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We visited the 'McDonald's of the Philippines,' which serves spaghetti and fried chicken alongside its burgers — here's what it's like

Business Insider Logo By Hollis Johnson,Kate Taylor of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 22: <p>A Filipino fast-food behemoth is gearing up to take over the US.</p><p> It seems there's a <a href="http://www.jollibeeusa.com/">Jollibee</a> on every corner in the Philippines - in fact, it's one of the few chains that has successfully maintained market dominance over McDonald's in its home country. Even as McDonald's ramps up its Asian expansion, Jollibee has held its own with <a href="http://www.rappler.com/business/165545-jollibee-mcdonalds-contractualization-issues-philippines"> 978 locations</a> compared with 521 McDonald's.</p><p> Now, Jollibee is coming for McDonald's on its home turf. The chain has 36 locations in the US and plans to open new restaurants in states including Illinois and Florida this year. Jollibee also acquired a 50% stake in American burger chain Smashburger in 2015, and is reportedly considering a deal to <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/jollibee-considers-pret-a-manger-acquisition-2017-9?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=msn-slideshow&utm_campaign=bodyurl"> acquire British sandwich chain Pret A Manger.</a></p><p> The brand holds a special place in the heart of many Filipino expats. Jian DeLeon wrote in <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/features/2016/09/jollibee-love-letter-filipino-food"> First We Feast</a> that the chain offered such people "a nostalgic taste of home at a price most of us can swallow."</p><p> We, on the other hand, enter not as Filipino food experts but as two fast-food loving New Yorkers eager to see how the growing chain compares to the competition.</p>

A Filipino fast-food behemoth is gearing up to take over the US.

It seems there's a Jollibee on every corner in the Philippines - in fact, it's one of the few chains that has successfully maintained market dominance over McDonald's in its home country. Even as McDonald's ramps up its Asian expansion, Jollibee has held its own with 978 locations compared with 521 McDonald's.

Now, Jollibee is coming for McDonald's on its home turf. The chain has 36 locations in the US and plans to open new restaurants in states including Illinois and Florida this year. Jollibee also acquired a 50% stake in American burger chain Smashburger in 2015, and is reportedly considering a deal to acquire British sandwich chain Pret A Manger.

The brand holds a special place in the heart of many Filipino expats. Jian DeLeon wrote in First We Feast that the chain offered such people "a nostalgic taste of home at a price most of us can swallow."

We, on the other hand, enter not as Filipino food experts but as two fast-food loving New Yorkers eager to see how the growing chain compares to the competition.

© Hollis Johnson

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