Famous Filipino restaurant now open in Ariz.

Jollibee made its first Arizona debut in Chandler, and has been a big hit in the Filipino-American community. But are these long lines worth it?

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Isabel Behrendt

Jollibee's 6-piece Chickenjoy bucket with gravy, fries, adobo rice, and peach mango pie.

It takes a certain amount of dedication to wake up at four in the morning, three days after Christmas, and wait in line for upwards of two to five hours, filled with people of all ages and demographics holding posters, and dressed in red and white clothing. No, this is not a protest, this is the opening of a new restaurant. Being the first location in Arizona, people statewide lined up around the new restaurant with signs saying, “It’s Our Turn!” 

So what is all the hype about? 

After nearly a month of Jollibee’s grand opening, lines nearly wrapping the corner of the building can be seen as the door opens to let a few lucky people ready to have a jolly afternoon or evening. 

Having originated in the Philippines, Jollibee is known for its signature crispy chicken legs and thighs ready to be drenched with their house-made beef gravy. Although their menu sounds very American-based for a Filipino restaurant, you can get a taste of the Philippines with their seasoned adobo rice, spaghetti with banana ketchup, and palabok topped with shrimp and egg. 

The restaurant itself tends to be on the smaller side; however, the fast-paced environment of ordering with ease and employees keeping the restaurant in ideal condition as well as quickly delivering food allows for the long wait to be seamlessly cut short. 

Having tried some of their most popular items, I can fully attest that this food is definitely worth the wait! 

Known for their Chickenjoy meal, this crispy and authentically-seasoned chicken adds a twist on the stereotypical, greasy American fried chicken. Although there is a limit on how many chicken buckets you are able to order, a six piece bucket of Chickenjoy will only set you back $10, and leave more space in your wallet for their other classic dishes. 

Those dishes also include the Jolly Spaghetti I mentioned earlier. Although ketchup on any noodle dish may seem odd, the Filipino-styled banana ketchup adds a sweet and smooth flavor in contrast to the tangy, savory tomato in ketchup. 

However, if chicken and spaghetti isn’t your taste, they have other fast food with a twist such as burgers and steaks topped with their ever-famous gravy and mushrooms with a side of fluffy white rice.  

On the topic of gravy, Jollibee gravy can go on everything and anything. Fries normally? Decent. Fries drenched in beef gravy goodness? Delicious! 

Lastly, it is time to move on to the sweet treats on the menu. Uniquely enough, their pineapple juice has the right amount of sweet and sour to complement each other, and is popular with people of all ages. And lastly, the star of the show: peach mango pie. 

There are not enough words in English or Tagalog combined to enunciate how delicious these flaky, fruit-filled pies are. Having the shape of a McDonald’s apple pie, the peach mango pie puts the McDonald’s across the street to shame with its crispy, buttery crust and fruity inside bursting with sweetness and flavor. This is arguably the best thing at Jollibee, and leftover pie is great for breakfast the next day.

In short, I highly recommend ordering 50 peach mango pies. Although the limit is 10 per customer, maybe grab some friends to wait in line as you are greeted with a jolly meal and atmosphere.