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Jus and Jerry’s Food Co.: Good Value, Great Chicken!


If that’s not a selling point, I don’t know what is.

Move over Manang’s and Bon Chon Chicken, there’s a new (and old) “extra-crispy” in town! Jus and Jerry’s Food Co., a Chinese fast food restaurant in EGI Taft Tower, reopened to the public last week after renovating and recreating themselves, and they have come back with a bang! From a small, less-than-appealing looking restaurant that seems to get lost in the shouting contest of the DLSU food service war, Jus and Jerry’s has transformed into an eye-catching and trendy hot spot in De La Salle University.

Dishes Ordered

  • 1-Piece Fried Chicken (with drink) – P95
  • Milk Tea – P1
  • Chicken Pao- P85
  • Fish Ball Noodles Soup – P90
  • 4-Piece Shark’s Fin Siomai – P35

The Restaurant

The restaurant is split into three main sections: an inner section, smoking area, and second floor. The inner section consists of twelve seats; these include two 4-tops and one bench. The smoking area outside seats up to sixteen with one 4-top and two 6-tops. The upstairs is the best of the three sections, seating up to fifty six with six 6-tops and five 4-tops. This sets a grand total of about 84 seats, the most I’ve ever counted in a restaurant here in Taft.

If I described the restaurant in a phrase, it would have to be “Level Up”. Although I had never been in the previous one, I am pretty sure that I never really wanted to either. This time around, however, Jus and Jerry’s has managed to recreate itself successfully, and has the look of a potential top-quality food chain.

If Tokyo Tokyo and McDonald’s had a baby on steroids, this would be it.

The first thing I noticed about the place was that it’s surprisingly spacious. During its renovation, J&J’s absorbed a few of its neighbors into their real estate, including the Archer’s Hole, and have maximized on this newly acquired land. Upon walking into the restaurant, you can feel the very sleek and modern design that they put into it. Similar to a McDonald’s, Jus and Jerry’s has a fast-food style ordering counter surrounded by comfortable chairs and spacious tables. The furniture follows the red and black of the logo, and is very pleasing to the eyes.

Jus and Jerry’s co-owner is happy owner.

Aside from the aesthetics, the restaurant is also spotless. Granted, I did visit on a Saturday, but it was still very well-kept. It will be interesting to see how well that’s maintained. Air conditioning is very good also, although some are built a little too close to the chairs, and start to drip after a while. Wi-Fi has yet to be set up, but should be there soon, according to the manager. I would usually poo-poo on that statement, but since they just reopened, I’ll let it pass.

Lastly, their lighting is very nice, as they are directed on the table like spotlights, making their food the star of the show.

The Food

This is the future of chicken in DLSU.

As a Chinese fast food restaurant, Jus and Jerry’s menu ranges from sweet and sour pork to buchi balls to milk tea. However, their main event meal is their signature Fried Chicken. This chicken runs in the same family as the Bon Chon or Manang’s style: extra crispy with a chinese-stye sauce. They have two options for the sauce: soy garlic and spicy ginger. You can’t go wrong with either. The soy garlic is very savory, and goes perfectly with rice. The spicy ginger seems like something that can stand alone better, and has a strong ginger taste that isn’t unpleasant the way many ginger dishes are. Compared to Bon Chon and Manang’s, the chicken at J&J’s has a superior price and, although I would need to try them side by side to make sure, a superior flavor.

The most incredible thing in the world.

Aside from selling their chicken per piece with rice, J&J’s also sandwichizes. The unique thing about their sandwich: the bread is siopao! The chicken pao sandwich is the best chicken sandwich I’ve had in Taft, and could possibly be the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had. Jus and Jerry’s puts a healthy serving of their signature fried chicken into a large siopao bun with some lettuce and mayo as an accompaniment. The crisp and juicy chicken’s texture is accentuated with the soft bun, and the taste is phenomenal. In terms of size, it could span the palm of your hand easily. This is the meal that I will come back to Jus and Jerry’s for every single time.

If you could eat for two, this could be for you.

The last remaining menu entries, the fried shark’s fin and fish ball noodle soup, are nothing out of the ordinary. The shark’s fin is crispy and hot, and the noodle soup is the standard mami that you’ll find in most traditional restaurants. However, they are both quite big, which is a nice selling point for them. The noodles are particularly large, and could easily feed two people. If you’re looking for traditional Chinese fair at a good price, then these would fit your bill perfectly.

Milk Tea: P2. The feeling of buying Milk Tea for P2: Priceless.

In celebration of their reopening, J&J’s has a special deal on their Milk Tea. No, that wasn’t a typo when I put Milk Tea at P1. Whenever you purchase a meal with a drink, you simply add P1 to it and you can get a regular-size Milk Tea! Their options include Taro, Hong Kong style, and Traditional Boba. I got the Taro, my favorite flavor, and was happy with it. It comes with custard and isn’t too thin, a common fault in some lesser Taro teas. The other flavor I tried was the Traditional, which had a caramel taste mixed with coffee jelly. It’s a standard milk tea, made incredible at a P1 price tag ūüôā

The Verdict

Restaurant: Metropolitan design. Spacious. Comfortable temperature. Impeccably clean. Smoking area. Wi-Fi. What else are you looking for in a restaurant? Rating for the restaurant: 9/10.

Now you can’t say you didn’t see it.

Food:¬†With what could be the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had, I could stop this review right here and give a terrific score. But that’s not all Jus and Jerry’s has in their repertoire, and I’m not complaining about that either. Their fried chicken rivals Bon Chon and Manang’s, the two top franchises in Taft, and could even be superior. Their other Chinese fare is standard, but is still able to impress my taste buds. If you’re looking for good eats at a good price, then this is the place for you. The only downside is a bit of a wait for your meal, between 10 to 20 minutes. For that Chicken Pao, though, I’d say that’s a small price to pay. ¬†Rating for the food: 9/10.

Staff:¬†The staff at Jus and Jerry’s was very welcoming and provided service with a smile. One of the co-owners was in as well, and managed the place effortlessly. Although they did get a few orders wrong, I never felt like I was being rushed or mistreated. Very accommodating staff.¬†Rating for the staff: 8/10.

Overall: 9/10.

NOMG

Instead of a little descriptive spiel that’s usually at the end of the review, I would like to suggest something instead.

TRY THIS PLACE NOW!

With the best chicken sandwich in Taft and P1 Milk Tea until July 4, 2012, this is the place to be! If you’re reading this today, July 2, you should be heading here for lunch or dinner. Bring your friends and order a lot. You will not regret it. Trust me ūüôā

You can find out more about Jus and Jerry’s on their Facebook Page, where they post promotions, updates, and complete menus. While you’re there, check out Extra Rice too,¬†on our Facebook and Twitter! Remember, every follow and share helps us bring you a better blog!

Heaven in a bun.

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Goodles: The Good Noodles


No, the meal doesn't come with an iPhone

Finding myself hanging around an empty campus on a lazy first Saturday of the schoolyear, I decided to head over to the University Mall, hoping that the lack of populace would widen my choices. Thankfuly, I was right, finding a blank canvas of culinary options, with no queues as far as the eye could see. With this new found freedom, I¬† discovered Goodles, a pasta store that was reviewed to me by a fellow classmate who couldn’t get enough of the place. It was time to see if my first recommendation would be as good as it seemed.

Dishes Ordered

  • Goodles Classic¬†– P125
  • Sausage Arrabiata – P140
  • 7-Layer Lasagna‚ĄĘ – P150
  • Moroccan Beef Nachos – P65

The Restaurant

I should use this as my life motto.

Tell me that doesn't look like a Red Mango or something like it

Goodles is located near the back of the second floor of the University Mall. It seats 40-50 students with 12 four-top tables. Although its gastronomic specialty lies in pasta and noodles, it looks like it would be more suited serving frozen yogurts and the like. The atmosphere in the restaurant is very light and colorful, much like you would find at a Golden Spoon or a California Berry. This is a plus for me, as it gives me the happy demeanor of getting dessert, but the savory satisfaction of eating lunch.

Other features of the restaurant include fast Wi-Fi access for 2 hours with each receipt, and¬†a playfully designed bathroom door that leads (or misleads) to a less than playful looking bathroom. I guess, though, that if you’re playing in the bathroom, you might be the one with problems.

Overall, I enjoyed just being in the restaurant, as it makes me feel a bit uppity, like I’m in the fancy fro-yo store in a strip mall.

The Food

In line with their “yogurt store” look and feel, Goodles serves their meals in tall, slightly narrow bowls, much like any of the aforementioned fro-yo places would do.¬†Although it seems like you could be ripped off by that, as it is easy to make a narrow bowl of pasta look full, the servings are still pretty substantial. They may not¬†give you¬†the¬†Italian feast that they¬†advertise on their fliers, but

Expectations.

it’s¬†enough.¬†For each order made (save the side of nachos), one person with a regular appetite could be satisfied for one meal. If it’s just merienda, two people sharing one bowl¬†isn’t out of the question either.

Reality.

As an appetizer, I ordered what seemed to be their only appetizer on the menu: the Moroccan Beef Nachos. At first, it seemed like a lazy dish put together out of necessity for an appetizer. The fact that they had a Moroccan Beef Pasta only heightened my suspicions. When I tried it, though, I felt like they had actually done a bit of homework on the nachos. The nachos came with a Middle Eastern-spiced ground beef, a dark tomato sauce in place of salsa, and a light sour cream sauce instead of cheese. It tasted like a shawarma and a plate of nachos got together and had a baby. I don’t know exactly how appetizing that sounds to you, but I like both shawarmas and nachos, so I wouldn’t turn down any of their children’s wishes to get in my belly.

After the Moroccan¬†Nachos,¬†I moved on to our first pasta dish: the “Goodles Classic”. Seems like it got the name by being the bestseller, right? I beg to differ. The classic seems to be nothing more than an inexpensive order of simply pasta, prepared in a¬†basic manner. That’s not a¬†knock on it though; classic¬†fresh pastas¬†are delicious,¬†with plenty of garlic, olive oil, fresh tomatoes, and white cheese, each of which tasted fresh and unpretentious. The cheese on this one is especially good.

White Cheese. That is all.

When a shawarma and a tortilla love each other very much...

Sausage Arrabiata was the next on the chopping board, offering a spicy serving of spaghetti noodles with a light tomato-based sauce and small pieces of eggplant and Hungarian sausages dispersed throughout the dish. Or bowl, if you will. This dish was very pleasant on the palate, giving a rich, meaty flavor, with savory tomatoes, and a small kick of spice as it goes down. My only complaint, however, would be more sausage, as I found myself excavating the bowl for porky treasure more than actually eating.

Last on the menu, but not least, was Goodles’ trademark 7-Layer Lasagna‚ĄĘ. Now, I’m not sure how high 7 layers should look, but their claims seemed a bit spurious. It only¬†reached about halfway up the bowl. But if that’s 7 layers already, then I guess I can’t really complain. The lasagna was still quite an experience, as it was exactly the flavors you’d expect from Italy: rich tomatoes, gooey cheese, and well-browned beef. My only issue with it was that it was a tad too salty. Still, it tasted good enough to copyright.

Arteries go CLOG!

On a side note, each pasta dish was served with a thick slice of garlic bread, which had enough butter and garlic flavor to make it a viable side dish on its own. We didn’t buy any drinks, either, as the only ones they advertised were expensive bottles of VitaminWater and imported iced teas. No doubt it would be to make the upscale vibe of the place be felt, but it didn’t agree with my wallet. Instead, I got a cup of water in a container that looked just like the one you would see¬†when you’re sitting¬†in a dentist’s chair. But I guess that’s what’s cool with the kids these days.

The Staff

"There's a sausage in here, we promise" - Goodles staff (not actual quote)

In line with Goodles’ attempt to¬†emulate a Fro-Yo¬†restaurant or a Starbuck’s, the staff operated similarly to what you could expect from either of the two¬†businesses. The staff on hand at Goodles is sparse, and all of them are located behind the counter. Instead of actually bringing the food to your table, they will instead shout out “Customer name: Jeremy!” (that is, if your name is Jeremy), forcing you to get off your comfy chair and do some exercise before you get to eat. This would usually be a demerit in my book, as I hate to¬†move or exercise¬†if I can help it. However, the “servers” at Goodles are amiable enough, both at the cashier and at the service counter, so it’s a pleasant enough experience approaching¬†and talking to them. They are also quick to move when a customer leaves to bus tables, which lets me know that they know how to move when they need to. Or maybe they were just Saturday bored.

The Verdict

Restaurant: If I had no idea what Goodles was and what was being served the first time I stepped into the restaurant, I would’ve thought I was getting a frozen yogurt. The noodle house does a great job of making a spacious area with wide tables,¬†easy-on-the-bottom seats,¬†a 2 hour Wi-Fi pass, and a restroom. Rating for the restaurant: 8.5/10.

Food: The noodles were al dente, the sauces were well-seasoned (overseasoned in some cases), and the servings were on par for their price. However, Goodles seems to¬†lact that X-Factor that some foods have that reels you into the store everytime you’re in the area. They did everything pretty well, but didn’t astound as much as I would have liked. Still, with their interesting range of choices, I would definitely go back to try something new.¬†Rating for the food: 8/10.

Staff:¬†As nice and casual as the staff were, they couldn’t save themselves from the wrath that builds up inside me when my buttocks has just built a deep groove in my chair and I have to stand to get to my food. Still, aside¬†from that, I had no complaints. Maybe if I weren’t so lazy, they¬†could’ve¬†moved up the points ladder.¬†Rating for the staff: 7.5/10.

Overall: 8/10.

For a first recommendation of where to blog, I’d say that it was pretty successful. I got a good meal at a semi-reasonable price, at a great location with fun company. If you’re a fan of noodles (and good ones. hehe), then Goodles is a must-try destination for you. Even if you’re not a pastahead, it’s a fun place to order an inexpensive bowl of nachos, kick¬†back in a comfy couch,¬†and¬†spend two hours exploiting their wireless fidelity.

Until next time, stay hungry!

Manang’s Chicken


Challenge Accepted

One of the foremost restaurants in the category of “Extra Crispy Fried Chicken” is Bon Chon Chicken, which has been popping up like chicken pox around the country, even in the University Mall. However, one of their rising competitors has also found its way to Taft, and is conveniently located (for its residents) on the second floor of the One Archer’s Place Condominium. Manang’s Chicken is the flavor of today, let’s see if it’s a worthy opponent to overthrow the leader and become the Chicken King of DLSU.

Dishes Ordered

  • 2 Piece Fried Chicken Meal – P149
  • 4 Piece Chicken Wings Meal – P129
  • Garlic Pork Liempo – P109
  • Crispy Chicken Sandwich – P49

The Restaurant

The girl getting her order is so excited, she's blurred.

With a panoramic view of the DLSU side of Taft Ave., Manang’s Chicken has the privilege of being a new establishment in one of the newest condominiums along Taft. As a result, they became one of the first occupants of a great opportunity space, and they didn’t waste the chance.

The garlic may be a garnish, but it definitely should be a meal itself

My only issue with the restaurant was if I would actually be able to find a seat. The medium-sized area held about 15-20 tables and would seat 40-50 students comfortably, and it looked like it had reached its maximum population as we had entered. I also noticed something: most of these restaurants seat around 40-50 at a time. Could this be because they want to accomodate an entire class section exactly? Think about it.

Although Manang’s possessed about the same amount of space as some of¬†the restaurants in my previous reviews, they did a much better job of spacing and maintaining the area. When we had found ourselves a booth, we were not lacking for personal space, and the space between tables was also more than satisfactory. In fact, even the bar stools located in the area provided enough space to nom comfortably.

The atmosphere that Manang’s gave off was a pleasant cross between a coffee shop and a diner. The ambience was similar to one you might find at a Starbuck’s, while the seats and moderate music made the restaurant feel like an 50’s style¬†American eatery. A little ironic, since Manang’s Chicken is a Filipino name, and their recipes are Chinese in nature. Despite all that, though, I loved the experience that I got from the area.

The Food

Caution! Images in the lens may be smaller than they appear.

Although the main event of Manang’s is their extra crispy fried chicken, we also decided to experiment with the garlic liempo, one of their popular sides, as well as their crispy chicken sandwich.

Caution! Images in the lens may be larger than they appear.

The liempo was a slightly less than moderate serving of crispy pork, made more substantial with the addition of a double helping of fried minced garlic. When I tasted the liempo, I was instantly reminded of the kind of grilled pork dishes you would find hanging in the windows of most restaurants in your average Chinatown. It was pleasantly crispy on the outside, with just a little chew to it. The black Chinese vinegar sauce that came with it wasn’t bad either, as it rounded the strong pork flavor of the liempo. What truly made the dish, however, was the fried garlic that came with it. While it’s usually expected of garlic chips, the ones you usually find in your mixed nuts, to be bitter and unappetizing, these golden treasures were just the opposite. They possessed an incredibly mild flavor, and were crispy, but still gave a meaty feel in the mouth. One of my companions even went so far as to suggest that they sell the garlic as a side, delicious as it was.

They gave me fours wings from the same chicken.

The crispy chicken sandwich, priced at P49, was anything but crispy, and slightly mispriced. It was a chicken breast sandwich served with a small amount of coleslaw and Manang’s sauce inside. Though I can’t complain about the flavor, in which it certainly was not lacking, I would have liked to raise a complaint regarding the size and slightly false advertising of the food. It was a small burger, as it seemed to be served inside of a pan de sal on steroids, rather than an actual bun. And crispy, it was not, tasting like a tender grilled chicken breast. However, it did manage to salvage itself in flavor. I guess P39 would make me more than happy to take back any negatives I brought up. I’m easily bribed.

Another side to my chicken was Manang’s potato chips, a generous helping of freshly cut potatoes, deep fried and served with salt. The chips were a little unbalanced in terms of seasoning; the first chip I tasted was bland and seems more like kamote. When I got to the very end, though, the chips were too salty to eat alone. However, everything in between was crispy and tender at the same time, and just what you expect in a good chip.

They Deliver. Oh No *loosens waistbelt*

After we had seen the results of the opening bouts, it was time to move on to the main event, the flagship of the Manang’s establishment: the signature soy glazed, double deep fried, sesame seed¬†encrusted, extra crispy, fully flavored chicken. We ordered two types: a two-piece meal that included the drumstick and the thigh, and a four-piece set of wings. Although the two-piece was a sizeable serving for almost anybody, the wings were a bit of a downer. Apparently, in the world of chicken math, when you cut a wing into two parts, it becomes two wings. The four-piece meal was actually two full chicken wings that were cut at one end to separate them into “two wings”, allowing them to claim that they gave you 4 pieces while you cry silently looking at your companion with his larger servings. If you want the chicken, I highly recommend the 2 over the 4. The logic might seem wrong, but so does their chicken math.

That's not even fair. *loosens waistbelt again*

The first thing that you notice when you pick up a piece of Manang’s Chicken is how hard it is. With a layer of skin as crispy and firm as theirs, I felt like I could actually use the chicken¬†drumsticks as real drimsticks (ba-dum-tsss). As you bite into it, though, it’s like eating butter. In a good way. The skin breaks away to reveal a soft, meaty inside, with almost as much flavor as the outside. The entire chicken tastes of their signature soy glaze, a dark, teriyaki-like sauce that may taste a bit cloying, but goes down perfectly with a helping of rice. The sesame seeds stick to lips, leaving flavorful saucy morsels to lick away after swallowing. At the end of the last wing, I couldn’t even remember that I had eaten the previous three. One of the crispiest, deepest fried chicken experiences I’ve ever had. Because their fried chicken is not just a meal; its an experience.

To top off my satisfying foodgasm, the meals arrived within a span of 3-5 minutes only, giving me a top option of where to eat when I need a quick fix of double deep-fried goodness.

The Staff

Manang’s staff was heavily armed when I visited, and rightly so. Each member of their workforce was continually bustling about, making sure that tables were cleaned, orders were taken, customers were served, and nobody complained. They performed very efficiently, without a wasted movement, only stopping occasionally to give me a slightly perturbed look as I took pictures of everything I saw.

My only complaint could be the contrived pleasantries of the staff. When they had given me my order, they accidentally served rice instead of chips. I asked for it to be changed, and it was then that I could see that their manners were quite forced. Though they did manage to put on a happy face in front of the customers, they stumbled a bit when faced with adversity. However, service with a smile, albeit a fake smile, should be good enough for me. I mean, I am complaining over good food, right?

The Verdict

Restaurant: By combining the atmosphere of both a coffee shop and a diner, Manang’s Chicken takes a great location and turns it into a very comfortable dining experience. It is by far the most spacious restaurant I have reviewed¬†as of yet, in terms of both personal space and movement around the area.¬†Although the floor is probably the only part of the establishment that’s a bit messy, that’s only from the¬†multitude of footprints left by the masses who go there to eat.¬†Rating for the restaurant: 9/10.

Food: Although I had mixed results with some of the dishes, which may have affected the overall score more than I would have liked, I never had a problem with a dish overall. Each dish had its small¬†shortcoming, but it didn’t tarnish the experience entirely. I was just a little depressed that I had to have a bad moment with my wings and Manang’s poor chicken logic. Otherwise, their chicken would have been almost godly. Nothing can truly be perfect, but Manang’s Chicken makes a pretty good run. Rating for the food: 8.5/10.

Staff: The staff was a well-oiled machine for such a new establishment, as each memeber knew his or her role, and performed it diligently. I had a few qualms about mixing up my order and getting a bit of sass about their mistake, but aside from that, I have nothing to complain about at all. Rating for the staff: 8/10.

Overall: 8.5/10.

Manang’s Chicken is the kind of restaurant that makes you wish you had a unit in One Archer’s. If I could eat there everyday, I would certainly try. It may not have the best value when compared to nearby restaurants in Castro, but the ambience, speed, and comfort more than make up for it. And remember: double deep fried.

There is no dictionary word to explain this. The best I found was "AdLWAJIROAHWFHLA"