This week, Almost Gourmet’s menu included Chicken Potato Salad for Monday and Beef Burgundy, which contains “sirloin beef simmered in red wine and mushrooms”, for Tuesday. They hold up pretty well even after a couple of days stored in the fridge. I just got the chance to eat the beef today so that made for a nice lunch, along with the last couple spoonfuls of potato salad.
I have to say the Beef Burgundy was excellent–rich, meaty, flavorful, and were those bacon bits I saw? If so, they made the meal doubly delightful. The taste put me in mind of beef and ale pie, which you know I’m crazy about.
The potato salad was a simple treat with potatoes, pineapple tidbits, chicken, and lettuce.
I had the Baked Dory with Arugula for lunch yesterday, another excellent meal. Sadly, I didn’t get to take a picture because the food pretty much disappeared into my mouth in a flash.
Tj and I recently celebrated our eighth anniversary, and naturally, we celebrated it with food. After a half-hour of driving around without any viable dining option in mind, we suddenly remembered that we hadn’t eaten at Outback Steakhouse in a long time. We have to say that it was a great decision, choosing their big, hefty burgers for dinner. He had the Typhoon Burger, which also contained onion rings and the Typhoon Bloom sauce.
I had my standard Bacon Cheeseburger. The bacon wasn’t as crispy as I’d like it to be, but I was too hungry to send back the bacon and have it fried a little more.
That was a great anniversary dinner.
Today we introduce FOOD FIGHT! A segment where we pit two restaurants and their meals in a fight to the death for gastronomic greatness and glory. When the last crumb falls, there can be only one left standing.
Let us begin with Chicken Charlie and BonChon Chicken, two restaurants so dedicated to serving the crispiest fried chicken around they decided to fry them twice.
Taste-wise, the two restaurants serve almost identical tasting meals. There are minute differences in the flavor and crispness of their chicken, of course, but they are not substantial enough to objectively say that one is truly better than the other. Enjoyment ultimately depends on one’s personal taste and/or brand loyalty.
We have to give a slight advantage to BonChon Chicken over Chicken Charlie on this one as they offer meals other than just fried chicken. BonChon Chicken offers 2 fish and 2 bulgogi (Korean grilled beef) dishes and boasts a little more item on their sides menu. We haven’t tasted any of their non-chicken meals, but that just means that BonChon wittingly gave us a reason to visit them again.
Chicken Charlie wins this one hands down. BonChon’s meals are P125 (add P20 for drinks) on average, Charlie’s Bowl from Chicken Charlie costs P59 (add P15 for an iced tea). Chicken Charlie’s fried chicken also costs considerably less than BonChon Chicken’s. Considering the fact that both restaurants serve nearly identical tasting food, why spend more?
BonChon Chicken has a definite advantage on this department as they have branches on some of our country’s leading shopping malls in addition to their branches outside them. The perks of being a big international company, huh? The three Chicken Charlie branches aren’t hard to find or inaccessible in any way, mind you. It’s just that they can’t compete with BonChon Chicken in terms of number.
This could have been a tough one, but one variable made choosing Chicken Charlie over BonChon Chicken easier: price. For your P145 budget, you can have Charlie’s Bowl with an iced tea plus an order of their five piece Cheesestick Dynamite (or another Charlie’s Bowl, if you can’t get enough of it) and have some change left for your piggy bank. P145 gets you one meal in BonChon Chicken sans side dish. Their fried chicken tastes the same but BonChon’s asks a bit more for theirs. And we’re not really that excited about anything else from a restaurant that is popularly known for their fried chicken; if it was BonChon Chicken and Bulgogi (or Fish Tacos) then it’s a different story. But for this battle of the twice-fried fried chicken, Chicken Charlie reigns supreme.
Here at TWAGM, we love great meals from anywhere and at any price, and we know that you can even get them from fast food places. Budget Meals is our brand-new section where we’ll be putting the spotlight on yummy meals from fast food places.
Let’s begin with KFC!
When KFC stopped serving their Italian Roma and Chinese Imperial rice bowl meals, a slight but lingering feeling of sadness gripped me. I’m not kidding. So, when I learned that KFC brought their Supreme Bowl meals back on their menu a couple of weeks ago, I was stoked.
They are currently offering Kung Pao Chicken and Chicken a la King and they are both priced at P90 a la carte and P100 with a regular drink.
The Kung Pao Chicken is the spiritual equivalent of the Chinese Imperial bowl that came before it. It’s the bowl that tastes “oriental” and spicy. It’s surprisingly flavorful and the spiciness is pleasant – this is really as oriental as you can get in KFC.
The Chicken a la King is the more “western” tasting bowl. The chicken fillets are covered with mushroom sauce with some diced carrots thrown in for effect. If they put some mushroom pieces, it could have passed as an authentic chicken a la king dish. Kidding!
Both meals taste excellent. If you enjoy KFC or chicken meals in general, you’ll be delighted with them. To top it off, they are extremely filling. Some fastfood meals leave you wanting, but these rice meals are really worth the P100 you spend on them.
Recently, I hung out at my friend Jo’s house for a day of Wii, chit-chat, and dinner. The food is the particularly important part, since we’ve been talking about having a cooking party for the longest time, which we were finally able to have last December, even if it was just the two of us. My recent visit yielded quite a number of goodies, like Jo’s truffled mushroom fettuccine and toast with basil and tomato…
…an arugula salad with egg and fava beans…
…and my own pizza, heaped with tomatoes, basil, Swiss brown mushrooms, and cheese on whole wheat tortillas by Village Gourmet.
Village Gourmet does carry its own pizza crust, but it’s a bit too thick for my liking. The whole wheat tortillas turn out crunchy after 20 minutes in the oven, giving the entire pizza a nice thin-crust crunch.
Neither of us are ready to cook for a larger number of people yet, able to feed only ourselves for now. Next time, we’re looking to try our hand at making Chinese food. That’ll be a pretty interesting challenge to take on. Do any of you have great recipes you can share? Please let me know about it so I can get some practice in before our next get-together!