We’re all in search of a little joy in this life. But for diners who have traveled to the Philippines or to other parts of the United States that have already experienced fast-food restaurant Jollibee, that quest may more likely be for Chickenjoy.
Chickenjoy is the brand’s name for its signature fried chicken, a juicy, crispy icon that will have first-timers quickly forgetting all about the Colonel. And NoVA locals are willing to wait for it. When our region’s first location opened in Alexandria, crowds waited for more than two hours to gain entry.
All this for a little Chickenjoy? As one fan, Ixchel May, explains, a nearby Jollibee means more than just a few extra pounds to Filipinos. “When you want to treat your kid for a good report card, you take your kids to Jollibee. It brings nostalgia to many of us Pinoys,” she explains. “Jollibee is deeply connected to our culture. We are badly underrepresented as a country. But we are slowly gaining momentum.”
That forward movement includes yet another Jollibee in Northern Virginia — a store in Chantilly is slated to start serving chicken and more before the end of the year.
More? That includes our favorite, Jolly Spaghetti. The sweet sauce, which may remind Westerners of ketchup, is piled with chunks of ham, ground beef, and slices of hot dogs. Yellow cheese that slowly melts on top completes the idiosyncratic dish. Looking for something a little more traditional? The Palabok Fiesta is a classic version of pancit palabok, skinny rice noodles in a garlicky sauce that’s topped with pork, shrimp, and an egg.
Sure, there are more traditional Filipino eats in NoVA, but there’s no experience quite like crunching into a morsel of Chickenjoy. 4809 Beauregard St., Alexandria
This story originally ran in our September issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.