Not many fastfood chains anywhere in the world can claim local market dominance against foreign brands like MacDonald’s. One of those strong brands is, you guessed it, Jollibee of the Philippines. While others argue that it’s all about the food — Jollibee knows the sweet side of the Filipinos’ palate — we think a small slice of that market share has something to do with the mascot. We’ve seen Jollibee work its charm in parties and, we tell you, he’s one happy dynamo, always a good dancer (see “best dance crew“) with a good sense of humor. What’s the English equivalent of makulit? Here’s Jollibee, courtesy of Ranell Dedicatoria (ranellmartin), most likely having jumped on that counter top and ringing that bell (click photo to enlarge): Continue reading Photo of the Day: Jollibee Kulit
That’s what the menu of the Boulevard Diner prominently states. Right under the name Boulevard Diner, revealing the three items that this joint is obviously proud of, are three words. Burgers. Wings. Spuds. Everyone knows what a burger is. Almost everyone knows that the term “wings” refers to chicken wings. Only a few know that “spuds” means potatoes, the most common of which is your french fries. Even fewer know about the Boulevard Diner.
We’re among those who have absolutely no idea what Boulevard Diner is. Until last weekend. Not until somebody told my companion, and until my companion told me, that there’s a great burger find at the Boulevard.
And, no, Boulevard is not a street. It’s not a road. Not a highway or an avenue. It’s not even a boulevard. Confused? Don’t be. Boulevard is a diner. And we heard there’s a good food find here.
Burger. The magic word. Our culinary noses are always on the hunt for great burgers. Big Better Burgers. Brothers Burger. The Burger Project. Charlie’s Burger. Wham!. Mushroomburger. Hotshots Burgers. Army Navy. We’ve figured many of these burgers. We can’t name them all and we’re still trying out other burgers.
This time around, our destination is 91 Xavierville Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. That’s the full address of Boulevard Diner.
We’ve passed through this stretch of road a number of times. We’ve noticed a number of establishments and the most memorable is not related to food. Xavierville is where the head office of T.A.P.E., the producer of the No. 1 Philippine noontime show Eat Bulaga!, is found. Xavierville intersects Esteban Abada Street and is near Katipunan Avenue, the home of Ateneo de Manila University and Miriam College. At the far end of Katipunan is the University of the Philippines. No wonder that a lot of the guests at Boulevard Diner, we were told, are students.
Around 10 meters from the intersection of Xavierville and Esteban Abada is a sleepy establishment at the ground floor of a condominium building. We were on the prowl to find the Boulevard Diner. The big, bright yellow star first caught our attention, then the “Boulevard Diner” below the star. Bingo! Found it!
Also noticeable is the three-slot parking in front of the diner, which means that parking is probably a big concern, especially if you go here during peak hours. Vehicular traffic in Xavierville is not exactly light.
The place is quite. No other guests, which is good because this small diner would be really cramped even with around 15 people. The semestral break, with students staying home or going home to the province, allows us relative peace in enjoying the place. The place looks and feels sad, so it wouldn’t hurt if the place, by itself, is more perky.
The only staff on the floor, Jerome, immediately sprang into action the moment we came in. And even before he could give us the menu, we already have one word in mind — Gorgon-zola.
Gorgon-zola burger came highly recommended, the reason why we went out to search for Boulevard Diner. It appears to be a crowd favorite, as shown by its own star on the menu. This happy combination of beef, bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion rings and, uhm, peanut butter (we forgot to ask if it has something to do with gorgonzola cheese), will forever define the image of Boulevard Diner in our minds. And stomach.
And to taste the other non-star items in the menu, we Mighty Mimic (lettuce, tomato, beef, cheese, bacon, gorgonzola dressing) and the Cajun Chix Burger (lettuce, tomato, cajun chicken thigh fillet, cheese). Throw in the chicken wings and the Freedom Fries to complete the food groups (we need to have poultry and more vegetables, you know).
And the verdict? The Gorgon-zola is, for its size, really good. It’s the smallest among the prime burgers that we’ve we’ve encountered. But don’t get fooled by the size (although, so it’s not “bitin,” can you guys make it a bigger?). This one has a seriously juicy, succulent beef between those sweet buns. The flavor is great. There’s a tinge of a strong beefy smell in the first bite, yes, bit the Gongon-zola tastes good. It’s a burger that we’d definitely go back for more.
If the Eraserheads believed and sang that there’s a fruitcake for everybody, we also believe that there’s a burger for everybody. Again, just like in the other posts on burgers here (Brothers Burger, Crave Burger, Army+Navy, Burger Project) to each his own. One reader of that post made this suggestion: Army Navy Burger + Burrito. Continue reading Evading the Bully at Army Navy Burger + Burrito
I once thought of having a list of top burgers in the Philippines, with the Brothers Burger definitely at the upper echelon. Then they closed the Rockwell branch (Makati) and I had to transfer my food hunt to their branches in Trinoma Mall and Tomas Morato (both in Quezon City). With the change of hunting grounds came waning interest in having the Top Burgers List. Continue reading Craving for Burger? Crave Burger Restaurant
He dances. He jumps, giggles and give high fives. He goes around the entire area with the same level of high energy. He hugs everyone and that smile never leaves his face. He’s round and always jolly. He’s a bee but he’s red. And he doesn’t fly. Continue reading The Jolly, Red Bee known as Jollibee