November 24, 2019

BBX - Manila's Fastfood 2.0

Just a few days ago I was ranting to my mumma that I’m quite vexed about eating fast food or convenience store food for the majority of the week. I said I was longing for some home-cooked meal that I don’t get to enjoy that often nowadays. I don’t cook in my apartment, primarily because I’m too tired to do so after arriving from work so I want something instant to feed myself. My only source of home-cooked meals, my mother’s house, has rarely done some cooking. Almost everyone there is busy; at work or out and about. Most times they just buy food for the dogs and don’t bother cook anymore.

I don’t have any problem with fast food, I just don’t like the thought of eating processed food all the freaking time. Only if all fast-foods are like other fast casual restaurants that take into consideration the quality of their food. I mean, I don’t mind paying a little extra if I am served with food that I’ll seriously enjoy and tastes amazing; not just to put something in my belly just for the sake of eating something to get me through the day (or night in my case).

I don’t know, but I really like I’m throwing my hard-earned money for whenever I buy or eat something that didn’t give me joy. I wish I can throw it like what Mari Kondo advices, but heck, that’s food and no matter how unhappy I am with what I’m putting in my mouth, I can’t just throw it away. It’s bad to throw away food, unless they’re already spoiled.

Last weekend, I went to Glorietta 2 with my foodie friends to try out Lowbrow Casual Restaurants’ new concept: BBX. Lowbrow Casual Restaurants is the company behind the brands: Bad Bird, Fowlbread, Beefier and Flower Boy. I’ve only tried Beefier in the past and have blogged about it here: Beefier - Probably The Best Burgers You Can Sink Your Teeth Into! Anyhoo, BBX does not mean Bad Bird Express. It used to, but it drifted further and further away so now it stands on its own. It’s the “Fastfood 2.0" if you may, a major update to the convenience-driven gospel spread by McDonald's and Jollibee with its fastfood chains. At BBX, they want to bring their standard of quality in food, service, and design to a restaurant that won't inflict too much pain on everyone's wallets.

My friend describes BBX as a modern and hip American-Filipino eatery or diner cuz it’s a little sosh/posh, it’s in Glorietta so… The space is not that huge, actually an L-shaped restaurant but can still sit a lot of people. IMO, it can be mistaken as a Korean resto because of its color scheme and the use of back lit signs. On the Saturday that we were there, the place was packed; when people leave, another group will come in. It’s fairly new but it seems people are curious and flocking to BBX to see what they have to offer.

I actually have three reasons why I love this new resto:

1. All the best-selling dishes from all of Lowbrow Casual Restaurants can be found on BBX’s menu. Like most fastfood restaurants, BBX is sticking to the core items: fried food, rice, and sandwiches. Most people usually define menus by cuisine, but that's getting old. The world has changed and to define fried chicken as American food has become archaic. So BBX is kind of like the United Nations where you'll be seeing just a small amount of several cultures in it. The menu is extensive but not overwhelming nor underwhelming either. Plus, they added some new dishes and tasty desserts in there too!  Below are the menu items that we got to try:

Fried Chicken Plate –  BBX’s Fried Chicken Plate is the best-selling dish from Bad Bird. This fried chicken, with more than 11 secret herbs and spices, will arrive piping hot and juicy every single time. In pursuit of speed, fastfood chains don't hesitate to dump their birds to wilt in a warmer like a misbehaving kid on timeout. Their fried chicken comes in safe (non-spicy) and spicy. BBX’s fried chicken is tasty and juicy with a great crispy skin. My friends who have tried this at Bad Bird, commented that it tasted the same and so is the quality. It’s a comforting dish that is familiar yet unique.

Double Longganisa Rice Plate – this comes with longganisa patties, sunny side up egg, pickled papaya (atchara), rice and vinegar dip. This is one of the Filipino dishes tat you would find amongst the majority Western-majority filled menu of BBX. At first, I wasn’t expecting too much of this longganisa, thinking this would taste similar to the longa burgers I’ve tried before which is usually sweet, but I was wrong, this tasted really great. It reminded me of my favorite garlic-pepper flavored longganisa. This is a must try!

Double Burger Steak Rice Plate – 100% fresh ground beef, smashed & seared to perfection. I’m guessing this is from the Beefier menu because it tasted exactly just like the one I’ve tried from Beefier. Reasonably-sized and juicy beef burger patties with rice, corn and cheese and house made gravy. You know what, this dish can just fly with just the patty and the rice and I’m all for it!

Ruben Sandwich – The Ruben, a fake Reuben, with corned beef and pickled onions, and just as good as the real thing. A little bit greasier than I would like but it tasted good so I’m not complaining. If you’re not feeling to eat a full rice meal, this would be a great alternative to fill you up!

Crispy Fish Sandwich – like Beefier’s burgers, this crispy fish sandwich uses artisanal buns from local bakers which uses potato starch making it tastier than the usual burger buns you’ve tried before. This is a healthier choice if you don’t want to eat other heavy meats. The fish fillet is soft and juicy with a crispy coating.

Garlic and Butter BB Crispers – crispy fried boneless chicken thigh flavored with garlic and butter. Another fried chicken entry to BBX’s menu and is equally good and crispy just like the fried chicken plate. The garlic and butter combo were perfect and I still yet to try the other flavors.

Corn and Cream Cheese  – one of the side dishes offered by BBX which you can also find in the Beefier menu. I loved this the first time I tried it and at BBX it still tasted great. Everyone of us enjoyed and loved it.

Garlic Sesame Chicken Salad – a light and fresh salad with strips of fried chicken, sourdough croutons, romaine, and arugula. This is the only one salad on the menu, but it’s a fighter. A great way to start a meal at BBX. 

Mango Coconut Huskies – in BBX’s current pool of restaurants, they didn’t spend too much time with their dessert lineup, but they wanted to do it differently this time around. So far BBX has two deserts on their menu and one of that is the Huskies aka Chia & Coconut Milk Parfaits which can function as breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dessert. Most desserts don’t come healthy, but this one not only that it tastes good it is also healthy. Reminds me a lot of the overnight oats that I used to make.

BB Cakes – with BBX’s desserts, they are taking a sugar-light approach. Most chains use sugar like a mini-gun and just let it rip. This is a stealthy, cost-cutting measure because sugar is cheap and delicious, and using lots of it gets you money in the bank. But to BBX (and I guess for everyone too), banana bread should taste like bananas, ube cake should taste like ube, and chocolate drinks should taste like chocolate. So they went easy on the sweets. We tried the Spiced Pumpkin and Cream Cheese BB Cake and the Ube and White Chocolate BB Cake. I am not a fan of anything pumpkin spice, but to my surprise this tasted good; the flavor of the spiced pumpkin is not that too strong and the cream filling of the cake balanced it. As for the ube, of course I liked it; I like anything that is ube! This flavor is a good mix of Filipino and Western flavor in a cake. What will make this even more delish is if they used coconut or macapuno flavor for the cream filling rather than white chocolate. Just my two cents, nonetheless it's a yummy soft sponge cake.

2. Although price points have been made affordable (nothing greater than 250 bucks), the quality of their food remains the same, just like with their other brands. The burger steak has the same great fresh smoky taste just like the ones I’ve tried from BBX’s sister brand Beefier. At their PHP 150-250 prices for most meals, they are still more than what you'd get in a typical fastfood chain. You could argue that it's still a little bit pricey, but they are delivering 10 times the quality at only a 30% higher price point. By the way, all the meals at BBX can be upgraded with a drink plus a side dish for only 99 pesos. 

3. BBX encourages self-service and clean-as-you-go dining etiquettes. They have a whole counter where people can get their condiments and other needed materials for dining and if you have leftovers, you can pack them yourself too.  I mean, shouldn’t we have started practicing that years ago? I’m just glad BBX is one of those restos that reminds us to do just that!

BBX is not here to reinvent the wheel and do cartwheels with the food. They are making stuff that people already love and They have improved the process and added small but significant touches to make them standout. You can visit BBX at the 2nd floor of the Glorietta 2, it’s just across Max’s restaurant.

Second Floor, Glorietta 2, Ayala Center,
Glorietta Complex, Makati City
Contact Nos: 02 73738659

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile:
BBX Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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