6.049 Jack Daniel’s Salmon


23 (Mon) Feb 2015

Jack Daniel’s Salmon


at TGI Friday’s (Robinsons Place)

-Ermita, Manila-



Exactly one year ago to the day (see generally 5.049 Grilled Pepper Fish Fillet…), I’d purchased a dining club membership that entitled me to various benefits at a group of restaurants.  Although I didn’t take full advantage of it–in fact, I only used it three times for dinner, all at Italianni’s (see most recently 6.004 Quattro Staggioni Pizza Circolare), I still made my money back.  With the term expiring today, a free appetizer coupon left, I visited TGI Friday’s to squeeze in one final meal.

Since my prior visit (see previously 5.018 Filipino Platter), TGI Friday’s has moved to this new location.
A global family restaurant brand like this should ban smoking in all of its properties worldwide, even in smoke-friendly Philippines; no other establishment in Robinsons Place has a smoking section, at least not indoors, so god knows what sort of blood deal was struck; come to think of it, I should not have eaten here–won’t happen again, at least not until they go smoke-free.
4 restaurants covered for TERRP have since shut down [from far left]: Banana Leaf (see generally 5.010 Stir-Fried Malaysian Noble Leaves…), Holy Cow! (see generally 5.011 Lonestar Grilled Pork Chop), Superbowl of China (see generally 5.016 Pork Strips with Kangkong…), Tempura (see generally 5.019 Ramen Burger)–such is the fickle nature of the Manila restaurant scene.

While I’ve touched upon the subject of alcohol countless times on the blog, mostly within the context of showcasing duty free acquisitions during my travels, I’ve never really written about it in detail.

Whisky is a type of liquor.  Distilled from fermented grain mash, most commonly barley or corn.  The grains are sometimes germinated in a malting process prior to fermentation, which develops the starches into sugars and results in a richer flavor; a “blended” whisky may contain any combination of malted and unmalted grains from any source (e.g., Chivas Regal), whereas a “single malt” whisky may only contain malted grains from one distillery.  Aged in wooden casks, from a couple months to 30 years or more, during which time the wood imparts color/taste to the clear/raw distillate that initially goes in.  Scotch whisky, for example, arguably the most popular whisky in the world, produced in Scotland, is made primarily from barley and aged for at least 3 years (e.g., Johnny Walker Red Label = 8 years, Blue Label = 25 years).  Bourbon whisky, produced in the United States, mostly in the states of Kentucky (e.g., Jim Beam) and Tennessee (e.g., Jack Daniel’s), is made primarily from at least 51% corn with no age minimum, though “straight bourbon” requires 2 years.  In addition to Scotland and America, more than a dozen other countries* produce whisky, notably Ireland (e.g., Jamesons), Canada (e.g., Crown Royal), and Japan (e.g., Suntory).  The term, derived from the latin “aqua vitae (water of life), which evolved into the Scottish Gaelic “uisge beatha,” can be spelled either “whisky” (in most countries) or “whiskey” (in America).

Jack Daniel’s is an American whisky distillery.  Founded in 1875.  The flagship Old No. 7 bottling is categorized under federal regulations as a Tennessee whiskey, a specialized form of bourbon involving the Lincoln Country Process that filters the distillate through sugar maple charcoal before aging. Located in Lynchburg, Tennessee, where county “dry” laws prohibit public sales of alcohol, such that would-be customers cannot buy the stuff at the source.  Despite the lack of local support, Jack Daniel’s is one of the best-selling American whiskey brands across the globe.

*My collection includes whiskies produced in Scotland, America, Ireland, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Sweden, Australia, Spain, Russia, and Germany, as well as Scotch whiskies bottled in Fiji and the Republic of Korea.

In Egypt, presumably because of the arabic taboo on alcohol, the menu refers to it as “Tennessee Sauce,” no mention of Jack Daniel’s.

In 1997, TGI Friday’s and Jack Daniel’s entered into a partnership the restaurant to serve a line of grilled items seasoned in a glaze made with the whiskey.  Nearly 20 years later, various Jack Daniel’s Grill dishes are still offered at most TGI Friday’s locations worldwide.

Although I’ve been to TGI Friday’s countless times in my life, but probably not so much since 1997, tonight was the first time trying an item from the Jack Daniel’s line.

Jack Daniel’s was the first whiskey that I ever ordered; it was at San Francisco International Airport, sometime during the mid-90s, while I was in college at Berkeley, on my way to Korea in between semesters–I don’t know why I remember that.

It was pretty good.  The glaze was sweetish, slightly tangy, maybe a bit too salty, but no discernible flavor of Jack Daniel’s.  Perfectly cooked salmon.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to order it again, but I wouldn’t object if it were put in front me.

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