OPEN: Daily 9:00am — 12:00am
PAYMENT: Cash and Credit Card (Dine In Only, No Surcharge, No Minimum, Must Have ID)
SEATING: Indoor/Smoking (Enclosed Patio), Indoor/Non-Smoking (Main Dining Room)
DELIVERY: Available Until 10:00pm — Cash Only
LOCAL PHONE #: (045) 322-4448, (045) 625-7644
MENU: See Attached PDF, prices and menu as of Sept. 23, 2013
LOCATION: See Map Below
View AFC (Angeles Fried Chicken) Restaurant in a larger map
Fried Chicken In Asia
When most people of the Western world think about fried chicken they typically associate it with Southern cooking or the larger fast food chains like KFC or Popeye’s. But fried chicken in Asia is ubiquitous and pervasive in just about every restaurant. KFC is one of the largest and most popular fast food chains in all of Asia. McDonald’s and every other fast food chain in this part of the world has bone-in, fried chicken on their menus and in some areas it outsells their burger items. It’s common to see street vendors on bicycles or motorbikes with a side car of scalding hot oil and battered pieces of chicken ready for frying. Fried chicken dishes thrive in the Asian market and are far more common than beef or hamburger dishes as a main meal.
One of the Oldest Restaurants In Angeles City
Locals have been eating at AFC (Angeles Fried Chicken) for over 40 years, yet many foreigners and tourists miss out on some of the best fried chicken dinners Angeles City has to offer which is less than 5 minutes drive from the main hotel/restaurant and entertainment area. Some of the keys to its long-term success has been keeping a core group of cooks and servers together for over 40 years, which is almost unheard of in the food service business. Prices and quality are also far superior to other establishments and finally, AFC focuses on doing one thing great…fried chicken dinners. This is without a doubt the quintessential, sit down style, fried chicken restaurant of yesteryear and walking inside feels like stepping backwards in time.
Running the Colonel Out of Town
AFC started out as the first Kentucky Fried Chicken in Pampanga, Philippines. Romeo, who has been working at AFC for 42 years, is a warm, knowledgeable and attentive server who can regale you with grandiose stories about how the Filipinos stole Col. Sanders “11 secret herbs and spices recipe,” his Kentucky bow tie and sent him back to the United States under threats of death. With secret recipe in hand, they changed the letter “K” to an “A” on the sign and began operating as AFC.
I’m not entirely sure how true this story is, but there are signs that suggest that at least some of the legendary tale is accurate. Consider:
- Serving staff wear uniforms exactly like the old Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants (Pre-KFC re-brand days)
- The chicken breading tastes exactly how I remember KFC chicken in the 1980s
- Breast pieces are cut into two pieces exactly like Kentucky Fried Chicken used to serve
- Red and white checkered table clothes adorn the tables
- Other menu items like gravy, mashed potatoes and coleslaw resemble old KFC flavors
Taking A Trip Back In Time
When you step into AFC’s dimly lit, windowless dining room it’s like stepping through a vortex that takes you back in time 30 years. Once your eyes adjust to the light, you’ll likely find yourself the only foreigner in a restaurant filled with Filipinos at lunch or dinner. This should be your first clue that you’re on to something special and about to enjoy a delicious fried chicken meal. Filipinos know their fried chicken and the place is often packed with businessmen, families and local city officials chowing down on lunch, dinner or celebrating special events.
If you’re lucky, Romeo will be your server and will welcome you at the door. Ask him to give you the history of place as he is one of the original workers. If you’re a purist like me, tell him you want to sit at one of the tables with the original seats which are much more comfortable and add an historic aspect to your dining experience.
What To Order?
While there are other options on the menu I would recommend a Western style, old school KFC-like meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw and roll. Sit back, take in the historic atmosphere and get ready to sink your teeth into some juicy fried chicken that will bring back childhood memories of what Kentucky Fried Chicken used to taste like before it became fast food and over commercialized.
Your server will bring you a small complimentary bowl of fish crackers which are crispy, not too fishy tasting and delicious. I always order the Lunch, Crispy with roll and a side order of mashed potatoes. This meal for 220 pesos (approximately $5.00) consists of 3 pieces of fried chicken (Crispy has slightly more breading than Regular), coleslaw, gravy and your choice of rice or roll. A side order of mashed potatoes is an additional 75 pesos (approximately $1.72).
I find 3 pieces to be enough for a meal, but additional breast pieces are available for 70 pesos (approximately $1.60) each as well as additional side items. Keep in mind these two things:
- These are not hormone injected, giant chicken pieces and may appear small compared to what your are used to consuming.
- There are 2 types of chicken breast pieces like KFC formerly served. One section with breast meat and ribs, the other piece with breast meat sections only. Be sure to specify which pieces you prefer.
Your girlfriend or date is likely going to only eat 1 or 2 pieces of chicken. Do yourself and her a favor: Order her the 3 piece Lunch (with rice of course instead of the roll), then swap out the pieces you want. Trust me, she doesn’t want the breast pieces and prefers the wings, thighs and legs. In this scenario you’re likely to get 2 or 3 breast portions for yourself without ordering additional pieces.
Crispy and Juicy Comfort Food You’ll Be Back For Again and Again
With two Lunch, Crispy with roll orders, side of mashed potatoes and an order of AFC Fried Rice placed I sit back and await my meal while sipping on an ice cold Mountain Dew as my girlfriend rambles on about something I’m not even listening to. My mind is pre-occupied with the forthcoming, hot, juicy and crispy chicken that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into.
Finally Romeo brings out our food. I quickly switch out the breast pieces and leave my girlfriend with 2 wing pieces. I bite into the crispy outside breading and hot chicken juice burns my mouth. A fork full of mashed potatoes with gravy, coleslaw and a sip of Mountain Dew subsides the burning sensations. I’m instantly taken back to my childhood days of eating Kentucky Fried Chicken as I remember it.
The mashed potatoes are as good as you’re going to get in Asia, meaning acceptable, but nothing like the light and fluffy U.S. style I’m used to. Still much better than most anything anyone else has to offer and a must with a fried chicken dinner. A dash of salt, pepper and hot sauce enhances their flavor. The homemade gravy for the fried chicken and mashed potatoes is tasty and nice accompaniment.
The roll is surprisingly delicious and something I always look forward to with this meal at AFC, don’t miss out on it. The AFC Fried Rice is a combination fried rice with chunks of chicken, shrimp, egg and vegetables. I rarely order it unless I’m with my girlfriend, but enjoy it when I do. It’s total carb overkill with the mashed potatoes and roll.
The small serving of coleslaw is enough for me but I should have never convinced the girlfriend to try it and the roll which she now eats and won’t give me. At least I’m still getting one over on her with the chicken breasts, but it was much better and cheaper for me when she was just fried chicken and white rice.
The Never Ending Trip Down Memory Lane
I’m completely happy and full every time I eat at AFC. It’s one of my favorite places in all of Angeles City to eat or have delivered. It’s a total throw back to what fried chicken places used to be about in taste and atmosphere. The bill total with drinks and tip came to 611 pesos (approximately $14.15) for two of us, but you can easily spend less than $5.00 alone and enjoy a hearty , comfort food meal that will send you down memory lane of what KFC used to be and taste like.
I hope AFC never changes a thing and that their staff stays another 20 years and teaches the younger servers and cooks everything they know. In a place where restaurants change drastically and frequently with staff and cook turnover, AFC has maintained a competent staff, a high quality standard, fair price and continues to serve a simple, immaculately prepared fried chicken dinner that transcends all cultural barriers and is truly heavenly in taste.