There are some food items from home that I don’t crave. I don’t long for the day when I would get to inhale the distinct aroma of delicious grease from a Jollibee (i.e. number one fastfood chain in the Philippines) and scarf down an order of two-piece burger steak with rice drowning in brown gravy. I don’t long to be able to stuff my mouth with cheesy, buttery pillowy ensaimadas (i.e. Filipino style brioche buns smeared with butter, sprinkled with sugar and cheese) or mamon (i.e.Filipino style butter sponge cake). I don’t long to dive into a bowl of unctuous pancit palabok (i.e. vermicelli rice noodles with a complex annato colored, fish and pork sauce topped with shrimp, smoked fish, pork cracklings, boiled egg and spring onions). Not yet. Those things can wait until the time we visit home.
But there are some food items from home that I realized I miss only when I get to see it. I guess the out of sight, out of mind rule applies here. So when I saw Shakey’s Pizza Parlor on Yelp, while searching for places to eat here in sunny California, the craving for greasy, salty, crispy fried chicken and mojos (i.e. Shakey’s signature deep fried battered potato discs) kicked in really hard. And so The Husband and I drove off into the night with hopes that the Shakey’s here would be a replica of the ones we’ve had in the Philippines.
And boy it didn’t disappoint.
The fried chicken tasted the same: salty, peppery, crispy skin with ultra juicy meat, except that it came in massive American sizes. The mojos were the same as well, soaking in the fried chicken oil with crunchy breading. The ranch dip did not come for free though. You have to order it for an additional $0.25 for 2 ounces.
The original thin crust pepperoni pizza was a disappointment. The crust was somehow thicker than what I’ve been used too. But then, for me, Shakey’s Pizza isn’t about the pizza anyway. Shakey’s is all about the fried chicken and mojos.
I alternately licked my fingers, savoring the taste of home, and wiped them on the pile of tissue papers just because it was that greasy. And grease can be good…once in a while.
Though they did not have my other favorite Shakey’s pasta dish: spaghetti with ginormous meatballs, the fried chicken and mojos were more than enough to fulfill the craving of home.
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor USA
Various locations in California, Washington, Alabama, and Hawaii