Drool is again a circumvent topic of my blog today.
Do you have a dish or restaurant that makes your mouth water when you think of it? I am visiting mine for lunch today.
El Pollo Rico.
This is a whole in the wall Peruvian chicken joint in the metro-DC area that you would never know about (or dare to step foot into) if someone didn't force you for the first time, or you were in fact from the neighborhood it is settled in. It's easy to find though once you locate the strip mall ... just look for the line of people half way down the block.
The only time I've ever heard it talked about during all the food-TV shows that I watch was an episode of Bourdain, where he fully admits to being dragged to the Virgina location.
Oh. My. God. is this place good. At least it used to be, before the restaurant got shut down for tax evasion and hiring illegal immigrants. And then burned down. So hears hoping that the new location is an good, with hopefully better seating as its predecessor. Things don't look very promising right now though.
They sell chicken. That is it. Chicken. If you don't like chicken, your screwed. You can play with the sides a little bit (fries, coleslaw & two sauces) but chicken is what everyone is waiting in line for. 1/4, 1/2 or a whole chicken. Those are your choices. Dozens of them are strung up whole on a big rotating fire spit. When you order, they slide one off and hack it apart with a giant cleaver.
The flavor and seasoning on these birds is out of this world. They give you a fork, but the only way to eat it is to pick the chicken apart with your fingers. Which in turn, turns your hands into a wonderful, greasy, Peruvian chicken scented memento of the afternoon for at least 24 hours.
What a wonderful way to start the weekend.
Well, we went, we saw, we gorged.
No, there is no more billows of smoke blasting you in the face as you walk in the door from the open spit as before. Sure the fries aren't quite as crispy as before. But I do think that part of that charm is what caused the grease fire to begin with in the old place.
It will eventually get back there.
The chicken was still amazing. Sure, some of the 'flavor' of the old place was the crowed, run-down, perpetually dirty looking seating, but it is what it is now. Our official taste test is complete and Pollo Rico is 95% of what it used to be.
Which is pretty damn good.