Monday, September 12, 2011


In my previous Tuesday Travel post, I talked about Toronto's majestic castle, Casa Loma aka The House on the Hill.  What I did not note in that post, however, is that before visiting the famous abode, my friends and I filled ourselves abundantly with much craved Filipino foods from The House that Fried Chicken Built, Max's Restaurant.

"Yummy" to the bones :)

The restaurant known for serving Pinoy-style fried chicken and other traditional Pinoy specialties traces back its origin in Manila, 1945, post World War II, when Maximo Gimenez befriend American troops stationed in Quezon City.  He would share a drink or two at his house with his American friends, who later on insisted that they pay for their meals.  This prompted Max to open a cafe that served chicken, steak and drinks.  With the help of his wife Mercedes, sister-in-law Felipa, niece Ruby and her husband Claro, they ran the cafe.  It was Ruby who concocted the restaurant's signature tender, juicy, crispy, delicious to the bones chicken that kept the GIs coming back for more and eventually became popular for Filipino crowd too.  Ruby expanded the menu and soon thereafter put up a branch in Baclaran, and it was then decided that it will be called Max's (Maximo's nickname).

Max's was pretty significant for me while growing up in the Philippines.  My father is the fast food-type of person and not the one who is fond of the sit-in fine dining concept, but if there's one restaurant he tolerated and enjoyed a lot, that is Max's.  Whenever we'd feel like dining out, it was a no brainer - Max's it was.  I partly attribute my father's liking for Max's to the fact that you can spare the utensils and use your hands (and even lick your fingers) when you eat chicken.  Hehe!  Even when my sister got married around three years ago, my family celebrated the wedding reception at a Max's restaurant.  There is no doubt that we love Max's.

So, you can just imagine how glad I was (and devastated at the same time) when I heard that Max's opened its first store in Canada on March 19, 2011 at Steeles Avenue West, Vaughan, ON.  Why devastated?  Because I was already in Pennsylvania that time!  Therefore, when Vince and I visited our family in Toronto in July, I made sure we eat at Max's.

Moving forward... two weekends ago, me, Vince, and a couple of friends from New York drove to Toronto.  En route when talking about where to have dinner when we get there, our New Yorker friends asked us to bring them to a place they won't find in New York.  I really couldn't immediately think of any because New York is New York - what does Toronto have that New York doesn't? *Light bulb flicks on my mind* Max's!

The eight-hour drive made the four of us so hungry that when we got to Max's we were ready to devour all the Pinoy food we can get.  Lol.  We ordered half-chicken, crispy pata, pinakbet, pork sisig, sizzling tofu, lumpiang ubod, three cups of rice, halo halo, and tea - and the four of us snickered and said in chorus, "We're on a diet."  Ahihihihi.  The star of our meal was the sizzling tofu (tofu with chilli peppers glazed with creamy coconut milk and soy sauce).  It was sooooo good that my friends and I planned on imitating the dish from our own kitchen.  Goodluck to that.  Hehe!

Nothing beats Pinoy hunger better than authentic Pinoy food!

So there goes another burping gastronomy adventure for me.  And by the way, since I'm going to the Philippines in November, you can bet your bottom dollar that Max's Restaurant is in my itinerary ;)  Ciao for now!


For more foodie stuff, please visit:  GASTRONOMY MONDAY


  1. i miss maxx!

    too bad, no maxx here in my place! :-(

  2. OMG, Max's sounds SO good! I'm going to have to check it out... Yummy!

  3. Ka-Swak: No Max's at your place? Same here :(

    Crystal: It is ! Bring Dina, Marlene, Alma, Racquel and the rest of the RMS Pinoy Mafia when you check it out ;)

  4. looks like you really had a very very good day with Max!

  5. Hi and greetings from California! I loved this post. I have never had Pinoy cuisine and until I read this post don't think I have really understood what I have been missing. It's got to be great to drive 8 hours for. Unfortunately here on in Cali we don't have a Max's. I do enjoy fried chicken!
    I write a blog about food too. Like you I include my musings on life and relationships. Stop by. Visit. Maybe follow. Again, great post!

  6. Hi KM!'re going back to Philippines on November? Happy for u! Ikain mo na lang ako sa Maxx! :)

    I might be home kasi by late December pa....:)

  7. @ Rovie: I sure had! We took advantage of it, because it may be awhile before we visit Toronto again ;)

    @ Mario: Thanks for popping by here. I'm following you now. If you wish to follow back, I'd appreciate that :) Keep on blogging and see you around!

    @ Krizza, excited na nga ako! It's going to be my first time to visit Pinas since I left in 2005. Have fun on your Pasko sa Pinas, ha? Talk to you later ;)

  8. Too bad walang Max dito samin kahit nasa dulo ng Pilipinas kami :-(

  9. @ Lainy: That's just another reason for you to travel to the closest city that has Max's ;)

  10. awww max's, I haven't had that for the longest time. Though, we do have one nearby our place right now hehe. I don't think it's the same though. My last memory of eating at max's was with the whole family in the Philippines.

  11. @ Janel, oh ganun? how come? the Max's i went at is pretty much the same as the ones in Pinas. meron din sila chicken all you can ;)


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