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  1. 2 weekends ago, stopped in this new place for lunch and really enjoyed the chicken. Here is the website. We had a half white and it was cooked perfectly like most pollo a la brasa places but it was also super flavorful. I almost bought more even though I was stuffed. Kind of addictive. The 2 sauces were good two - a yellow mayo that wasn't spicy and a tomato based spicy one - I'd say a medium strong heat. The sides were hit or miss. The guasaca was a riff on guacaomle and served chilled was kind of meh - especially since it doesn't come with chips or anything to scoop it with. Better were the yucca fries which comes dusted with delicious spice blend that adds the right amount of heat and lime. I thought the chicken didn't need sauce but was still good with the yellow one whereas the yucca fries were good with the orange tomatoey sauce. The quinoa salad was ok - nice light to balance the strong chicken flavors but nothing too special. The Arroz Blanco was meh. I would have gone for the special rice but like a few of their sides it had unnecessary bacon and other proteins that I don't eat. I should also say that this place's set up is a bit unusual. You walk in to a nice bright sitting area - but no full tables, only lots of counter tools so it is a bit odd to eat with companions since they are only next to you and not across a table. This is odd because the space is big enough for several regular 2 or 4 tops. It is counter service so you walk back to an open kitchen and order. The food is all ready immediately. Then further back in the long space are bathrooms and at the end of the hall is a big walk-in freezer door. When you open it, you enter a new sitting area with a few small regular tables and then a big bar area. This backroom is their bar which has a full bar menu/cocktails, but only serves a few food appetizers from the front space. Moreover, they don't want you bringing food/drinks back and forth between the two spaces. All a bit odd to me. I think the owner wanted to diversify and have chicken but supplement income with a bar and found this long space and this is a the result. Or the owner just really liked the idea of having a quasi-hidden bar in their restaurant. In short - go for the delicious chicken and yucca fries. It is deceptively big menu so I'm sure some other items are good too.
  2. Yeah, both good choices. I've worked in Falls Church (just over the line) for 14 years so I know both of those places well. Caribbean Grill has OUTSTANDING side dishes -- their yuca is superb, and their plantains melt in your mouth. While their chicken is very good, I've often just gotten side dishes for lunch. This was actually my first time trying any of the eateries in Lee-Harrison (other than Dogma for my pups). Pietanza looks interesting too, but also a bit pricy. Then there's Sushi-Zen. Any 411 on either of those? I'm guessing "Oriental Gourmet" is as bad as you'd expect from the name?
  3. Don Pollo, at 7007 Wisconsin Ave in Bethesda (just south of Bradley Blvd). Wow! Some of the best Peruvian chicken I've ever had. Mash potatoes to die for and great Cole Slaw, All for $6 dollars
  4. Finally got my ass out the door around 9pm last night. Thank god El Pollo Rico is open until 10.
  5. I'm surprised we don't have a thread on this place. I was going to post about their nachos, but I kept remembering other things we like and figured that they deserve their own thread. Barbara and I were there tonight for a quick dinner of shared nachos and a couple of beers. The nachos were good, a hearty pile started with a thin layer of refried beans on the bottom of the plate, chips, shredded roast chicken, ground beef, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and jalapenos. These were good, surprisingly not greasy, with crisp chips throughout. We also go frequently for takeout chicken sandwiches. The bread is nothing special, a commercial sub roll, but the chicken inside is their roast chicken torn into large chunks. It's served with commercial french fries, but with mustard-mayo sauce and a spicy green sauce. Barbara wrote a review for her blog a few years ago. I'm glad to say that they are consistently good and we still like eating there.
  6. So I need to find a new chicken place now that we have moved... I also would like to find a place for Saltenas and Empanadas. (I really miss being close to Caribbean Grill, it was one of my favorites, we also had a Crisp and Juicy right there.) I don't mind going down Route 1 a bit, as that can be on Hubby's way home. I have been to Edy's at Bailey's before, and it's fine, but not special to me and can be crowded to get in and out of that shopping center. I have been to the chicken place by David's Car Wash, again not bad, and much easier to get in and out of. Where do you Alexandrians get your chicken fix? Where would you get Saltenas?
  7. Sister and I stopped in for lunch on Sunday mid-day at this little Peruvian chicken joint in the strip mall adjoining the Wal-Mart in Burke (before engaging the huddled masses in said Wal-Mart). It's a clean but tired looking little place, friendly service, so-so- food. We each got a 1/4 chicken plate, dark meat, with 2 sides @ ~$10 each. I had the plantains and black beans, she had the mixed veg and plantains. No yucca on the menu, but they do have fries. Mixed veg were very evidently frozen bag stuff that was heated through, black beans were very watery and barely seasoned at all. Plantains were quite good and there is a $1.50 upcharge for those that the cashier told us about but isn't listed on the menu board. Chicken itself was a small portion but tasty, good skin and moist, properly done meat, nice charcoal flavor but less evident was any marinade. There was also a list of other typical Peruvian dishes, such as lomo saltado, huincaina, etc. Didn't see anyone ordering anything but the chicken. A few small orders of carryout while we were there and one other person eating in. My gut instinct is this is mostly a mid-week carryout dinner sort of place.
  8. There have been the Peruvian chicken threads, but I decided to start one just for Crisp & Juicy. I went to the one in the Wheaton Mall and got the usual chicken and fried yucca. But also decided to get the fried plantains and potato salad. The plantains were okay - not caramelized the way I usually like them. The potato salad was really good though, with green beans and corn, it gave it a fresher, crisper edge instead of the heavier slog.
  9. *uses Oprah voice*....I GET IT, PEOPLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE! Wow, I can't believe this is the first Peruvian chicken for me--after reading so many rave about it. Those chickens schmeared with crack. So juicy, so tender. I had 1/4 chicken at Pollo Coco Rico and the seasoning made me swoon on the first mouthful. The green chili dip isn't for me. I like to keep my buds fully cabable of tasting. The mayo (white sauce) however, was used liberally. Very, very good! The dish came with fries or yucca, and a small side salad.
  10. Tried this since Taqueria Distrito Federal seems to be closed and the kids really wanted Mexican. They just opened a few weeks ago and are still not on a fully regular schedule. It's a pretty limited menu with around 5 choices for tacos, same for burritos, and a few sides such as beans and rice as well as the chicken. We got two tacos (fish and al pastor), chips and salsa, a steak burrito and quesadilla. I had the steak burrito prepared al arriba, which means it is doused with salsa and guacamole. It had a nice taste, but not a lot of meat for the size. Felt like it was mostly rice and beans. Only tasted the taco al pastor which had an interesting juxtaposition of slight spice with something sweet as well, some sort of fruit I think. Kids' quesadilla was pretty standard fare, though they also forgot to prepare it so it came out quite a few minutes after everything else. Salsa was very good, though a little too salty for me. Generally the food was good, but at a cost. Our total bill was $41, then with tax and tip ended up being over $53. For a place that doesn't have alcohol and you order from a counter and then sit down, the prices are way too much IMO. My burrito alone was $15. They brought our food to us, but others they called out their numbers and were expected to come up to pick up their food. This really made me miss TDF already.
  11. Caribbean Grill is on of our go-to take out places (although there are a few tables inside). It is on Lee Hwy at the intersection with George Mason Rd. in the same shopping center as Saran. (You know the place that is really difficult to get in and out of) The chicken while very good, just isn't as good as El Pollo Rico; however, the sides more than make up for difference in chicken seasoning. I think the Cuban rice is very good. Not overly spiced, but very comforting. They have fried, baked and stewed yucca. The fried is my favorite. Nice texture that stands up against the ride back home even. The plantains have nice flavor and you get a reasonable portion. They also have steamed veggies, non-Cuban rice and a nice selection of beans. This place is quick, tasty and pretty affordable. I hear they have a really good Cuban sandwich, but we always get chicken. Will have to try it sometime. They also have a lot of Cuban specialties I have also not tried yet. Ordering a whole chicken provides days of food for me, so it is just so hard to pass up, especially when the whole place smells like roasting chicken. The ladies are always very nice, and you can almost always get a table.
  12. Please feel free to merge if there is an existing thread (I could not find it). Chicken on the Run...is it a micro-local chain or a stand alone joint? I really don't care. I'm now working in Bethesda again (woo-hoo!) and I noticed this place even before my first day yesterday and I knew I needed to try it. Wow. This is possibly the best peruvian chicken I have tasted, with Que Rico fighting for the title but losing by a hair (and it is way up in Owings Mills, MD). I think it must be the charcoal flavor/wood flavor I am tasting that makes me giddy. The mild sauce is very good, and the green hot sauce is nice, better than just pure pureed jalapenos, but still not up to the level of Que Rico in Owings Mills -- not 'creamy' enough while retaining heat (too watery). The rice is good, but not what I ordered but it was so busy I did not bother to try to get it fixed. The yuca was really nice and lightly treated in the fryer. I hope to go back and try the fries and salad next time. While I did not try the corn, it looked weak. My only real complaint about the place is that their chickens are, um, small. Or maybe that is just how they cut them. My quarter dark meat section was pretty small by my standard, which is OK since I am on a diet and this was and never will be diet food, but I thought I'd mention it for those who might care (like me when I really want to fall off the wagon, hard.)...
  13. And now with Village Chicken open at the southern end of the shopping center (4 doors down from Delia's) it's becoming a chicken's worst nightmare .
  14. Linky to their website Went here tonight to fortify myself prior to a Costco run up the street. In a formerly Pizza Hut that was warehousing a Danny's for a while, its newest incarnation is as Sardi's Pollo a la Brasa. Bustling and somewhat cavernous, their menu serves up a good bit more than pollo a la brasa. To me, a someone concerning bit because most of the great peruvian chicken joints have a singular focus. It was clean, nice and the folks were quick to serve and please. The sauces came in 3 shades -- white, yellow and green. The former two good for dipping french fries in IMO and the green being primarily blended jalapenos and maybe something else. The chicken was nice, but it was not as good as other places. The emphasis of the spices and herbs in the mix was not cohesive and it leaned very heavily on salt -- too much salt (and I love salt). The skin was well done and nice and crispy, though. But this place still pales in comparison to El Pollo Rico, Que Rico (especially so, this is my benchmark joint, in Owings Mills, MD), and even Crisp & Juicy and Megachicken (in Laurel, MD) and Chicken on the Run in Bethesda. Good, but not great. If I liven very close, I'd be a regular to see if the salt was a one time flub. But Megachicken is closer to home and Chicken on the Run closer to work. And special excursions elsewhere make more sense.
  15. I have mentioned before that the national dish of Springfield is rotisserie chicken. Jacalito is in the same little strip mall as Bozzelli's, and therefore I never tried it because of my typical beeline to Bozzelli's. Now I am culinarily conflicted, because Jacalito is not only good, it's damned good. Two mentions up front -- it is a mom-n-pop single restaurant, and it is honest enough to put "Tex-Mex" on its window and in its title. That's a good start. I ordered carry out today, and the order was two whole chickens, sides of Mexican rice, a la charra beans and house salads. Plus an order of guacamole. Oh, and enough of the green and white sauces to drown in. Total tab was about $32. When I got home, I had a few things to do as I walked in the door, so I didn't tuck in until about 30 minutes after leaving Jacalito. The time lag didn't have a negative effect on the food at all. The chicken was juicy and succulent, the rice and the beans were really good and the salad was fresh and crispy. The guacamole was also fresh and chunky, not as spicy as I would normally like, but quite tasty. Three adults ate, or overate, until full, and lots of good food is left over for tomorrow. There may be a dozen or more of these places in and around Springfield right now, but Jacalito is second to none. I can't wait to try their soft tacos or huevos rancheros in the near future. www.jacalitogrill.com
  16. Super Pollo is one of the few places that Don recommends that doesn't yet have a thread here. His review of the Arlington location is here. Has anyone else been there or any of the other locations? How consistent are they?
  17. First, let me say that there are two El Rancho restaurants in Northern Virginia: One in Backlick Plaza in Springfield, and a second on Columbia Pike in South Arlington. They used to be under the same umbrella, but as you can see, that is no longer the case: The website for the South Arlington restaurant is here, and the website for the Springfield restaurant is here. To put into perspective just how similar the two restaurants are, the South Arlington restaurant still uses a menu that refers to Springfield's website - the ownership change must be fairly recent. Anyway, this thread is about the South Arlington El Rancho on Columbia Pike. I've been here several times, and it is definitely a working-man's restaurant (and I say "man" with a purpose, because you do see a lot of Latino workers here, refueling after a long day on the job). The Pollo a la Brasa is decent, but on my most recent visit, I got Carne Asada ($11.69), a grilled steak platter with choice of two sides - I ordered Yuca Fries and Black Beans and Rice, and it came with a tiny plastic tub of pico de gallo and some of the pink dipping sauce for the yuca (*) If you've been to area Salvadoran-owned restaurants (**), you can probably picture pretty much exactly how this food was, except that the portion sizes are more modest than you'll often see (a lot of times when you order Carne Asada, you have leftovers for the next day; not so in this case). The steak is invariably cooked to well-done, the yuca is often somewhat mushy in the center, and the black beans and rice are always good. And so it was. I'm really straining to come up with something interesting to say about this meal, but this was food that you eat; not food that you dine on. It's tasty, satisfying, filling, and (fried yuca aside) not at all unhealthy. The problem, of course, being that other than beans and rice, most other sides at these restaurants are either "fried" or "saucy" or both, so you'd have to double up on the rice and beans in order to make this a healthy meal, and even then the beef was pretty darned salty. Well, I managed to write a few paragraphs about not a whole lot. El Rancho is a perfectly decent Pan-Latino restaurant that's clean (not always the case, mainly due to age), and has very polite employees who don't speak a lot of English. For me, if I'm hungry, and in the area, and don't feel like analyzing what I'm eating, it's a repeat. (*) I was busy looking at my computer screen while eating, and dunked a yuca strip into the little tub of pink sauce. The sauce was viscous enough where the entire thing (tub and all) clung to the yuca, and I put it in my mouth. (I mean, I caught it right at the entry point, but it was heading in that direction.) (**) I believe the owners here are from Ecuador.
  18. On Saturday, we were at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and looking for a place to have dinner after the movie. This popped up on our search for something interesting and close by and so we decided to check it out. We arrived around 7:30pm and our party of 6 was easily seated despite having a very full restaurant. Due to the crowd and family friendly atmosphere, it was fairly loud for about our first 45 minutes and then it was quieter and easier to hold normal conversations. I had the Peru 73, which included ceviche, a chimichurri steak skewer, quarter of chicken and Peruvian fried rice. My husband had the Mar y Tierra while friends had the Picante de camarones and Tacu Tacu Con Bistec- Chicken. We also had the Algarrobina to drink. This was the first time really venturing past pollo and I thoroughly enjoyed everything I tried as did everyone else in the group. I'm not in the Chantilly area very often, but this restaurant is definitely worth returning to in the future. Aquaymanto's Website
  19. So we went to the one in Baltimore for lunch before a trip to Port Discovery. We also got the whole chicken family meal. Sides of black beans and fried rice. The chicken is definitely smaller than Crisp and Juicy (Arlington). When we get the whole chicken there, usually about a third of the chicken is left. At Chicken Rico, we went through the whole thing. The chicken, while flavorful, I found to be a bit too much on the salty side for me. The fried rice was much better when mixed with the black beans. It was good for what we needed at the time.... something kid-friendly and quick in the right location for us. I was a bit intrigued by a couple of the stirfry things on the menu. If we go to Port Discovery again, we'd certainly consider going back, but it's not a place we're ever going to crave, particulary when we live just a couple miles from Crisp and Juicy.
  20. Right across the street from Goddard Space Flight Center is Cipriano Square, anchored by K-Mart, and featuring such restaurants as Ruby Tuesdays, Five Guys, Baskin-Robbins, Burger King, and Papa John's. Chicken Rico has been open about a year, and is exactly the type of independent restaurant that catches my eye. Unfortunately, I didn't care much for their 1/2 Chicken ($6.95), which relied heavily on garlic and cumin, but was ultimately bland and dry. It came with two sides: The yuca was very deep fried, had been sitting out, and had a mashed-potato-like consistency on the inside; the chicken fried rice (50 cents extra) was very oily, and laid to rest after two bites. The sauces, one yellow and one green, fared no better. On their carryout menu, Chicken Rico advertises "fresh made soups" and daily Peruvian specials, such as Cau-Cau (beef tripe, $6.99), and Pescado Frito ($8.50). Cheers, Rocks.
  21. I was in R'ville Town Sq. for a client meeting that ended at 11. I was hoping that Carbón would be open by then but they didn't open until 11:30. So I stood outside, tried to get some work reading done, for 30 minutes. As soon as they opened, I rushed in to order 1/4 chicken dark and chicharron. For sides, I had some rice, fried yucca, and iceberg lettuce. Let's start with the chicken, even without the skin (which I discarded), it was tender and flavorful - a very good Peruvian chicken. I also like the chicken at Super Chicken and Crisp & Juicy - I can't really rank them in any order, they're all good. The chicharron was pretty good, moist and flavorful. There were still some fat clinging to the meat, which is good for those who aren't counting cholesterol. I took a few pieces home as a treat for the dog on Halloween. The yucca were underfried, the rice was nice 'n salty, and I don't eat iceberg lettuce. ETA: My other option was Oro Pomodore for pizza but since I had already gone to Pupatella the night before, I decided to do Peruvian instead.
  22. I've been keeping an eye on this space for a while since the old Scotto's Rigatoni Grill disapeared. I've seen the signs for Aguaymanto for some time but they hadn't opened yet. Last thursday I was cutting through the area on my way to Chipotle (having talked my son out of Chick'fil'e). As I droe by I noticed lights on here and hung a quick left to check it out. I'm glad I did. They opened a few weeks ago. and they did a very good job of remodling space. The staff there was very nice and were especially kind to my rampaging 2 year old. We got carry out, a half a chicken with yuca and Seco con Frijole which was a Beef stew (with cliantro and garlic), beans and rice. Both dishes were quite good although the chicken was a little dry (probably the nature of the beast). Qhile we waited for the food they gave out a small bowl of freshly roasted corn (which was quite good). When the food was ready one of the managers even helped me carry the food to the car (as I was wrangling with the aforementioned 2 year old). Anyways I am glad to have them around as they are on my way home and will likely be a regular addition to the carry out rotation. Edited to add the website: www.aguaymantorestaurant.com
  23. If you're in the area, you should try Su Pollo, south end of Rt.1/Richmond Hwy.-cooked over charcoal, more than half the time, the skin is crisp (I give it to my pups) but I've never tried their yuca, I get rice. The soup (aguadito de pollo) is excellent, especially w/ a little green sauce, & the tv always has soccer. It's a little hard to maneuver into their parking lot, but you can park in the shopping center next door, (other side of McDonalds) & pop in & out.
  24. I'm not sure whether La Fondita has changed ownership, or simply gotten a makeover along with its new rotisserie. Much of what's inside Chicken Loco looks very similar to the way it did at La Fondita, with Latinos chowing down on hearty soups with hunks of corn thrown into the bowl, and Central and South American specialties sitting in trays behind the counter. What's new, aside from the name change, is that as of yesterday, they're serving Pollo a la Brasa, and a Half Chicken ($5.20 without sides) was a pretty game effort for the second day of operation. The cumin-y rub had a decent flavor, but they'll ultimately need to adjust the temperature of their oven, and get the penetration of spicing down more into the core of breast meat - easier said than done. The white mayonnaise-based sauce is, as it so often is, lame, and the green sauce was a standard spicy-grainy version. Either way, I think the decrepit Chicken Pollo down the street is in for some tougher competition from Chicken Loco than from either of the (superior) Korean-based chicken houses, Bon Chon Chicken or Chicken Village, all four sitting on Little River Turnpike between the Beltway and I-395. Mama's Pollo, a fifth, sits right next to TemptAsian Cafe, but is probably too far down the road to make much difference. Cheers, Rocks.
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