News Bites: Philippine chain Jollibee lands in Plano and fine dining with one side of COVID testing

Welcome to SideDish’s weekly need-to-know mailing New Bites, from silent shutdowns to opening updates and everything in between, including coronavirus related information.

Joy for Jollibee
One of the Philippines’ most beloved exports comes in the form of Chickenjoy fried chicken, hot ube-filled pastries, and spaghetti with sweet sauce. Yes one Jollibee will open at 1016 Preston Road in Plano tomorrow, August 20th. (The dining room will remain closed; pickup and drive-thru services, as well as take out will be available.) The popular fast food chain has finally heeded the appeal of North Texas Filipinos who have asked the mark to bring their tocino and tapa breakfast combos with garlic fried rice. Personally, I’m thrilled with the halo-halo drive-thru (which stands for mix-mix), a frozen dessert with a myriad of toppings ranging from sweet beans and condensed milk to ube ice cream. Think of it as improved shaved ice and similar to Vietnamese cheese. For more Filipino flavors, take a look at foods from pop-up and take-out operations like Oulam, Bahay (a Hella Lumpia and Bilbao collaboration), Not your Lola (back after a break), and, for the pâtés, there is The Pandesal Palace.

New Netflix Chef’s Table Trailer Has a Familiar Voice
You can hear the familiar voice of Texas monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn, who is based in Dallas, trailer for the last Chef’s table. The next series on Netflix focuses on the barbecue, something Texans are familiar with. But it looks like the show will also delve into the ancient and indigenous origins of the cooking style. I can’t wait to learn something new and be terribly hungry at the same time. Chef’s table: BBQ premieres September 2.

Test, test …
Bullion has partnered with Urgent HomeMD and GeneIQ to provide low-cost, self-collected COVID-19 tests, costing $ 75 each, whether you have insurance or not. Buy a test online, then make an appointment on a Tuesday or Thursday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. It sounds simple enough! While you don’t have to buy food or drink to get yourself a test, a wagyu burger kit with a side of Bullion Old Fashioneds to go looks like a nice reward for dabbing your nose. Drive-through testing will continue to operate in a Lubben Plaza lot accessible through a drive-through entrance on Wood Street.

Pantry Pinching sensation
A new report of Dallas Morning News says an Arlington pantry has seen demand skyrocket, particularly a 364% increase from last year’s distribution. It’s heartbreaking but not surprising, as the North Texas Food Bank’s semi-recurring food distribution event in Fair Park regularly sees long lines of cars waiting for their share of staples. Back in June reminder our profile on Minnie’s Pantry founder Cheryl Jackson who said the amount of meals they provided each month had quadrupled. They also extended the service to Plano ISD, feeding dependent students free or reduced meals.

Fundraising for school with a gourmet touch
Speaking of students. With the school set to resume operations soon, whether in person, remotely, or a combination of the two, supplies are essential. And it’s not just pencils and boxes of tissues. The harsh reality of COVID-19 means that learning in the classroom will require a lot of PPE, additional cleaning supplies, temperature monitoring tools, and technology for distance education. We cannot let teachers foot the bill as they usually do. So United to Learn, a Dallas-based nonprofit that partners with 53 Dallas ISD elementary schools, has launched its fourth annual Kickstarter Learning campaign. Start of apprenticeship aims to help fill these gaps so that teachers can have the resources to educate young learners. The gourmet touch? The first 50 people to donate $ 1,000 or more by August 31st will receive a dinner for two and souvenir table setting delivered on September 10 by Alto. This is called the Dinner for a Cause and generous donors can enjoy said meal by the Dallas food influencer and New York Times bestselling author of The dish defined, Alex Snodgrass, prepared by Origin Bar + Kitchen, which features stylish, reusable table decor created by Emily Clarke Events. They accept donations of any amount until September 17th.

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