Trailblazers know exactly how to capitalize on their names. With their brand becoming synonymous with their products, there’s only one way up for them. However, this means that some entrepreneurial minds will definitely entertain the idea of numerous off-shoots, separatists, and even spin-offs.
With quality still the deciding factor, only a handful of these derivatives remain—and some even go beyond what their predecessors have achieved. With that in mind, how do these food places bearing the same name fair against one another? And is the original always better than the more famous, more popular version?
Lapid’s Freshly Popped Chicharon and R. Lapid’s Chicharon
Chicharon lovers know that the real deal has a name: Lapid’s. However, two competing chicharon sellers bear the name Lapid. So which is which?R. Lapid’s Chicharon and Barbecue came first in 1974 after Rey Lapid returned from the United States to start anew.
Meanwhile, Jose Jr., the owner of Lapid’s Freshly Popped Chicharon, stayed true to its humble roots and only offered two types of chicharon with only a few but packed branches.
The Original Savory and Classic Savory
When it comes to Chinese-style fried chicken, ask your abuelos and abuelas and they will tell you that the best one is in Escolta, specifically a humble joint named Savory. Unfortunately, the iconic restaurant burned down in 2015 after 65 years of serving plate after plate of delicious fried chicken.
The birthplace of Savory may be gone, but the legacy is still with us. However, two groups of restaurants bearing the same name—both established by the forerunners of the Savory in Escolta—are battling out in the taste arena.On the left corner: The Original Savory, territory of Jose Ting, the youngest of the four brothers who opened the original chain. After acquiring the Escolta branch of Savory, he decided to keep it that way and stay as a down-to-earth family restaurant with branches outside of malls.
Meanwhile, the descendants of Vicente Ting decided to open the mall-friendly version Classic Savory in 2007, which has expanded to more than 60 branches nationwide in a short amount of time.
With both chicken chains claiming to have inherited the original recipe from the original Savory Luncheonette, it’s up to the customers to decide which one lives up to its name.
The Original SaLido Restaurant and Lido Cucina Tsina
From the gritty outskirts of Binondo lies a darling restaurant that has been a favorite among both the old and young.
Serving their trademark braised pork shoulder slowly-roasted to perfection in pugon or old-fashioned brick ovens, Lido has been a common name among food lovers ever since it started its operation before the Second World War.Fast forward to the present times, and it seems like Lido has evolved from a humble joint on Ongpin to a chain of Chinese restaurants. Right? Quite, but not really.
The Ongpin branch, which is just one of its kind, is called The Original SaLido Restaurant. Aside from their sumptuous pork asado, they also have a wide variety of Chinese fares like the hong ma with cuapao (think of the pork buns from David Chang’s Momofuku), chami, and of course, the equally famous siphon-brewed coffee.
Meanwhile, the more dispersed Lido Cocina Tsina has all the same items you loved in the original branch sans the need to make a pilgrimage to Binondo.
If you prefer going back in time and snuffling the lingering aroma of both the roast pork and coffee, then SaLido is your choice. But if you just need a quick asado fix, then head to the nearest Lido and dig in.
Luz – The Original Razon’s and Razon’s of Guagua
While your roadside halo-halo vendor can give you a cold fix this summer, only a few names have been associated with the brand, with the Razon family of Guagua on top of them. However, everyone who has tried the joints around the metro bearing the Razon name may have been misled.The only restaurants built by the Razon siblings are confined in the province of Pampanga, with some branches in NLEX catering to pilgrims headed up north.
The recipe, which was said to be approved by the matriarch Lola Viring, still follows the minimalistic recipe the family has kept for years: macapuno, caramelized bananas, and leche flan.
The Original Pares Mami House and Pares Retiro
Pares, which always has to be a pair (hence, the term pares) of fried rice and beef stew, is often credited to be born on Retiro Street (now N.S. Amoranto Sr. Street).
The original spot of Jonas is said to be the cradle of pares, but it is The Original Pares Mami House that gets more affection from people. As for which one’s actually better, that’s up for debate.While a number of pares offshoots have tried but failed to recreate the success of both Jonas and The Original Pares Mami House, one successful pares place has spawned a few branches in Metro Manila. Pares Retiro, whose name is definitely a homage to its humble roots, has made the Pinoy staple more accessible to all.