The new Maxs in Vallejo has been open for nearly two months now. On a recent stormy night, it was hopping with groups of families and friends enjoying family-sized platters of fried chicken and crispy pata.
The signature fried chicken is offered in many combos, starting with the $4.95 dinner of a quarter chicken (leg/thigh hindquarter) with steamed rice and on up to the whole chicken dinner. Eating alone this time, I stuck with the Maxs platter of a quarter chicken, choice of pancit bihon or canton, choice of steamed rice or French fries, and ice cream for $6.95.
The skin on the plain-tasting, un-battered chicken is crisp with a glassy sheen. The meat is overdone, although not dried out, and mushy from the pressure-frying. Its been about 10 years since Ive had Maxs chicken, and now I remember why. The fries are okay, while they are still hot, especially with the Jufran brand banana catsup set on each table. The large portion of pancit bihon has nice firm rice noodles and is surprisingly meat-laden with chicken and shrimp. Without dried shrimp or fishy elements, it seems bland and flat.
Despite this lackluster performance in the food, the green mango shake, $3.50, is a bright spot. Flavorful and tangy with a well-balanced touch of sweetness, the slushee is made from frozen green mango puree imported from the Philippines and blended with honey and sugar. This is now a contender for my favorite flavor of slushee. Its the only thing Id order here again.
Maxs of Manila
(next to Seafood City)
3495 Sonoma Blvd.