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White Castle turns into the “Love Castle,” this Valentine’s Day, but based on the throbbing castle graphic on their site, it’s unclear whether this involves white tablecloths and candlelight, as in years past, or bearskin rugs and a 70s funk soundtrack. If you and your lover seek an alternative to the Castle, you might want to try Jollibee.

That's right, Jollibee. The leading fast-food chain in the Philippines will open its first East Coast location on the outskirts of Woodside’s Little Manila this Saturday. I asked the manager whether they’d have any specials for Valentine’s Day and he said, “No, but it is a special day.”

Indeed. Can anything be more romantic than taking your valentine to a fast-food joint whose mascot is a gigantic red bumblebee sporting a toque?

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The folks at the store wouldn’t let me photograph the menu because they hadn’t finalized the prices, but you’ll be sure to find Chickenjoy, which the big bee’s copywriters call "Crispylicious. Juicylicious. Incomparably delicious.” Go for broke and get a side of Jollibee Spaghetti with your chicken. The sweet sauce is loaded with ham, sausages, and ground beef. Ah, I can just smell the romance in the air.

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This here’s the Palabok Fiesta: noodles topped with shrimp, egg, crumbled chicharron, and flakes of tinapa, or smoked bangus (milkfish). I'm hoping this will be available at the Woodside location. Sorry to inform all the pun-loving lotharios out there, but I don’t think crispy bangus and rice plate will be on the menu.

Jollibee doesn’t have sliders, but they do offer several types of hamburgers, including the Amazing Aloha: two beef patties, bacon, cheese, lettuce and a slice of pineapple. A very vision of tropical romance.

Look for an upcoming report about Jollibee. I doubt I’ll be there Saturday. Most likely I will be at Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall tucking into a plate of fu qi fei pian or "husband and wife" offal slices.

Jollibee

62-29 Roosevelt Ave, Queens NY 11377 (map)
Phone number unavailable at press time

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