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Pool Boy

Sardi's, Cousins Phillip G. Sardelis and Phillip E. Sardelis' Local Greek American Pollo a la Brasa Chain With Numerous Maryland Locations

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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.

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Unlike Pool Boy I am both Peruvian and have taste buds. Sardi's offers up some great Peruvian Chicken. I have been to the Beltsville location a number of times and seeing the crowds they have every time I'm in there, seems I'm not the only one that believes Sardi's has great chicken. Not saying they have the best around but they are in most foodies’ top 3. I find myself chatting with lots of foodies on a number of sites including Yelp and Chowhound that agree with my assessment. Sardi's flavor is unique, and like most great Peruvian Chicken Restaurants in Peru, offer the customer more choices than just pollo a la brasa. There has not been one menu item my husband and I have ordered that wasn't good. It's really telling that Sardi's can execute more that one great menu item and be consistently good. I do agree with Pool Boy that El Pollo Rico has great chicken. But Mega Chicken? And Crisp & Juicy? Everyone is entitled to there own opinion but no real foodies I've chatted with have been to Mega Chicken or Crisp & juicy and enjoyed it better than Sardi's or El Pollo Rico.

Here is a better assesment- Great Eats!

When in the Wheaton Md. area (El Pollo Rico), In Silver Spring (Sabroso Grill), Beltsville, College Park, Laurel- (Sardi's Pollo), Hyattsville- (Super Chicken) Bethesda- (Chicken on the Run), Rockville- ( La Brasa), Gaithersburg, Germantown (Sardi's Pollo), Frederick-(Sardi's Pollo) Langley Park- Don Pollo

FYI- Don Pollo & Chicken on the Run are the same owners.

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Unlike Pool Boy I am both Peruvian and have taste buds. Sardi's offers up some great Peruvian Chicken. I have been to the Beltsville location a number of times and seeing the crowds they have every time I'm in there, seems I'm not the only one that believes Sardi's has great chicken. Not saying they have the best around but they are in most foodies' top 3. I find myself chatting with lots of foodies on a number of sites including Yelp and Chowhound that agree with my assessment. Sardi's flavor is unique, and like most great Peruvian Chicken Restaurants in Peru, offer the customer more choices than just pollo a la brasa. There has not been one menu item my husband and I have ordered that wasn't good. It's really telling that Sardi's can execute more that one great menu item and be consistently good. I do agree with Pool Boy that El Pollo Rico has great chicken. But Mega Chicken? And Crisp & Juicy? Everyone is entitled to there own opinion but no real foodies I've chatted with have been to Mega Chicken or Crisp & juicy and enjoyed it better than Sardi's or El Pollo Rico.
Here is a better assesment- Great Eats!
When in the Wheaton Md. area (El Pollo Rico), In Silver Spring (Sabroso Grill), Beltsville, College Park, Laurel- (Sardi's Pollo), Hyattsville- (Super Chicken) Bethesda- (Chicken on the Run), Rockville- ( La Brasa), Gaithersburg, Germantown (Sardi's Pollo), Frederick-(Sardi's Pollo) Langley Park- Don Pollo
FYI- Don Pollo & Chicken on the Run are the same owners.

[There's only one slight problem with this post ...

lisalarcon, would you like to tell everyone on this board what your relationship to Sardi's is?

And now, my friends, you know the difference between this website and Yelp.]

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Unlike Pool Boy I am both Peruvian and have taste buds. Sardi's offers up some great Peruvian Chicken. I have been to the Beltsville location a number of times and seeing the crowds they have every time I'm in there, seems I'm not the only one that believes Sardi's has great chicken. Not saying they have the best around but they are in most foodies’ top 3. I find myself chatting with lots of foodies on a number of sites including Yelp and Chowhound that agree with my assessment. Sardi's flavor is unique, and like most great Peruvian Chicken Restaurants in Peru, offer the customer more choices than just pollo a la brasa. There has not been one menu item my husband and I have ordered that wasn't good. It's really telling that Sardi's can execute more that one great menu item and be consistently good. I do agree with Pool Boy that El Pollo Rico has great chicken. But Mega Chicken? And Crisp & Juicy? Everyone is entitled to there own opinion but no real foodies I've chatted with have been to Mega Chicken or Crisp & juicy and enjoyed it better than Sardi's or El Pollo Rico.

Here is a better assesment- Great Eats!

When in the Wheaton Md. area (El Pollo Rico), In Silver Spring (Sabroso Grill), Beltsville, College Park, Laurel- (Sardi's Pollo), Hyattsville- (Super Chicken) Bethesda- (Chicken on the Run), Rockville- ( La Brasa), Gaithersburg, Germantown (Sardi's Pollo), Frederick-(Sardi's Pollo) Langley Park- Don Pollo

FYI- Don Pollo & Chicken on the Run are the same owners.

Well, hello there to you, too, lisalarcon. Nice way to greet a fellow foodie, what with the bitchslap across the bow. But hey, I can take my lumps. And I do see that you agree we're all entitled to our own opinions. And you are certainly entitled to your opinion that I have no tastebuds -- you'd be wrong, but you're also entitled to be wrong. Have fun with that.

Sardi's is underseasoned. It's not bad, but it's not in the same league as other places. Que Rico (Owings Mills, MD) and El Pollo Rico (Wheaton) are really my two benchmarks. Chicken on the Run in Bethesda is quite good, too, and I go there regularly as it is in spitting distance of my office. Megachicken in also not in the same league as the first two I mentioned, but it is as good, or better than Sardi's. And Megachicken knows how to make sure that um, salt is used in the seasoning of said chicken.

It has been a few years since I have been to a Crisp & Juicy -- probably 2-3 years now. So my perspective on Crisp & Juicy's offerings are somewhat dated, so I cannot accurately compare my 2-3 year old memories of what I had there to what they offer today. And Sardi's is better than some other joints that serve up the same fare, like Kenny's in the Four Corners area.

But, Sardi's being top 3? For me, heck no.

By the way, thanks for the tip on Superchicken (in Hyattsville?), I'll have to check it out and see how to compares. Wasn't there (isn't there?) a SuperChicken in Wheaton, too? I wonder if they are run by the same folks.

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We ate there Saturday, also on a Costo run.

Poolboy is right. The chicken was bland and greasy, with rubber skin. The sauces were not complex in flavor.

I had the "famous" souvlaki. It, too, was underseasoned and the flatbread was strange. It was served on plain Japanese rice, not basmati.

I would eat there again as opposed to Arby's or McDonalds but this was not good Peruvian chicken.

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I have to add some complexity to this mix - I had a Whole Chicken With 2 Sides ($13.95, although it's on their carryout menu for $14.95) from Sardi's last week, and liked it more than others here. As mojoman correctly pointed out, the skin was rubbery, but that didn't bother me so much, because I thought the flavor wasn't at all bad. More importantly, I thought the meat - even the deepest portions of the breast meat - retained (enhanced?) moisture and had some taste. The fried plantains were some of the best I've had at this type of restaurant, and the fried yuca, while more oily than most on the outside, was within acceptable bounds. I liked all three sauces quite a bit, and actually thought they were some of the better versions around (then again, I think the sauces at El Pollo Rico are just plain horrible). I was one of the first walk-in customers of the day, and they were preparing a large catering order, so the ovens were hot and firing away.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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I think Sardi's is opening up a place here in Frederick as well. Rumor has it that it will be where Don Chicken is now. I always liked Don Chicken even though many people found it too salty. The sauce was so delicious that it could have been a flippin' salt lick and I would have eaten it! I believe they make their sauces with aji chiles instead of jalapenos....

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I have to add some complexity to this mix - I had a Whole Chicken With 2 Sides ($13.95, although it's on their carryout menu for $14.95) from Sardi's last week, and liked it more than others here. As mojoman correctly pointed out, the skin was rubbery, but that didn't bother me so much, because I thought the flavor wasn't at all bad. More importantly, I thought the meat - even the deepest portions of the breast meat - retained (enhanced?) moisture and had some taste. The fried plantains were some of the best I've had at this type of restaurant, and the fried yuca, while more oily than most on the outside, was within acceptable bounds. I liked all three sauces quite a bit, and actually thought they were some of the better versions around (then again, I think the sauces at El Pollo Rico are just plain horrible). I was one of the first walk-in customers of the day, and they were preparing a large catering order, so the ovens were hot and firing away.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Rubbery skin on a Peruvian chicken is just WRONG. Fail. I also found that the white meat of the chicken there was lacking in flavor, and did not maintain moisture as well as many other places. In some spots it was a bit dry actually. There is always variability in what you get from every restaurant, so I am willing to go back and try again, perhaps on a weeknight where I'm desperate and traffic forces me to head up Route 1.....

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Currently sitting here and eating a half chicken with fries and slaw that they delivered to me. First of all, for the sake of transparency, I'm a little bitter right now - I clearly wanted an Inca Kola with my meal, and I was given a Coca-Cola. Hmph.

Anyways, as Don reported earlier, the skin is a tad on the rubbery side (which could entirely be a product of the fact that it was delivered to me and steamed up some in the styrofoam box), but most problematic to me is that the lovely spices that we love about pollo a la brasa are completely absent down near the bone. Yes, it's nice and juicy throughout, but who gives a crap if it tastes bland?!?!?!

The worst thing about is that I know it's not great, but I still keep ordering in because it's better than 95% of the options I could have delivered to me, including Chicken Rico across the street here in College Park.

Oh, El Pollo Rico, how I miss you even more.

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I actually think this is the best I have had. I like it more than Pollo Campero, Pollo Rico, and even Nando's. I've yet to encounter rubbery skin, and the seasoning is great here.

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I got takeout for the first time yesterday and the skin was rubbery. I do think the steaming in styrofoam issue might be on point.

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Another Sardi's dinner, another disappointing bland bird.

What was it that Einstein said about insanity?

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Really? I've been going a couple times a month and loving this place, haven't found a brassa bird that comes close. Weird

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Really? I've been going a couple times a month and loving this place, haven't found a brassa bird that comes close. Weird

Dude...Get thee to Chicken on the Run in Bethesda (yeah I know it's not in Laurel/Beltsville/Greenbelt area) -- it's great. My experiences with Sardi's have been less than stellar. El Pollo Rico in Wheaton is still good, but I think it's not quiiiiiiiiite as good as it used to be. Is Super Chicken still around in Wheaton too? I think Que Rico in Owings Mills closed, which is sad, because that was the gold standard for me. There's supposed to be a Peruvian chicken joint in Jessup someplace, too. Have to look up the name.

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Really? I've been going a couple times a month and loving this place, haven't found a brassa bird that comes close. Weird

Sadly, yes. The next time I get a chicken from Sardi's that tastes seasoned beyond the skin and the smallest initial bit of meat will be the first time.

I've not had that problem at El Pollo Rico in Wheaton (which I realize doesn't get the greatest praise from everyone; maybe I've just been absurdly lucky.)

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Sadly, yes. The next time I get a chicken from Sardi's that tastes seasoned beyond the skin and the smallest initial bit of meat will be the first time.

Huh. I will have to try some other places, but all of my friends love Sardi's and it's always packed. I'm not sure I am ready for better chicken.

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Huh. I will have to try some other places, but all of my friends love Sardi's and it's always packed. I'm not sure I am ready for better chicken.

 

I am excited Sardis is opening in Gaithersburg........love their chicken..they have improved so much

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I am excited Sardis is opening in Gaithersburg........love their chicken..they have improved so much

[it's fine that you post here, but you must disclose your relationship with Sardi's from this point forward.]

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Note - they have a location in Laurel, MD, now.

While a like a new non-chain (well sort of at leadt) offering in Laurel, I am not really excited about this. That said, I have not been back for some time, so maybe they have improved? I wonder if it is worth 10 bucks to bother.

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Unlike Pool Boy I am both Peruvian and have taste buds. 

Unlike every other website in the world, both Pool Boy and I would welcome you back for your opinions - just please disclose your affiliation with Sardi's first (and also please send Pool Boy a private apology when you return). All is forgiven, and we can begin with a clean slate, but don't make the mistake of assuming that Pool Boy isn't an expert (he is). Your posts are welcome here, lisalarcon; please just keep them informative and respectful.

I've alerted the two Sardelis cousins to this thread, and they would be most welcome here also. Our readers actually *do* want to know - from management's viewpoint - what's going on at Sardi's. I look forward to reading your posts.

Cheers,

Rocks

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Sardi's is very reliable in Gaithersburg.  It was closed for a fire last summer but appeared open and busy when I passed by last week.  This is good Peruvian Chicken. It may not be the best but is is very good and the packed seats bear testamony top that.  Value is there compared to Nandos where you can pay about double for the same amount of Chicken.

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There is a newish Sardi's location in Laurel, MD on Route 1 in the shopping center at Rt 1 and Contee Road. It's in the spot that California Tortilla vacated a while ago.  I'm not opposed to trying Sardi's again, but whenever I have a craving, I tend to bring home Chick on the Run.

I should honestly branch out more as there are now quite a few newer places in Laurel, Beltsville and greater area to try. If only to see if I am missing out on something.

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I tried out Super Pollo Charcoal Chicken in Ballston/Arlington this past Friday. It is a small local chain that seems to have 4 locations all in northern VA. It was solid, but not exceptional. Certainly better than the offerings where I live (in Laurel, MD), but did not approach the quality of Chicken on the Run in Bethesda from my perspective.

are you saying it's better than Sardi's and/or that you don't like Sardi's?

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51 minutes ago, Toogs said:

are you saying it's better than Sardi's and/or that you don't like Sardi's?

(I figured I'd move this here since Thomas has a pretty extensive record of commenting about Sardi's.)

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