Army Navy sounds more like that burger place where greasy meats make up most of the menu, if not all of it. I’d imagined a mess hall, tin plates and an abundance of grit—all of which do not make it to my dining requirements.
Good thing the word “burrito” bungeed out of nowhere and finally, finally, Army Navy began to sound like victory, or booty, since we’re getting thematic. Soldier or not, it doesn’t matter whether you can recite Alpha to Zulu in one breath, the “barracks” welcomes anyone who pleasures to dine at the premises, from MacArthur to Captain Hook.
With interestingly named food items like Freedom Fries and Querida Mia, don’t feel idiotic if you find yourself gawking at the menu for the first time. No one will penalize you with push-ups for taking the time, but if you do, don’t expect the person next in line to be a Jolly Jack. And do make sure he isn’t armed with anything that starts with a capital M.
Reading the menu can be quite an entertaining pursuit with its ingeniously crafted offerings. Gathering intel on the food was easy, but deciding what to order was difficult, as my shipwrecked alter ego suddenly kicked in and I found myself wanting to have a quesadilla, quesadilla frito and soft taco for dinner. Slow down, soldier, the pocket has limits.
Not that I was headed to a Death March or any march for that matter, but my wallet just waved the white flag, so better sensibility led me to a decently quantified and well budgeted meal. I will reserve the splurge once I’ve found a war greater than Pearl Harbor or the CJ Case, but until then, it’s 1 quesadilla or the mission is aborted.
Dining in the Dark: Chicken Quesadilla
While there’s steak and cheese, of course I ended up with the Chicken Quesadilla paired with Tortilla chips and cheese dip. No combos or meals here, the three items were separately ordered and priced, and there, I have established my kill zone. Maybe it was the Tagaytay* weather, but I found the chips lacking in that crisp factor, which led me to dunk them all in the cheese dip. That dip had the viscosity 10x of the regular cheese dip (or gravy) and with the satisfactory hint of jalapeno, made my little splurge all worth it. The dip seemed to go well with the quesadilla too, seeing that its accompanying salsa and sour cream came in wee amounts that only Oliver Twist would find acceptable.
All I can remember about the Chicken Quesadilla was that it had chicken, cheese and onions, and in the dark, these were all that mattered. The flavor was light yet near Mexican festive, and the chips certainly brought more entertainment in my otherwise texture-free meal. Somewhere towards the mid-section though it got a bit too greasy, like diner-mess hall greasy, which really made quite a mess of my meal. This was one of those instances that I felt glad to be eating in the dark, but still, being the chronic OC, it’s best to ask for utensils the next time around. I suppose boodle fight isn’t really my “thang.”
The Freedom Fries were crisp and Cajun inspired, and not the chunky wedges that the lazy chef or KFC would serve. Why “freedom”, I have not figured out, but those little strips are certainly not free from oil, fat and flavor—which should bring a smile to a military brat, or any brat for that matter. The onion rings (Sorry no photo) came in a bit of a sad serving; there were perhaps less than 10 rings per order, equivalent to ¼ of an onion and one heck of a teary-eyed chef.
The Dinner Platoon
The Starving Sailor is sure to end anyone’s path to hunger with its sourdough bread charged with chicken and caramelized onions. Anyone hungry is sure to drop his anchor at the sight of this leviathan serving. The bread was fresh and chewy and was superb with the chicken with caramelized onions. Again, the grease fest manifested itself at the expense of OC fingers. Still the onions made up for the flavor and thank God what lacked in the onion rings rained all over this magnificent sub.
In terms of flavor and freshness, there’s nothing AWOL in Army Navy. If any, it’s one heck of a booyah place for the hungry, shipwrecked and stranded in traffic. What’s fantastic is that it doesn’t limit its fares to the usual burgers and American cuisine, as it goes all the way and offers Mexican loot for those looking for that spicy punch.
I give 21 Gun Salutes to Army Navy, and remember, this information isn’t classified.
At ease, soldier.
* We dined at the Tagaytay Branch, which is beside Yellow Cab along the highway. This particular branch offers an outdoor experience with benches and trees, the works—which explains the dark, the cold weather and the fresh air. In case you’re wondering, I was not eating in the dark and neither is it my strange habit to eat in the dark. That’s just plain, weird.