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Providence Cicero Goes Clubbin'; Crosscut Ponders Jollibee

The Seattle Times' Providence Cicero heads to the mall, namely Vegas-y chainlet Munchbar, where former BOKA Kitchen + Bar executive chef Seis Kamimura serves "finger-licking fare that stimulates the sale of mojitos, margaritas and pitchers of beer." Moments of greatness include truffle-tinged mac and cheese balls and "Puget Sound Bites," a pile of "deep-fried shrimp, cod, squid, carrot sticks and green beans with a side of bracing tartar sauce." The grilled tuna salad is a little less "gut-busting," or the truly health minded can order the boozy Captain Munch's root beer float, containing half & half, "root beer-flavored vodka, root beer schnapps and Root Beer Blast, a caffeinated energy drink that its maker boasts has 'no sugar, no carbs, only eight calories and plenty of B vitamins.'" All this and a "vast, multi-screened, graffiti-splashed" environment nets Munchbar 2.5 stars. [Seattle Times]

Hugo Kugiya's latest 'Eating on the Edge' takes him to the mall as well, visiting Westfield Southcenter's Jollibee, aka the "McDonalds of the Philippines." Framing this bustling eatery in the context of fast food's role in international relations--seriously, what can't this man do? Located in only five U.S. states, Jollibee serves "Filipino renditions of Chinese, Japanese, and American dishes, all of which have become part of what defines Filipino cooking, a mash-up of Chinese, Malay, Spanish, and American traditions." However "the franchise is all about the fried chicken," its crispy skin and the accompanying cup of gravy. The burgers are similar to their American fast food counterparts, "but slightly sweeter, owing to the seasonings and the sauce put on them." The Filipino spaghetti--similar to Cincinnati-style chili. "Eating at Jollibee is not like eating Grandma’s cooking, nor is it the most deeply authentic experience a diner can have eating Filipino food. But the experience, the shared event, is deeply Filipino." [Crosscut]
[Photo courtesy of Munchbar]


505 Bellevue Sq, Bellevue, WA

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