Openings and Closings

Philippines Chain Jollibee Coming to Plano: Get Ready to Go Bananas Over the Chicken

A Jollibee pictured in the Philippines
A Jollibee pictured in the Philippines Paroque01/WikiCommons
If you’ve lived in the Philippines, you know that pigs’ heads make a fantastic dish in sisig, the mangos are the best in the world and Jollibees are everywhere.

The Filipino chain is coming to the Dallas area, specifically to Plano, where people can find burgers, fried chicken and spaghetti.

It’s popular in the Philippines, and it’s popular elsewhere, as it’s expanded into the U.S., such as in Los Angeles. The chain does have good fried chicken, which is probably the best thing on the menu.

click to enlarge There's not a Jollibee here, but the chain does come from a beautiful country, seen here. - TAYLOR ADAMS
There's not a Jollibee here, but the chain does come from a beautiful country, seen here.
Taylor Adams
One time when getting stuck in an airport overnight in Los Angeles, we were given free burgers from the fast-food chain. Charitable! But I wouldn’t rush to it over the chicken.

Nor would I toss the chicken for the spaghetti. Yes, spaghetti’s on the menu — you’ll also find it, along with fried chicken, on the menus of McDonald’s there. Some might think it’s weird that there are hot dogs in it. That’s not terrible to my taste buds, but what does throw me off is the ingredient you can find — while living in the Philippines, anyway — in spaghetti, pizza sauce, ketchup, etc.

Banana. Really, the banana ketchup is utilized in items such as spaghetti sauce. So you get a red sauce that leans super sweet. Not horribly sweet but enough to shock you a bit.

"Yeah, they're in for a big shock," says Randall Braud of Not Your Lola’s, our local Filipino pop-up.

"We have some mixed thoughts among the group," he says. "For us it's more about getting part of the Philippines here in Dallas, and opening up that aspect of the Filipino culture here, for us that's a big deal."

He agrees that the fried chicken is the way to go here, and that the place will "kill any fast-food cravings of any kind any day."

click to enlarge Some Halo Halo I had in Manila. Note the beans. - TAYLOR ADAMS
Some Halo Halo I had in Manila. Note the beans.
Taylor Adams
I’m rather excited for people to try a version of Halo Halo, which will apparently be on the menu. While some might just say this is shaved ice with condensed milk and fruits, in the Philippines, it’s more than that.

Along with those things, you’ll get something along the lines of boiled beans, sugar palm sweet potato, cheese and caramelized plantains. It can be layered and served in a tall glass or in a regular bowl. Surely, we’ll see it in something like a paper cup at Jollibee, but I’m curious what all our Plano location will have in it.

Jollibee, 1016 Preston Road, Plano. Expected to open January 2020.
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Taylor Adams has written about the restaurant industry for the Dallas Observer since 2016. Now the Observer's food editor, she attended Southern Methodist University before covering local news at The Dallas Morning News.