Friday, September 24, 2021


 We had talked about trying to study the countries in alphabetical order, largely so we could follow along sequentially with the videos put out by Geography Now, a YouTube channel that we end up using for every country (unless they haven't made the video about that country yet).  However, after discovering that San Antonio had a Jollibee, we really wanted to try it out, so Philippines, here we come!

Video List

Link List

We were really excited to try out our local Jollibee!  Their main offering is fried chicken, but since we have lots of experience with fried chicken, I thought we would order some of the other dishes that we don't normally get to have.  So I got a Burger Steak Family Pack (it seems like a fast food take on Bistek Tagalog), a Palabok Fiesta Family Pack, and a collection of their Peach Mango Pies.  We were super bummed that Halo Halo wasn't on the menu (especially after my husband and I had watched Anthony Bourdain talk it up - small swear alert in that video clip), but pushed ahead anyway.

It was fun to go through the drive thru at Jollibee's and see lots of Filipino families inside.  Helped us know we came to the right place!

The food was fun, but definitely fast food, meaning that the pies (while tasty) were deep fried and super sweet, and the burgers were savory but limp.  The palabok was not what we had expected.  The flavor is very mild and almost sweet, while the bits of pork rind and little shrimp on top were chewy.

After eating the fast food version of Filipino food, we decided to give a real sit-down Filipino restaurant a try.  And of course, we had to pick somewhere with Halo Halo!  I did some searching online and turned up Sari Sari about 20 minutes away, which not only looked like it carried really authentic Filipino food, but looked like it was just a great restaurant overall.  (Later when I mentioned to a Filipino friend at church that I had finally gotten to try Halo Halo, she asked, "Did you go to Sari Sari?" I was so glad I could say, "Yes!")

They had a great online order feature, so we did carryout.  We got the Lumpia (fried spring rolls) and BBQ Sticks (kebabs) from the menu, and they were both really fabulous.  My boys raved over the BBQ Sticks for days afterwards!  We also ordered Kare-Kare (oxtail in a creamy peanut stew), Palabok (because we wanted to try a non-fast food version), and Sisig (chopped pork belly with citrus, onion, and chili peppers and topped with a fried egg).  Actually, the palabok from Jollibee's wasn't that crazy different.  Sari Sari obviously had higher quality ingredients, but the flavoring and structure of the dish were largely the same.  (Side note: palabok does not do well as a leftover.)  The Sisig was savory and spicy and worked well over rice, and the Kare Kare was good but not as rich as we had expected.

Last but not least was the Halo Halo!

I had brought a cooler with ice for the carryout and put it right in the freezer when we got home, but it was still a little melty by the time we got to eat it.  However, it was still delish!

The Halo Halo at Sari Sari had (from what we could tell): fruity pebbles cereal, flan, ube ice cream, strawberry tuile rolls, mixed jellied fruits, shaved ice, milk (sweetened condensed?), white beans of some sort, a purple bean paste, and maybe coconut something?  The further down we went, the less we were sure of what was in there, but it was all so yummy we didn't even care.  It is a the perfect treat for a Texas summer.  Halo Halo for the win!

No comments:

Post a Comment