Blog 060 > The Filipino Experience!

Most of you have heard of the “Star Trek Experience” thrill-ride at the Las Vegas Hilton, right? Well, today was quite a “Filipino Experience”! Weeks or months ago, when my best buddy Vanessa first mentioned the Filipino fast-food chain “Jollibee“, I was pretty skeptical. Apparently, it’s quite popular in California as well as the Philippines of course. But the “McDonald’s” of Filipino cuisine? Fast-food spaghetti? Hmmm, I wondered if it could be like Panda Express, but yeah, skeptical…

Well, today, since Vanessa found out that the VERY FIRST Las Vegas “Jollibee” was open today (or pretty recently), she invited me to join her to pick up some food after work. Sure! As a Filipino with a pathetic lack of Filipino culture, I thought this was definitely an opportunity. I drove to her office, then at about 5:30pm, I followed her car North on Dean Martin Drive, East on Tropicana (past the Las Vegas Strip, the MGM casino, etc), North on Maryland (past UNLV), then turned into the big Best Buy and Barnes & Noble parking lot area. Jollibee’s was situated at the far right corner of the lot. And at about 5:45pm, it was freakin’ packed! Swarming with so many cars that we decided to park quite a distance away. I’ve never seen so many Filipinos before, LOL! Fortunately, I brought my trusty old HP digicam for such unique occasions…

001 – For the first few photos, here’s the interior of the Seafood City Marketplace, including Chowking on the right, and Jollibee on the left (out of view). Packed! And packed enough that Vanessa joked about bumping a girl into me so I could meet someone, hahaha! Awww, how sweet and thoughtful!

002 – Although Chowking indeed sounds Chinese, Vanessa assures me it’s a popular Filipino food place, lol.

003 – More Chowking.

004 – Here’s a shot of the open dining area next to Chowking. In the distance, you can see additional stores coming soon. And walking to the right, that guy in the black T-shirt is heading towards the supermarket area (out of view).

005 – In my hand, the Jollibee menu!

006 – At the entrance, the huge statue of the Jollibee bee! Is he dressed up as a waiter? Or as a chef? Hmmm…

007 – Another shot of the entrance. By this time, our line has only travelled half the distance to the actual order counters inside! About 6:30pm or so…

008 – An even closer shot of the bee!

009 – Hey, it’s Jay and the Bee! Unsteady photo taken by the camera-shy Vanessa, lol.

Funny side story: Before reaching the counters, maybe 6:45pm, I noticed one pretty Jollibee register girl named Sandra. She almost looked familiar, like an actress. And youngish too, maybe 18 years old? Then again, hard to tell with Asians, lol. Within minutes, Vanessa pointed her out to me, haha! Vanessa guessed she was mixed Filipino-Caucasian from the light-brown shade of her hair. And she teased me about talking to her, lol. I asked if she was wearing a ring. Vanessa said nope, she already checked and was way ahead of me! But maybe they didn’t wear rings working at such a food place. Vanessa said nope, others were wearing rings, lol! I told her how funny it was that we have the same taste in women, hahaha! Finally, about 7pm, we finally reached the order counters so Vanessa could give our total order! Sadly, it took about another half hour to finally get our food, pay and leave!

010 – Well, finally home about 8pm. But of course, switching from my HP to my Canon, more photos! “With over 500 stores worldwide. US, Philippines, Hong Kong, Guam, Saipan, Vietnam, Brunei.”

011 – (A) On the far left, the “Palabok Fiesta”: Noodles, sauce, pork, shrimps, garlic, smoked fish and eggs. (B) In the top center, the “Burger Steak”: Burger patties, mushrooms, gravy and rice. (C) In the top right, the “Jolly Spaghetti with Chickenjoy”: Spaghetti, tomato meat sauce, chicken. (D) Below C, is a gravy and a “Banana Langka Pie” (reminiscent of those similarly-shaped McDonald’s apple pies). Everything smelled great!

012 – Closeup of A and B.

013 – Another closeup of A and B.

014 – A, B, C and D.

015 – B, C and D.

016 – At about 8:30pm, finally tasted them! Fast-food rating: 5 of 5 stars! Can’t wait for the next taste test, LOL!