Jollibee Times Square
The last time I found myself waiting on a long line outside a fried chicken restaurant, it was the opening of Chick-Fil-A near Herald Square. Fast forward a few years later to 8th Avenue in Times Square and it is deja vu all over again. Only this time it's the popular Filipino chicken chain, Jollibee, whose mascot happens to be a giant animated bee. The big draw is the crispy golden fried chicken made with special spices and served with gravy. It's a recipe known around the world, but new to Manhattan. The chicken is sold by the piece, the bucket, in strips and sandwiches. It comes in various sizes and prices that are competitive (if not cheaper) than other similar chains. Another signature dish, believe it or not, is spaghetti. You can get it solo or with chicken on the side. The sauce is rather sweet, but my son was diggin' it. Other sides include mashed potatoes with gravy, buttered corn and bowls of white rice. For dessert, there are peach mango hand pies and ice cream sundaes. Bee-utiful!
- Thomas Rafael