Thursday, February 7, 2013

Caught in the crossfire

Of the food chain war, that is. These wars have been in our midst for quite some time - both perceived and palpable. Perhaps, it's the "war" (competition, of course, is the better word) between Jollibee and McDonald's that is the most obvious and perhaps the longest existing. And then, there's the rivalry between Dunkin Donuts and Mister Donut, Red Ribbon and Goldilocks and others. In very recent years, a new war of two food chains emerged -- between Mang Inasal and Chic-Boy -- with the bone of contention being barbecued chicken (plus pork, in the case of Chic-Boy). Mang Inasal started in Iloilo in 2003 and became wildly successful that by 2012, there had been almost 500 stores opened nationwide. It popularized (not started, take note) the "unlimited rice" concept, which probably catapulted it to the top spot in the list of the most popular restaurant chains in the Philippines, aside, of course, from its great-tasting Ilonggo-style chicken barbecue. Since Mang Inasal serves huge chicken portions, many people are not satisfied with just one cup of rice, thus unlimited rice appeals to a lot of consumers. Well, Filipinos are really a bunch of rice eaters, aren't we? Anyway, many people know, of course, that 70% of Mang Inasal was acquired by Jollibee Foods Corporation in 2010 for a whooping sum of P3 billion. 
On the other hand, Chic-Boy first opened its door to the public in 2010, but to date, it already has over 120 branches. I never realized there's been fierce competition between Mang Inasal and Chic-Boy until last year when I found myself reading a forum wherein fans of each of these two chains cast their vote as to which one served the best-tasting roasted chicken.To this day, however, though I've eaten at both Mang Inasal and Chic-Boy, I can't cast my vote because what I eat at Mang Inasal, I don't at Chic-Boy and vice versa, so there's no point of comparison. Though I'm figuratively caught in the crossfire, I don't know which camp to run to. I'm just quite happy that there are now more food chains offering food that is truly Filipino (at very affordable prices!) and that you can go to them when you get tired of hamburgers and pizza.
Recently, my youngest child and I were at Chic-Boy along Quezon Ave. in Quezon City and these were what we had:

Cebu Lechon Liempo, P125. Good!

Pork Barbecue, P45.

Spaghetti with iced tea, P57. My son says it's delicious.

Chic-Boy stands for Chicken at Baboy (pig or pork). Cute logo!

Ice cream, P30 per scoop.

Soup is complimentary.

Soy sauce, vinegar, barbecue oil (left-right).

The little boy just loves ice cream.

Meanwhile, my family and I have eaten at Mang Inasal on several occasions since 2010, the last being on New Year's Day 2013. On those times, these were some of what we've tried in their menu:

Pecho with rice, P99. Our all-time favorite!

Pancit Bihon, P49. Quite good, too!

Dinuguan at Puto, P49. I love this as well.

Pork Sisig, P99. I haven't tried this but my son loves it.

Halo-Halo, P49. The ice cream is forlorn-looking but this halo-halo is quite good.

Mang Inasal used to have Calamansi Juice on their menu but it has been scrapped.

Mang Inasal has a simpler logo.

Soy sauce, chicken oil and vinegar. I love Mang Inasal's chicken oil. I pour a lot of it on my rice. :-)

Inside Mang Inasal along Tandang Sora Ave. in Quezon City.

Mang Inasal and Chic-Boy: Which one's for you? Both have branches scattered all over 
Metro Manila and in some areas, they're right beside each other.:-)