Wednesday, November 14, 2012

El Pollo Rico in Wheaton

Yeah yeah, you’ve heard it before: wings are super awesome.  Unfortunately, when we want ‘good’ wings, it requires quite an inconvenient commute, which leads to looking into other options.  This post is about one of those other options that turned out to be quite tasty.
We ruled out wings, but the idea of chicken was still appealing.  Ms. Classy, being the top-notch researcher of all things researchable that she is, found El PolloRico.  This is a Peruvian style rotisserie chicken place where you can order whole, half, or quarter pieces of chicken and specify all white ($1.00 extra), all dark, or mixed meat.  When you walk in, the aroma is intoxicating.  It’s a good thing I don’t have any sort of security clearance, because I’d be wheeling and dealing secrets in exchange all edible things that can sizzle over an open flame.
The set up at El Pollo Rico is interesting.  The chickens aren’t made to order, but are ready and waiting.  The best times to visit are the busy meal times because, according to some reviews we read, the chickens can get a little dry while waiting for their new homes; the busier the meal, the fresher the chickens.  I swung by during a Sunday dinner rush.
When I arrived, the place was busy and the line was substantial, but fast moving.  I ordered one whole chicken with a side of fries and coleslaw for $14.20.  The friendly lady plucked a chicken from the roaster and laid it on a cutting surface.  She grabbed a meat cleaver and she whacked the bird into four pieces with such speed and power that I promised to never get on her bad side.
Was it good?  Oh yeah.  The skin was crispy and the rub was spicy and flavorful.  The chicken was tender and juicy.  The fries were also surprisingly good.  Usually, I think a steak fry is a steak fry is a steak fry, but these were not the status quo fries.  They were crispy on the outside, but fluffy and soft on the inside - a great texture balance.  In my haste and excitement to set out and return with the food, I missed Ms. Classy’s request to salt and pepper fries.  She informed me of what I missed and that our great fries could have been even better.  Let this be a lesson: never miss anything Ms. Classy says – it only benefits me.  There were four pieces of chicken, but we each ate only one for dinner.  A dinner for two this good for only $14.20 AND leftovers is a great find indeed.  We will be back and I will be certain to remember to salt and pepper the fries.

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