No Reservations With El Pollo Rico

l I had a fever today. I’m not talking about the possible fallout from a night of debauchery. I’m not talking about a fever who’s remedy is more cowbell. I’m talking about a fever for chicken- Peruvian Chicken to be exact.

It all started when my intern was watching No Reservations in D.C. it featured a few places I was familiar with, including some Vietnamese restaurants in Eden Center. Then Mr. Bourdain randomly stops by El Pollo Rico, one of the many Peruvian chicken shops in Arlington. Peruvian chicken is one of the many cuisines that run rampant just like Kebobs, Sushi, and Ethiopian. He gave a glowing review of the place as he went behind the counter to see it first hand.

Now my only experience wit El Pollo Rico has been at the catered lunches that will sometimes feature the cuisine from El Pollo Rico, however it’s been awhile since that’s happened and since watching the program the conversation between my intern and I has often included trying to find this world renown El Pollo Rico.

So this past weekend I found myself starving and I decided I was going to go online and find it. It’s actually just down the street from my house in Clarendon, so I happily drove down and found it without any problems. It is a bit off the beaten path over on 932 N Kenmore St in Arlington.

The building is a plain brick building with no markings other than a yellow sign and the smell of roasted chicken in the air. The parking lot was already full and when I walked inside there were two long lines of hungry patrons waiting to get their chicken on.

The restaurant itself is pretty simple, wooden chairs and tables fill the sparsely decorated space. The shop is cash only and offers nothing but chicken in three sizes (quarter, half, and whole.) I was pretty hungry so I got the half chicken with fries and cole slaw. I was impressed with the amount of food I got for only $8. Definitely a cheap eat.

I wasn’t a big fan of the lime hot sauce but I quickly fell in love with the yellow mustard/mayo like sauce. I used it for dipping my fries in as I scarfed down the take-out order at home.

After eating every finger-licking bite I believe I have now found a new staple to my lazy weekends. Is anybody elseĀ  in love with this local favorite? I know I am.

6 Comments so far

  1. ajw93 on March 10th, 2009 @ 10:29 am

    OMG the Pollo Rico is the BEST. I used to live in Clarendon before the new Market Common went up, when PR was next to the old 7-11 on Wash Blvd (there was an Ollies Trolley there too…one-stop shopping). When the wind was right the smoke from their ovens would waft over the three blocks to our house and we would HAVE to go over and get some delicious chicken.


  2. danielobvt on March 10th, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

    I have loved that place for pretty much my entire life (I am a 32yo Arlington native). It is the best!


  3. Metblogs: No Reservations With El Pollo Rico | The Definitive Dmbosstone (pingback) on March 10th, 2009 @ 2:47 pm
  4. dodger on March 10th, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

    I’m a huge fan – went there several times a week when I lived in Clarendon. I can’t believe you drove from Clarendon though – come on. The parking sucks and it’s not that far.

    Anyway, I only make it over once or twice a month now that I live farther away, but I still love it.


  5. carlosdelvaca on March 11th, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

    I’ve got beef (ha!) with El Pollo Rico, though: they do not serve fried yuca, which is an integral part of the Peruvian chicken experience, almost important as the chicken itself. For this reason I prefer Crisp & Juicy in Falls Church, or Wild Chicken in Fairfax.


  6. Crisp & Juicy Holds It’s Own On The Peruvian Chicken Scene | Washington D.C. Metblogs (pingback) on March 18th, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

    […] discovering the bliss that was El Pollo Ricoearlier this month, I got a lot of comments from readers including suggestions that I should try […]



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