Battle of the Pepper Steaks

BattleofPepper Steaks

I enjoy fast food every now and then. What I like about the Pinoy fast food scene is the focus on rice meals, which are closer to home-cooked meals that give people the feeling of satiety and satisfaction. (A lot of Filipinos don’t feel a meal is complete without rice; a burger sandwich, then, is just a “snack”.)

The latest battlefield in the Pinoy fast food wars is on the front of burger steaks. Jollibee has had Burger Steak with gravy and rice for the longest time on their menu, but McDonald’s introduced their Mushroom Pepper Steak as a competitor. I’m not sure about the timeline of things, but soon enough Jollibee had their own Pepper Steak.

One good thing that came of this is Jollibee reinstated their two-piece Burger SteakΒ menu item. Prior to facing competition they had phased out the two-piece item, forcing hungry people to order two one-piece Burger Steaks instead.

It was time to put the two pepper steaks to a taste test. While I definitely have the appetite to eat both kinds in one sitting, my waist line won’t allow for further expansion. So, I ate them one week apart, both after arduous gym sessions that left me ravenous. They do say hunger makes meals taste better, so…

Battle of the Burger SteaksBattle of the Burger Steaks


I loved how thick yet soft the McDonald’s patty was. In contrast, Jollibee’s was thinner and the edges overdone. Some people note that McDonald’s used the same patty here as in their Burger McDo, so it’s not 100% real beef unlike Jollibee’s.


Jollibee’s tasted more of pepper, but McDonald’s sauce was so flavorful I spread some of it over the rice, and attempted to scrape up every last bit as I finished my meal.


I like mushrooms and corn equally but the mushrooms melded into the flavor of the sauce better. The corn on the Jollibee steak reminded me too much of KFC’s Chicken a la King sauce, and I prefer that sauce vastly over the Jollibee pepper sauce.


Unlike most people I know, I prefer the McDonald’s dish! Maybe I just like gravy that tastes more like cream of mushroom.

I seem to be in the minority, according to this informal Twitter poll I took.

A little disclosure: I also prefer McDonald’s hamburgers to Jollibee’s Yum burgers, and would buy McDonald’s french fries over Jollibee Crispy fries. But you will only be able to pry Jollibee’s Chickenjoy from my cold, dead hands.

1 Little, 2 Little… 12 Monkeys

(or the time a famous musician bought me a drink)

I’ve not been one to go for nightlife or the local music scene lately simply because I’m a morning person, a somewhat serious athlete, and there’s something about going to a dingy smoky bar late at night just to watch a band perform that makes my asthmatic throat constrict.

12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub at Century City Mall, Makati aims to change that attitude, and from my visit there last Friday I think it might actually work. πŸ™‚

12 Monkeys
12 Monkeys is on the 5th Level

12 Monkeys
fully-stocked bar

12 Monkeys
for the live acts

12 Monkeys
for the DJs

This music hall and pub was set up by the who’s who of Manila’s music, social, and F&B scene. Read more

Kuala Lumpur By My Lonesome

Chalk it up to a sheltered upbringing, but I’ve always traveled with companions when going outside the country. Last year’s Singapore trip was the closest I’d ever gotten to traveling alone, and that was because I needed to fly back to the Philippines earlier than my travel buddy Julia.

Last February 14-18 I went to Kuala Lumpur to attend the Les Mills Ultimate Super Workshop at Sunway Resort Hotel. Anyone familiar with Kuala Lumpur knows that Sunway isn’t inside the city itself, so I booked a room at Sun Inns Hotel Lagoon for about P1,000/night. The listing said it was a 10-minute walk to Sunway Resort from there, so I figured it was convenient enough.

Using Google Maps

Using Google Maps

I would just commute into the city if I wanted to see the Petronas Towers or go shopping at the major malls there. I downloaded some apps to help me get around, like CityMaps2Go, TripAdvisor City Guides, the KL Trains app, and of course, Google Maps. These apps helped me get a general sense of where everything would be in relation to each other, but I knew things would be different once I was actually there. Read more

Tea Time

I used to say that I only had one cup of coffee a week. Then it grew to two. Then three. Before I knew it, I had a full-blown dependence on Starbucks lattes. It didn’t help that for the previous month I’ve been trying to rack up enough stickers to claim a planner.

So I went cold-turkey. And that’s where this belated Christmas basket from Lipton Philippines comes in.

Thanks Lipton for the Christmas basket!

Thanks for the Christmas basket!

I go through phases of what kinds of drinks I prefer. I had this whole orange juice phase, and I’ve just gotten past the coffee phase. The cycle’s coming back to tea, and as I write this entry I’m brewing up a cup of Lipton Yellow Label. Read more