Oh Kenny

The Kenny Rogers Roasters branch in SM San Lazaro recently opened after months of renovation. I’d been meaning to eat there again because since returning from Cambodia I haven’t set foot in it. Before I left in 2004 I was a regular customer at their branch in Robinsons Place in Malate. Anyway for some reason, I kept on walking past the store to eat at other places. Finally, yesterday, while I was waiting to catch a movie in Trinoma, I decided to grab a quick lunch. I didn’t want to eat at fast food restaurants, for reasons I have already shared in this blog. So I chose Kenny Rogers because technically, it’s not a fast food restaurant. Besides, I saw in the menu that they have ‘healthier options’ so in I went.

The first thing I realized about their ‘healthy’ dishes was that everything seemed to have white rice, which I have been trying to avoid. I thought I’d be better off with a piece of chicken, and 2 side dishes–which I can choose–leave the chicken skin untouched, and skip the rice altogether (even if it comes with the meal).

But when my order was served, I was very disappointed. I mean, look at the photo below. The plate just looks so sad. They should have used a smaller plate if they wanted the illusion of ample servings. Compared to the huge scoop of rice in the ramekin, the steamed vegetables were paltry and they didn’t look freshly steamed. There was no flavor as well. Before, their steamed vegetables were well-seasoned with herbs like rosemary and oregano but there was no hint of those on these. I was one of the first customers so it made me wonder if they served me yesterday’s leftovers. The mashed potato was so-so, lacking the creaminess that I always associated with Kenny Rogers Roasters of long ago. The chicken (minus the skin), fortunately, was as tasty as I remembered it.

kenny-rogers-092314

It was an un-satisfying lunch over all. What happened, Kenny Rogers Roasters?

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