Filipinos are known to be no-frills eaters with  simple tastes in their daily food intake.  This must have been due to the fact that  majority of the population could only afford one-dish meals.  And even though how limited the viand is, for as long as long as there’s more than enough rice for everyone, the Pinoy can live with it.

That explains the popularity of the ubiquitous barbecue stand in all the major cities of the country.  Barbecues are cheap, served quick piping hot and can be found anywhere. [quote1]

Let us focus ourselves however on the delicious chicken barbecue.

With so much competition from their own kind, the popular chicken barbecue establishments have began outdoing each other in terms of promotions.  One of them, the nationally present “Mang Inasal” , introduced the “UNLIMITED RICE” Value Meals on its menu.

The rest, as they say, is history.  Now, Mang Inasal has 300 branches all throughout the archipelago.  In GenSan, Mang Inasal can be found at Robinsons, KCC and Gaisano Malls, all touting the “BOTTOMLESS RICE” concept.

Of course, this led the rest of the local chicken barbecue establishments to follow suit with their own “bottomless rice” offerings, giving the generals more choices and more value for their money.

Although not exactly a food expert but someone who just loves food just like the rest of us,  Bariles was able to come up with a list of his own favored choices from among the many chicken restaurants which are offering “eat-all-you-can-rice”.   To aid his readers on how to choose among these restos, he ranked them based on their value for money, taste,  the quality of service and ambience of their dining areas.

Here they are then, Bariles’ list  of theTop 5 Chicken Barbecue Restaurants in GenSan (offering Unlimited Rice).

1. Nadie’s Chicken House

Located in anairy native-cottage inspired building along Santiago Boulevard right across the lot of the future SM City GenSan, Nadie’s Chicken House is the branch of the original restaurant at Tupi, South Cotabato owned by the Basan Family.

Before Nadie’s Chicken House opened an outlet here in 2002, people including Bariles had to drive off to Tupi any time they can to partake of its barbecued chicken which are of native variety, raised from the owners’ own poultry farm and not from some far away commissary.

Nadie’s chicken is simply prepared and marinated in its secret spices.  It is not smothered in barbecue sauce which seems to be the trend in most barbecue houses, so the taste of its meat is not drowned in some sweet and sourish mix.

What you get is pure fat-less, naturally delicious and tender grilled-to-perfection native chicken meat which will make you order for a second and third serving of their free rice.

An order of Nadie’s chicken which comes with a FREE glass of Iced Tea is priced at only P79.

By the way, ask for FREE hot chicken soup as appetizers from its friendly servers.

Nadie’s has plenty of parking space by the way and has a helpful security guard to guide you while parking your car.

2.  Jo’s Chicken Inato

Jo’s Chicken Inato which traces its origins in the university town of Dumaguete in the Visayas has been a favorite of the generals for over 10 years now.   Ever since it opened in GenSan, its only outlet at the South Osmena has been a landmark of sorts for those on the lookout for affordable, delicious and cooked-while-you-wait barbecue meals.

When Iloilo-based Mang Inasal opened at the city’s three malls however and offered unlimited rice even during the “rice shortage” summer of 2009, a portion of  Jo’s loyal clientele shifted loyalties.  And although Jo’s Chicken House has a better menu mix (including its famous buko halo-halo), people were more concerned with the “unlimited rice” appeal of Mang Inasal.

The good news is, Jo’s Chicken Inato eventually fought back and now, it also offers “RICE-NO LIMIT” on its Jo’s chicken inato meals for a pricier P85.   It does not come with a FREE DRINK however but  just a small serving of atsara or pickled papaya shreds.

Jo’s Chicken Inato’s and Nadine’s Chicken House‘s servings are about the same regular size by the way, but on some days, the servings are smaller at Jo’s.

Bariles’ only gripe with Jo’s Chicken House is its tight surroundings and quite stuffy interiors plus its need for more parking space.  Other than that however, its staff is quick to the draw and attentive to customers’ needs.

3.  Mang Inasal

The Chicken House which started it all and made the term “Unlimited Rice” de riguer in most barbecue establishments not only in GenSan but all throughout the country where it has a presence, makes it as #3 in Bariles’ Top 5List of Chicken Barbecue Restaurants!

Mang Inasal’s Chicken are addicting to say the least –  tasty and succulent.  Its meat however is drier at times than those of Nadie’s Chicken House and Jo’s Chicken Inato.  This must be because they have been soaked in marinade and refrigerated longer since they had to be imported from its Iloilo City Commissary.

The good news is, Mang Inasal’s Chicken Servings on its Paborito Meals are bigger and thus more than makes it up to its diners who go more for value.   A Pecho Paborito Meal (with bottomless rice) can be had for P85 while a Paa Paborito Meal (also with no-limit rice) goes for P82.

And yes, they serve you FREE Fish Sinigang Soup too, if you ask for it from their attentive waiters.  (Beware of the soup if you’re not into “super alat-super asim” flavor.)

Among its three branches in GenSan, Bariles loves the one at Robinsons because it has got more room to move around and the floor is not sticky especially within the handwash area.

And yes! Being inside the mall, no sweating it out while partaking of your 2nd chicken leg!

4.  BeeStop Chicken

Bariles’ fourth Chicken Barbecue on the list is BeeStop Chicken, a homegrown Chicken House with branches all over the city, including a stall atRobinsons Food Court and a new and bigger main branch at RD Building, Santiago Boulevard.

Not necessarily known for its barbecued chicken but by its fried chicken value meals at first, BeeStop has joined the fray and has started offering a grilled chicken variant.

Currently, aside from Bee’s Fried Chicken and Garlic Chicken making up its UNLIMITED RICE MEALS, they now have Bee’s Chicken Inasal, priced at only P75, the cheapest in this list.

[quote2] Undeniably, BeeStop’s Fried Chicken are among the most delicious in GenSan and will continue to be its main draw.  The Chicken BBq market is bigger in GenSan though and it’s a good business decision for its owners to include it in their menu.

Although smaller in size compared to its competitors, BeeStop’s Chicken Inasal does not disappoint.  Lightly brushed with BeeStop’s very own Barbecue sauce, the soft grilled meat of their chicken is delicious enough not to be overpowered by the sweet taste of the BBQ sauce.

Its newly improved main branch also is also spacious enough to accommodate almost a hundred diners and is comfortably cool with ceiling and wall fans all around.  The only problem is the smoke from their grilling station which kept on wafting out into the dining area from time to time.

Ms. Cha, the lovely owner however who was there to supervise everything more than made up for this with her graciousness and candor and made Bariles and his group of friends who were dining there feel very, very welcome.

5.  Penong’s Barbecue Seafoods and Grill

At #5 is the newest Chicken BBQ in town, Penong’s Barbecue Seafoods and Grill owned by a group of Davaoenos who decided to open a branch here in GenSan since it is reportedly doing very well there.

Their GenSan branch opened a few weeks ago at the Lagao National Highway, across the Mercury Drug Branch.

When Bariles first ate at Penong’s three weeks after it opened, it was during the lunch break from his office which, as he later finds out, was not a good decision. Although he and his friends chose to stay at a table near the main entrance, the place was still stuffy and excruciatingly very warm. The resto definitely needed more cooling fans.

Their orders of the chicken value meals with the “Rice All You Kan-Un” (according to their tarps), came 30 minutes after they ordered them and after a lot of follow-ups on the numerous staff who seemed to be all over the place.

After waiting for some time for their chicken, Bariles was quite disappointed when he found that the servings were quite too small than what he expected and from what he was used to in GenSan’s other chicken bbq restos.

Despite this and although not much of a saucy person, he immediately consumed his sauce-smothered chicken in no time at all.  He pleasantly found out later that even without its catsupy sauce, Penong’s chicken actually tastes very good and its meat is soft and juicy with every bite.

No wonder Penong’s Seafoods and Barbecue Grill’s chicken is famous all over Davao.  Now if they could only do something about the place and improve on its services, Penong’s would surely give its older competitors in GenSan a run for their money.

End of List.

So there, for all its worth is Bariles TOP 5 List of Chicken Barbecue Restaurants in General Santos City (offering Unlimited Rice).

Now do you agree with his rankings?

Watch out for our next list: The Top 5 List of Best Siopaos in GenSan!