food in the U.S. is very bad (well, except for Popeye's fried chicken).

I've written plenty of reviews about other terrible food on this blog, not just Jollibee's. Please feel free to read my other reviews - Du-Pars, Luna Park, Kiwiberri, etc. You'll see that I'm not singling out Jollibee's for a bad review. There is bad food everywhere and it has nothing to do with culture - sometimes food is just bad.

I would be more than willing to try Filipino spaghetti again... and I'm confident a good restaurant could do it right. It would be like going to the U.S. and eating your first hamburger at McDonalds. Totally disgusting, in my opinion, and I wouldn't blame you for having the same reaction. Then I'd send you to In 'n Out for a really good burger.

So please, I'm up for the challenge: where can I get GOOD Filipino spaghetti?

Ay Abaw! said...

I'm Filipino and it disgusts me to read your post. Yes, Jollibee is really for the Filipino palate. You think you know everything there is to Filipino food but you don't, darling. There is such a thing as "Indigenization". I bet you'd have go get a dictionary to look it up. A Filipino wrote about this: Doreen Fernandez. You want to write a credible blog on food, go look for this piece before you start bashing other people's food AND culture. Then maybe you can get some respect.
And btw, check your profile. It's spelled voila, not viola. That's French.
I think Filipinos can forgive you for this and they'd gladly welcome you into their kitchens to make you sweet spaghetti with ketchup and hotdogs.

Monnaliz said...
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Monnaliz said...
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Monnaliz said...
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ace said...

hahaha!!! this is a great frickin' blog! i'm Filipino, and although familiar with the flavors at Jollibee, I am equally disgusted with them. And people who say that it takes a Filipino palette to enjoy the food at Jollibee, are full of s*** because it's FAST FOOD and as such is a weak facsimile of the real think. Yes, Filipino spaghetti sauce is sweeter than its American and Italian counterparts, but to say that Jollibee is a good representation of such would be like saying that Taco Bell's burritos taste like what you might find on the streets of Mexico City! I think not. And as for "Ay abaw" and ck's comments, dude, lighten up. People have the right to voice their opinions. Colleen didn't write anything bashing our culture. Just our crappy fast food. I don't see the average American getting up in arms when I or CK say that the food at McDonald's tastes like crap! Chill out, its all good, and funny as hell!!!

Miss Manderley said...

First, I want to say that I enjoy reading your blog. Second, I just wanted to voice out that Jollibee just represents one aspect of Filipino cuisine. I too have a fully capable mom who cooks delicious Filipino food, but that doesnt stop me and my family from eating at Jollibee. Personally, it reminds me of my childhood in the Philippines. And that said, many of us Filipinos here are just nostalgic for our homeland.

I thought your views were a bit harsh, but I can admit that it was probably because you insulted my Jolly Spagetti.

hayila14 said...

It's funny that I was just there yesterday when I saw 5 caucasian young guys who entered the establishment to mock around and insult the food and after about 20 minutes went out. I am a filipino married to a white guy. When I first cook and copied my mom's spaghetti he told me it was delicious after 2 years he admitted that he finds it weird that it's sweet and i put hotdogs! He just pretended he liked it. Hahaha. I guess only filipinos can appreciate the weird sweetness on FILIPINO SPAGHETTI. But I know I cook my spaghetti better than jollibee. hahaha. Here's a warning though: Filipinos (specially PI born) associate most things with food so It's a huge insult for them if you don't appreciate their food much more if you criticize it.

Fernan said...

I'm realizing now how ignorant people can be...if you don't like the taste it does not mean it is bad at all. Let's be real people....Jollibee won't get to as far as 600 stores worldwide for over 30 years now if they were that bad....

olivergrace said...

hello everyone!
pls. all of you calm down. first, freedom of speech is ok. whether it is bad or good everybody is entitled to his/her opinion. i will just assume that the creator of this site simply wants to "voice out" her opinions. i'm an optimistic person so I'll just look at these jollibee comments as not discriminatory. I'm a Filipino mom with 2 kids but I am conscious about calories in all types of food. Thus, I make spaghetti sauce my own way. Garlic, Onions, bit of salt, Chunky Ragu super vegetable primavera sauce, ground beef( eliminating oil after sauteing), sprinkle of cheese(to add a bit of saltiness while making sauce)then sometimes 1 teaspoon of white sugar to minimize it from being too sour. But most of the time I cook it without the sugar. My kids love it in either way that I cook it. Sugar or no sugar, they're ok with it. So, it is just a matter of getting used to it. Whether it may be Italian, Filipino, Indian, or whatever race the dish may be cooked, it doesn't matter. The point is do we like it? But, there's one thing that I have noticed when it comes to kids, majority love sweets. Hope this was helpful to all. Hey Colleen! What's the purpose of your website if there are no comments right? You really know how to stir up people..but pls..not too much ok?

momsie grace said...

hello everyone!
pls. all of you calm down. first, freedom of speech is ok. whether it is bad or good everybody is entitled to his/her opinion. i will just assume that the creator of this site simply wants to "voice out" her opinions. i'm an optimistic person so I'll just look at these jollibee comments as not discriminatory. I'm a Filipino mom with 2 kids but I am conscious about calories in all types of food. Thus, I make spaghetti sauce my own way. Garlic, Onions, bit of salt, Chunky Ragu super vegetable primavera sauce, ground beef( eliminating oil after sauteing), sprinkle of cheese(to add a bit of saltiness while making sauce)then sometimes 1 teaspoon of white sugar to minimize it from being too sour. But most of the time I cook it without the sugar. My kids love it in either way that I cook it. Sugar or no sugar, they're ok with it. So, it is just a matter of getting used to it. Whether it may be Italian, Filipino, Indian, or whatever race the dish may be cooked, it doesn't matter. The point is do we like it? But, there's one thing that I have noticed when it comes to kids, majority love sweets. Hope this was helpful to all. Hey Colleen! What's the purpose of your website if there are no comments right? You really know how to stir up people..but pls..not too much ok?

sarah said...

i wonder if jollibee would deliver an order straight from beverly to athens. i want to eat jollibee spaghetti!!!!!!! That's really what i've been craving for since I got here!

Anonymous said...

Jollibee food here in the US is really not good. If you're ever in the Philippines, try one there, way way way better.
That spicy chicken obviously was dipped in ground chili. Eeww. Too hot for me. I like chickenjoy in the Phils. Maybe the way they prepare the food, maybe something else, but it's really good there.

Cristina said...

hi.. im a filipino and honestly i like a sour spaghetti more than my country's sweet sauce style.. but still.. eating jolly spaghetti is not so bad..i've also noticed that the jolly spaghetti in the picture looked messy.. here in Philippines-- they serve it well and presentable, not like that..everything is presentable though i admit that i never liked jollibee's burgers but i love the burger steak and the FRIES!! from my experience, i've never eaten a cold jolly fries ever in my life for the fact that i eat fries 7 times a week!!

it's alright to express your opinion but at least in a more professional way..

i must ask-- what is the nationality of the workers in that jollibee branch??
simply because maybe they are not filipinos and that is why they were not able to serve the dishes well unlike the filipinos who works with love and satisfaction..

by the way jollibee is not the only measure for Philipine cuisine.. it's just the 0.50% of everything since jollibee is the most famous FASTFOOD resto here.. that's big enough..

Christopher said...

I'm a flip but was born here and not the kind of flip that eats the hot dog/banana ketchup spaghetti. I also don't like 95% of the food from my own culture. The other 5% that I do eat once in a while has to be made by my mom. Lumpia (egg rolls) and stir fry kinda recipes. Nothing involving organs or blood. Pizza and Tacos for me thank you!

I'm sure these guys didn't blindly build these things, but I don't think its a good idea to open up a restaurant that only the native countrymen will dine at. How the heck are you going to make money serving the same fools...if they even show up. I guess i'm saying I'm kinda embarrassed by the whole thing. Its corny, the food sucks, and it kinda is a bad representation of the countries cuisine...which is based/influenced by the Spanish, of course.

Mary Jane said...

I love filipino spaghetti, sadly enough. It's the sweet kind of weird tanginess I was exposed to, in a trip to the PI back when I was little.. so.. yum. For the rest of Jollibee, I can't speak for.. because the only thing I've ever had from them, is the spaghetti!! (which I loved)

Halo halo is tasty.. you should try Magnolia mango ice cream.. soo.. good--better than the purple stuff IMO! :)

Prince Alfred Josef Alexander said...

I am suprised that Americans, who actually have access to almost anything, are ignorant of other people's culture! It's pretty obvious Ms. Colleen is completely naive about world gastronomy! I am French-Filipino-American and has travelled the world and tried different palate be it home-cooked, fine dining or fast-food. Different tastes don't offend me like you do! I have this feeling that you're not even an amateur food critique. You're just a "wanne be" judging from the places you visited. My God, you haven't even been to Paris, Venice, Barcelona, Tokyo, Bangkok, Mumbai or even Casablanca where you can find the best dishes of the world! I believe you haven't even been to the interesting restos of New York! So sad people out there are actually listening to your crap. So ignorant.... said...

wow! you cant really appreciate it as much as you cant appreciate exotic foods in other countries (try eating scorpion or cicata! or even dogs)(lol). and it's not always about the food, its actually about sales and catering to customers that has prefers to have hotdogs on spagetti and is extra sweet. sorry but clowns are bit scary (thanks to horror movies)... for your blog_well said, whatever!! said...

well said_but not interesting.. try again ms wanna bee... as in bee.... be jolly, ms bee.

Aiy said...

You're so ignorant and stupid!

You sound like such a stupid white American moron who just discovered that other food exists besides McDonald's.

Give me a break! Go out and see the world and see that not everyone caters to YOUR tastes.

allison said...

The "lavendar" is UBE (a purple yam) flavored icecream.

The "orange" is MANGO flavored icecream.

The green Boba shake is BUKO PANDAN flavored (a young coconut). It is NOT Coconut- choclate flavored.

The way you write your blog makes you sound so arrogant and nescient (look that word up in a dictionary).

Shai said...

i think i was a little harsh when you stated that jollibee is one of the worst fast food chains youve been to,i guess you havent been around much then,i appreciate your honesty but i think youre a little O.A,BUT thats your oppinion and your entitled to that. maybe you should give the food another go because the way you bashed jollibee it sounded as if it were really disgusting and i dont think the way you described it was fitting the profile,yes im filipina and yes im defending the philippines number 1 food chain im just replying to your blog cos i didnt like the way you described jollibees food you made it sound like us filipinos eat crap and have crap as our number 1 food chain.i think you should give it another go maybe theyll serve you hot fries next time.

werdna said...

whats with the argue? stick with your own tastes and we'll stick with ours.

if you don't like jollibees, eat at your super sized mcdonalds then.

you don't have to exaggerate experiences you had at jollibees and insult filipino cuisines.

Slvrdlphn said...

Jollibee is the No. 1 fast food chain in the Philippines for a reason, and it isn't just advertising. It is my opinion, though, that the flavor tends to change depending on location. External factors such as the water (which tastes different from place to place) and the people who prepares the food. It is a fact that Mcdo here in the Philippines tastes different from McDo as it is served in the U.S.

I remember when I first tasted a burger from McDo when I was a kid I hated it because I found it very bland. In later years I was told that they had adjusted the taste of their food and "Filipinized" it to make it more marketable to us here. Perhaps the taste was adjusted there, too?

I don't understand why they served you cold fries. That is a no-no here in the Philippines. If you get cold fries, you return it and they give you a fresh batch, and the manager gets alerted.

Same thing with the chicken. It tastes fine here.

Banana and langka are 2 fruits that are very Filipino (but can be found in other countries, of course). It isn't apple pie. It doesn't pretend to be apple pie.

Halo-halo truly is a yummy mess.

As for the spaghetti, again, I don't know why it looked like it did when they served it to you. I promise you, it doesn't look quite so unappetizing here. While the flavor is not quite to your taste, it surely is for someone else. Personally, I think I make better spaghetti. I have a recipe that uses banana catsup, too, but I don't make it quite so sweet. FYI, Jollibee spaghetti is sweet, not only because of the banana catsup. They also add sugar to the sauce.

Using hotdogs as a substitute for meatballs was, I think, an economic move. Let's face it, hotdogs cost less than ground meat and goes further.

I quite understand why they would try to keep the taste Filipino despite being in the U.S. Let's face it, just like the Chinese, Filipinos can be found all over the place. Which means that they won't run out of clients.

I hope that the reactions of the Filipinos here will not upset you overmuch. We are just very passionate about stuff that relate to us and Jollibee is very close to our hearts.

While Taco Bell is Mexican "inspired" food created by an American, Jollibee is Filipino food CREATED by a Filipino. Jollibee doesn't pretend to be pinoy, IT REALLY IS.

External factors like water and climate aren't things we can control. So we adjust, and you can be sure, the flavor adjusts as well.

I hope to one day go to the U.S. and taste the Jollibee food there just so I can validate if what you experienced was an isolated incident.

NOBY said...

Whahahah I'm having a blast reading all of your comments. For those non-Filipinos, I just want to inform you all that most of the foods served in Filipino fast food joints mainly has its origins from the the true American fast food restaurants such as Mickey D's, Wendy's and other joints like that. The American culture is very influential to us Filipinos and we tend to try and copy everything Americans do but with a distinctive and unique Filipino touch. As for the Jollibee spaghetti, you wouldn't think it would be in a fastfood menu but the original Jollibee (In The Philippines) is actually a dine-in restaurant, drive-thrus are not really big in the Philippines. The reason for its unique ingredients would be the economy. People could not afford meatballs so they sub it with hotdogs instead, Cheddar cheese is the only kind available in most regions, everything else are expensive or hard to find. The best ingredient of all... the Filipino Ketchup, Banana Catsup... Catsup, not Ketchup don't get it twisted. And again, the reason for bananas instead of tomatoes, the price. This is why the Jollibee spaghetti has that sweet taste to it. But of course, for us real Filipinos the sweetness is not enough, we still have to add sugar to make it sweeter as we do for most of our dishes. For you folks wondering, "why the hell is this spaghetti sweet?" well spaghetti is like the thing to have in all Filipino children's birthday parties, it would never be a real party without spaghetti, and kids love everything sweet, so therefore Mom added a bit of sugar to the tomato sauce,.. I mean banana sauce, and there you have it, an authentic one of a kind, sweet spaghetti, only in the Philippines. And of course Jollibee took it to the next level and added it on their menu to attract the youngsters, next to the chickenjoy, and yumburgers; an American-Filipino hybrid of burgers and yardbirds. The point is, it's not the same spaghetti as the one you've been used to eating due to the lack of ingredients or it cost too much, so the chefs had to make do of whatever is at hand at that time. I grew up in a small province in the Philippines, we didn't have Jollibee's then but I've been eating "sweet spaghetti with hotdogs" all my life. When I came here to the States 15 years ago, I ate a spaghetti at an authentic Italian restaurant and almost threw up because I didn't like the taste,it wasn't the same spaghetti I was exposed to in the Philippines. Even now, I still can't eat regular Italian spaghetti, I have to sprinkle some sugar and mix in cut up hotdogs with it. So I guess it depends on your culture and what you were exposed to. Try selling Italian style spaghetti in the Philippines see if people would buy it. If you want to try authentic Filipino food, find a pure-bred Filipino woman 50 years or older to cook for you, or go to the Philippines for a week and I guarantee you, you'll come back at least 15 pounds heavier. Authentic Filipino food is Greatness, I do admit, there are some pretty nasty, disgusting, nauseating, sickening, unpleasant, repugnant dishes there, but hey, nobody's forcing you to eat em, just eat the what looks good, but even the ones that look disgusting are the ones that taste really good. So for all non-Filipinos, Jollibee is not real Filipino food, don't let your horrible experience prevent you from tasting Fine Authentic Filipino Cuisine. I'm not trying discredit Jollibee or anything, it's just that the Jollibee here is not the same as the Jollibees in the Philippines, the ingredients there are fresher, more flavorful, all the meat taste better there for some reason. By the way, Jollibee has managed to expand worldwide and they're one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world along with Mickey D's and Wendy's. So it's not that the food is bad, you folks are just not used to it, it's one of those acquired taste things, or else they would not be this successful to have brached out all over the world if the food is bad, right. As for the cold fries, well... there's no excuse for that, I don't blame you for throwing it away. And the chickenjoys, I actually like it, not too much breading, like Popeye's or KFC, but yeah it is dry, because most Filipinos cook there meats that way, we like our meat well-done, if it's juicy, then it's not cook, that's the way we look at it. I'm not in California so I don't know exactly what you folks have there, but if you like the Jollibee Halo-Halo (Mix-Mix), then your gonna love the Halo-Halo from Chowking (also owned by the Jollibee Corporation), if you have it there. If not go to the Philippines and try it, oh yeah it's worth it!!! While you're there trying out all the foods, enjoy also the pristine, palm tree-lined beaches, lush forests, panoramic mountain views, ecological preserves, heritage sites, cultural settings and adrenalin-inducing adventures of both sea and land activities. With over 7,000 islands in the Philippines you can find and do whatever you desire most.(This message is brought to you by....Philippine Tourism and blah blah blah whehehehehe) sorry folks, I though it was funny.

Anonymous said...








brick2ben said...

Jollibee is not a representation of Filipino food.

Other than the Purple Yam (Ube) flavored drink, the Halo-Halo and the Jackfruit pie, they don't serve any authentic Filipino dish.

If you want a sampling of Filipino food, go find a friend with a Filipino Mom or Dad.

My roommate is half Filipino. His family is awesome and I've been enjoying their leche flan, lumpia,pancit,barbecue (the skewered kind), and adobo for over 6 years now.

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Anonymous said...

elektrotkaynak makinesigazalti kaynak teli

emillenejean said...

I found this entry just today (three years after you wrote it!) I'm a Filipino, and I really find your view of the Jollibee food quite funny. I mean, taste is always acquired, and what seems tasty to Filipinos may be downright gross to those who aren't.

Just a few things, while it's sort of true that Jollibee is sorta kinda like McDonalds in the Philippines, it does not aim to taste like McDonalds in any way. I I think we had a Jollibee waaay before McDonald's came to the Philippines. The spaghetti and everything else is really tailored to fit Filipino tastes. "Filipino Spaghetti" is an overmutated version of the Italian one. It's sweet and has hotdogs. That's just how we like it.

As for the Halo-Halo, it literally translates to "mix-mix"...for obvious reasons - that's how you eat it! lol Actually, it's not even supposed to be pronounced "hollow" but halo like Mahalo, without the "W" sound in the end.

In any case, I have to say again that your reaction to eating Filipino food is real funny. But food is tailored to location, market/audience. I went to India once and I went to a McDonald's there and you could swear that it was a spice shop more than a McDonald's. They had stuff like cardamom tea and curry burger, etc. And THAT experience was pretty gross for me.

Btw, you can't find 'good' Filipino spaghetti. I mean a lot of Filipinos can cook a mean spaghetti bolognese but that wouldn't be Filipino, would it? Filipino spaghetti IS sweet and has hotdogs and ketchup. Either you develop a taste for it, or it really isn't for you. :)

ana Ü said...

Jollibee's servings have matured with time. Your pictures depicting their meals sure look bad. But they don't serve food in that manner anymore. In fact one of our most loved dishes here in the Phil are their Chickenjoys.


Yes, most Filipinos love Jollibee's chicken compared to McDo's.