We used to go to Mang Inasal. Not anymore.
When it started out, we enjoyed the signature marinade, the almost precise perfection of their barbecue method, but most especially the value-for-money aspect: a complete meal for under 100 bucks. You would leave the place satiated and felt almost guilty about getting away with so much for so little.
Is it mere coincidence that under its new owner/management - it was recently bought by food business behemoth and business legend Jollibee - so many of the qualities that made it a veritable hit have burned into a crisp? Or did Jollibee impose its "business model" on their latest franchise?
In any case, don't take my word for it.
Having learned forensics and crime scene investigation not from a formal education program but from mammoth television hits, I decided to take the pictures below to scale the objects properly in their tradition. Take note: I am not a pianist so I cannot be said to possess unusually long metacarpals and phalanges.
At almost 50 pesos a stick, it would be wiser to take my business elsewhere. I haven't checked it out as well, but a friend who used to be a fan of Red Ribbon Bakeshop - also swallowed up by Jollibee - has been vocal about the dwindling portion sizes on a per-slice basis, as well as the upward inflections in price points. (I will have to check this for myself.)
If food business success means leaving behind the sterling qualities that made virtual upstarts such visceral threats for the big volume sellers, we may have to content ourselves with hole-in-the-wall places that will have to remain intensely guarded as to almost rival state secrets.
Throw some suggestions our way, will you?