Socrates or someone else once said: A meal isn’t a meal without rice and ulam. But because our parents and yayas have better things to do than pack a lunch bag for grown-ups, we sometimes find ourselves under the care of a convenience store nearest to us. Whenever you walk in, there are always two questions in your head: a) Why are the staff wearing visors indoors?; and b) What’s for lunch?
Ministop Rice Toppers
These rice toppings from Mini Stop are like your daily college allowance: always bitin. The average person can finish servings of ice cream larger than this rice bowl, but this is meant for those last few difficult days leading up to your next paycheck. These below P50-meals come in the form of burger steak, lumpiang shanghai, and some seasonal offerings.
Ministop 1-piece Chicken and Rice
Uncle John’s delicious fried chicken with rice is for those days when you feel like “a Jollibee combo meal on a Mini Stop budget.” This chicken already has a cult following—tried and tested by hungry yuppies with an affinity for antyhing deep-fried. FYI: This popular meal should come with an "extra rice" warning.
FamilyMart Breakfast Beef Rice Meal
Family Mart’s rice meals err on the side of pricy, but luckily, premium costs come with premium rewards. Most tapsilog meals in restaurants, without shame, do not go below P200, so this Pinoy breakfast staple at P150 is a steal. Sure, it’s a little bland, but you can’t get below 427 calories at Rufo’s.
FamilyMart Hainanese Chicken Rice Meal
For that uppity palate that also insists on eating healthier, a 173-calorie Hainanese chicken and rice meal will do the trick. You can bet your left testicle that it comes with that delectable ginger sauce and a little bit of chili on the side.
FamilyMart Kimchi Beef Rice Meal
Family Mart seems to have a handle on those Asian food cravings. Advertised as a 401-calorie meal, the Kimchi beef rice meal is enough to curb that hunger for Korean food during a dreary, can’t-leave-my-office-perimeter type of day.
7-Eleven Busog Meals
At P29, 7-11’s Busog meals in sisig, tuna omelette, and giniling are hard to beat. The general life rule that advice columns keep repeating is to never settle, but when you lack the fortitude (and money), there’s never any shame in reaching for that box meal when the microwave goes beeping.
Lawson Chicken Sisig Rice Meal
The mere mention of sisig makes most people smile, but we also don’t want to be eating a pig’s face all the time. Lawson solves our woes with its surprisingly flavorful chicken sisig rice meal.
Lawson Fried Chicken Rice Meal
The most important thing about fried chicken is the amount of rice you can consume with that one piece. Not really, it’s the skin. But for the sake of argument and value for money, Lawson’s unlimited rice gimmick sends their fried chicken rice meal right up there with the gods. Nothing says sulit like seeing two mounds of rice next to chicken and gravy.