Today I’m opening two bags of chips to figure out which is the better, dubiously “healthier”, alternative to the good ol’ pork chicharon – Jack ‘n Jill’s Chicharron ni Mang Juan or Oishi’s Marty’s Cracklin’.
I’m really surprised that both companies did a pretty good job of capturing the chicharon’s look, texture, and flavour for their respective products. It’s pretty hard to believe but both products are actually almost as good as the real thing. Admittedly, they will never reach the level of greatness of good ol’ pork chicharon, but as far as alternatives go, these wannabe chicharons deliver.
Both Marty’s and Mang Juan’s come in salty vinegar-doused and spicy varieties. But Marty’s has a plain salted flavour for those who like their chips simple.
Both are priced under P20 but Mang Juan’s is almost always a peso cheaper than Marty’s.
They are as ubiquitous as the social problems that plague our country. Both are available at your favourite grocery stores and suking tindahan!
Frankly, I can’t conclusively say that one brand is better than the other as both chips look and taste the same. Hell, based on the ingredients listed on the back of their respective packaging, you might think that they were made by the same company. They’re both good, though, so that’s not really a problem.
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.