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Don Pollo, Pollo a la Brasa in Several Montgomery County Locations - Hyattsville Branch Has Been Spun Off


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For my money, El Pollo Rico is the class of the bunch, with extremely flavorful, succulent chicken. I think a big part of this has to do with the turnover as well, in that their chickens (at least during prime time) don't spend much time sitting.

I'd put Don Pollo on a par with Crisp & Juicy, in that both places (in my anecdotal experience) have very good chicken that can sometimes be a bit dry on the surface (probably due to sitting).

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For my money, El Pollo Rico is the class of the bunch, with extremely flavorful, succulent chicken. I think a big part of this has to do with the turnover as well, in that their chickens (at least during prime time) don't spend much time sitting.

I'd put Don Pollo on a par with Crisp & Juicy, in that both places (in my anecdotal experience) have very good chicken that can sometimes be a bit dry on the surface (probably due to sitting).

SVT took the words right out my mouth. El Pollo Rico is in a class by itself. Don Pollo is a notch below, especially if the chicken has to wait.

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SVT took the words right out my mouth. El Pollo Rico is in a class by itself. Don Pollo is a notch below, especially if the chicken has to wait.

In Bethesda, my family thinks Chicken on the Run is still better than the new Don Pollo. Altho DP is more convenient.

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In Bethesda, my family thinks Chicken on the Run is still better than the new Don Pollo. Altho DP is more convenient.

They ought to be the same -- two outposts of the same restaurant. Of course, it's possible that the ovens at the older location are more "seasoned," or something subtle such as that. But I haven't noticed much of a difference . . .

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Tom wrote about this on Sunday along with the excellent Amoo's (never mentioned on here but it's from the family who own Shamshiry; Amoo's has similarly excellent rice). A visit yesterday turned up succulently juicy, crispy, flavorful chicken with excellent sides (great potato salad!). A very real challenge to Wheaton/Arlington's El Pollo Rico and Crisp and Juicy for the area's best. 7000 block of Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. WORTH the drive from Reston.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...8112500946.html

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I agree -- it's very good, if not quite EPR quality. They even offered a very soothing chicken soup as a special last week, one that they should put on the permanent menu.

This is, btw, the same operation as Pollo a la Brasa, which has been in Bethesda for several years.

Tom wrote about this on Sunday along with the excellent Amoo's (never mentioned on here but it's from the family who own Shamshiry; Amoo's has similarly excellent rice). A visit yesterday turned up succulently juicy, crispy, flavorful chicken with excellent sides (great potato salad!). A very real challenge to Wheaton/Arlington's El Pollo Rico and Crisp and Juicy for the area's best. 7000 block of Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. WORTH the drive from Reston.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...8112500946.html

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I echo what Marty said. Don Pollo was definitely quite good when I went, but didn't hit the benchmark that EPR Arlington has set for me. If I lived in Bethesda, I would most certainly have this in the rotation, but since it is equidistant for me from EPR, the choice is pretty easy when I crave chicken.

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I echo what Marty said. Don Pollo was definitely quite good when I went, but didn't hit the benchmark that EPR Arlington has set for me. If I lived in Bethesda, I would most certainly have this in the rotation, but since it is equidistant for me from EPR, the choice is pretty easy when I crave chicken.

I've been here three times since Don Pollo's first mention on here (speaking of which, didn't Scott Johnston create a thread for this already?), and I've had 3 juicy and flavorful whole chickens. It is now my go-to place for cheap eats b/c of its proximity, quality. and the fact that the full bird and two sides stretch into 2+ meals for both my wife and me. But I have to say that I still fondly long for the long-lost charcoal flavor of the torched El Pollo Rico of Wheaton. The saving grace, though, is that Don Pollo's is much more convenient and doesn't have any apparent ethical storm cloud lurking above it. This place is a welcome addition to the area and, GOD, if only the Nava Thai rumors could just start swinging back towards Bethesda again I'd another Christmas present.

Pax,
Brian

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The Arlington El Pollo Rico is still there. Having said this I strongly believe that the original Crisp 'n Juicy on Lee Highway, just south of both Arrowine and Randolph's Bakery, is better. Still, at the risk of disagreeing with several others, I prefer Don Pollo to El Pollo Rico in Arlington but not the original Crisp 'n Juicy. Part of the reason for this are the excellent sides. I have not been to another Crisp 'n Juicy to compare. My last visit to the El Pollo Rico on Henderson was four or five years ago; I remember the chicken being superb but disappointment with several of the sides. For me two thirds of a meal like this is the chicken; the other third is what is served with it and the two sauces. Don Pollo's two are probably the best I've had.

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A visit to Don Pollo over the weekend leads me to believe the chicken is just as good as or better than the Crisp N' Juicy locations I've visited (Rockville, Wheaton, and Tenley). The seasonings are fantastic, and there's also a little bit of charred flavor as well.

And up until this point I never really understood the attraction of yucca fries over regular fries, but the ones at Don Pollo are really crisp, but incredibly creamy on the inside in a very different way. Also worth trying are the black beans with jalapeno, tomato, and corn. I don't think the mayo-like sauce can quite match that of Crisp N' Juicy, but their green sauce delivers a good bit of heat that I prefer to El Pollo Rico.

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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

Does anyone know if the Bethesda Don Pollo is under the same ownership as the Rockville and Hyattsville locations? I believe that Food Wine & Co.'s Francis Namin owns (or co-owns) the Bethesda branch, but it's not clear to me at all that he owns the Rockville and Hyattsville branches.

---

I answered my own question via Tom Sietsema: yes, he apparently owns all three branches.

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Don Pollo website only shows Bethesda and Rockville.

I can't get www.donpollorestaurant.com to come up; www.donpollogroup.com appears to be the new website. I called Hyattsville (301) 434-5001 and got an (unintelligible) answer, so they're still open - perhaps now under new ownership. Francis Namin seems like he's concentrating on western Montgomery County these days, so it would make logical sense for him to unload the Hyattsville Don Pollo, but this is all just conjecture on my part. If someone has a chance, it would be great if they could go to the Hyattsville location and scope it out - assuming it's under new ownership, it will get its own thread.

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I can't get www.donpollorestaurant.com to come up; www.donpollogroup.com appears to be the new website. I called Hyattsville (301) 434-5001 and got an (unintelligible) answer, so they're still open - perhaps now under new ownership. Francis Namin seems like he's concentrating on western Montgomery County these days, so it would make logical sense for him to unload the Hyattsville Don Pollo, but this is all just conjecture on my part. If someone has a chance, it would be great if they could go to the Hyattsville location and scope it out - assuming it's under new ownership, it will get its own thread.

So, according to the website, Francis Namin now owns three branches of Don Pollo: Bethesda, Rockville, and Gaithersburg. The Hyattsville branch (which is still open) is unaffiliated with this restaurant group, which also runs Food Wine & Co., Fish Taco, and City Burger.

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So we went to a Don Pollo on Sunday night.  I had never been, but the chicken was super juicy and a big portion.  I got steamed veggies and fried yucca as sides, they were good, not unusual in anyway.  I thought the sauces were good.  The chicken was the real stand out for me.  They could open an Alexandria branch, but it looks like they have a tight focus, good for them.

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