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Rotisserie Chicken (Including Pollo a la Brasa)


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Something that popped into my head...we've argued the merits of various Pho and dim sum joints around town, but has anybody undertaken a "pollo poll" of the numerous Latin American chicken roasters that have sprung up in the past 15-20 years? I'm thinking specifically about the clusters around Arlington (Pollo Rico, Crisp & Juicy, etc) and Langley Park. Are there other notables?

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[The following posts have been split into separate threads:

Kenny's Chicken (Pool Boy)

Pio-Pio (The Hersch)]

Edited by DonRocks
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I personally prefer super chicken on the same strip as pollo rico in Wheaton. The chicken has better flavour, smokier if you may. Plus you get a choice of a wider variety of sides: rice, beans, fried yuca, french fries, salad and cole slaw. You get 2 sauces on the side: the mustard/mayo mix and the green sauce (my favorite). You can distinguish this place from the hundred others on that strip (other than by its name), by the music thats playing outside.

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They all have their benefits. I started out with El Pollo Primo in Rockville about 20 years back, and it is still there. You must get there early in the day, after 5pm the chicken can be extremely dry. Very solid beans and rice, and the corn tortillas are an excellent addition. My one beef with the El Pollo Rico is the lack of beans and rice. A must IMO. Lesser known, but very good chicken is The Nibbler (pretty good food all around, actually) out by the MoCo. Airpark. Awesome hot sauces at The Nibbler, even better than Crisp & Juicy. The Chicken Place (Peruvian) on University in Wheaton is almost a twin of The Nibbler, so similar that I was surprised to find out that they were not linked in some way.

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Perhaps this may be a bit of a long shot, but is anyone familiar with the rotisserie chain called Swiss Chalet? They're mostly in Canada, but have a few outposts in the States.

I'd like to find someplace locally that matches their style and flavor. Bistrot du Coin's got nearly identical fries, and you can mail order the dipping sauce, but it's the chicken itself that's hard to duplicate.

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The only two that I've been two are Edy's and ?? The Chicken House ?? that are right across from each other on 7 near Bailey's Crossroads. Edy's is our favorite and we go somewhat frequently, primarily because the choice of sides is a bit larger at Edy's compared to The Chicken House I believe. Edy's also has a large selection of deserts that all look delicious (and the few we've tried have all been delicious though I don't specifically remember what we've had).

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Perhaps this may be a bit of a long shot, but is anyone familiar with the rotisserie chain called Swiss Chalet? They're mostly in Canada, but have a few outposts in the States.

I'd like to find someplace locally that matches their style and flavor. Bistrot du Coin's got nearly identical fries, and you can mail order the dipping sauce, but it's the chicken itself that's hard to duplicate.

Wow...Swiss Chalet - that was pretty much a lunctime standard for students working on our co-op terms in Toronto. Cheap and filling meals. Salty as all heck but it tasted pretty good after eating in the dorms for four months.

An old girlfriend worked at Swiss Chalet and she said that the only thing they did was slather the chickens with lots of lard and then stick them on the spits. However, an entry in Everything.com states that they're coated in salt and doesn't mention the lard. I have no trouble believing that they were coated in salt as well as lard.

What about St. Hubert chicken? That was really popular in Quebec but I stuck with Swiss Chalet. One of those guilty pleasure things.

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They all have their benefits. I started out with El Pollo Primo in Rockville about 20 years back, and it is still there. You must get there early in the day, after 5pm the chicken can be extremely dry. Very solid beans and rice, and the corn tortillas are an excellent addition. My one beef with the El Pollo Rico is the lack of beans and rice. A must IMO.
El Pollo Primo is the sister establishment of the lamented Pollo Primo on 18th St. in Adams Morgan, I believe. I have been mourning the loss of that place for well over a decade now. I've never been to the place in Rockville. Do they actually do their chickens on a rotisserie, as in the title of this thread? The place in AM grilled their chickens on these great big braziers, and my god they were good (and only slightly more expensive than dirt). The other places being talked about don't do beans, rice, and tortillas because they're Peruvian, so you get yucca and salad. I'm not sure of the nationality of the folks who started Pollo Primo; the guy who acted like the boss at the AM place seemed to be from India, but the help was all Salvadoran, I think.
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REALLY interesting thread since D. C. with its Peruvian spit cooked chicken and Quebec with its Quebecois spit cooked chicken are at the forefront of spit cooked chicken. There is also a barbeque element that enters in here, i.e. my town's bbq joint is better than your town's bbq joint.

1. Virginia Peruvian chicken is better than Maryland Peruvian chicken, even from the same chain. The best of all is the El Pollo Rico in Arlington with the Crisp and Juicy on Lee Highway second. I am convinced the ones on Henderson Avenue in Wheaton and elsewhere (I grew up in Maryland) are not as good as the ones in Virginia. (It is heresey for a Marylander to say anything nice about Virginia.)

2. Swiss Chalet once had an outpost on Richmond Highway just south of the Beltway. St. Hubert, in Quebec City and Montreal, is as everpresent and responsive as both Domino's and Chicken Delight. Having said this it is NOT as good as either. Nor is Swiss Chalet or it would not have gone out of business long ago.

3. If a Peruvian chicken joint (of quality) opened anywhere in Quebec province it would take over the market and kill/choke its competitors' chickens (if you will...).

4. Crisp and Juicy on Lee Highway has better green sauce than the Crisp and Juicy near Bel Pre road. Both have better green sauce than the El Pollo Rico on Henderson which has far worse french fries than the El Pollo Rico in Arlington. The El Pollo Rico in Arlington has better rum cake than anyplace else but only when the grandmother who bakes it has her grandson deliver it to the restaurant. I believe that sometimes he eats it before it is delivered!

5. Bailey's Crossroads and the several chicken joints have all proven to be disappointing based on several visits, even after repeated urging from friends "whose opinion I trust."

6. Overall, El Pollo Rico in Arlington rules with Crisp and Juicy on Lee Highway second.

7. D. C. doesn't have a Peruvian/Quebecois rotisserie chicken joint of repute to consider...

8. The ultimate would be an El Pollo Rico or Crisp and Juicy that serves poutine....

9. Quebec doesn't count unless it's spaghetti with meat sauce and mozzarella cheese melted on top of all this but, to be honest for the first time, this is a totally different topic.

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REALLY interesting thread since D. C. with its Peruvian spit cooked chicken and Quebec with its Quebecois spit cooked chicken are at the forefront of spit cooked chicken. There is also a barbeque element that enters in here, i.e. my town's bbq joint is better than your town's bbq joint.

1. Virginia Peruvian chicken is better than Maryland Peruvian chicken, even from the same chain. The best of all is the El Pollo Rico in Arlington with the Crisp and Juicy on Lee Highway second. I am convinced the ones on Henderson Avenue in Wheaton and elsewhere (I grew up in Maryland) are not as good as the ones in Virginia. (It is heresey for a Marylander to say anything nice about Virginia.)

Cum'on Joe, fess up. You're now a turncoat Virginian Reb boy. Obviously not to be trusted in this interstate comparison. :lol:

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El Pollo Primo is the sister establishment of the lamented Pollo Primo on 18th St. in Adams Morgan, I believe. I've never been to the place in Rockville. Do they actually do their chickens on a rotisserie, as in the title of this thread? The place in AM grilled their chickens on these great big braziers, and my god they were good (and only slightly more expensive than dirt).
You are correct. They are not rotisserie, they are grilled. Nonetheless they are a great diversion from C&J and EPR, just get there early.
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Wow...Swiss Chalet - that was pretty much a lunctime standard for students working on our co-op terms in Toronto. Cheap and filling meals. Salty as all heck but it tasted pretty good after eating in the dorms for four months.

An old girlfriend worked at Swiss Chalet and she said that the only thing they did was slather the chickens with lots of lard and then stick them on the spits. However, an entry in Everything.com states that they're coated in salt and doesn't mention the lard. I have no trouble believing that they were coated in salt as well as lard.

What about St. Hubert chicken? That was really popular in Quebec but I stuck with Swiss Chalet. One of those guilty pleasure things.

I only tried St. Hubert once, and I was about 7, so I can't comment. But that Chalet sauce is one of the unique food wonders of the world. As to the chicken preparation, one of the powdered packet products they sell is a chicken marinade, but I'm not sure if that even has anything to do with their in-house rotisserie.

2. Swiss Chalet once had an outpost on Richmond Highway just south of the Beltway. St. Hubert, in Quebec City and Montreal, is as everpresent and responsive as both Domino's and Chicken Delight. Having said this it is NOT as good as either. Nor is Swiss Chalet or it would not have gone out of business long ago.

According to swisschalet.com, the only remaining American outposts are in the Buffalo area, which is where I grew up. If it was just the chicken, I wouldn't eat there. But it's the combination of the chicken, fries, and sauce (and sadly, formerly the buns) that make it worthwhile.

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I was so sad to learn on my first trip to Stratford, ON that Swiss Chalet was a chicken place and not a Swiss restaurant!

I've only eaten there once--when we needed a quick lunch before crossing the border and the thought of eating at Tim's or McDonald's at Duty Free panicked us. I thought it was decent--I know my travelling companion would like to go there more often as she can figure out the points easily from their website. It's just far enough away from the theaters in Stratford that we never end up there....

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My vote is for the Cabo chicken from Chicken out. Chicken out's chickens seem much plumper then what the peruvian places offer. The cabo has some good spice and though not as tasty as EPR I believe I will not need 2 hours on the stairmaster afterwards.

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My favorite is "E Pollo Rico" in Wheaton MD. The only thing on the menu is the chicken (well plus drinks, three choices of sides and dipping sauces) and the chicken is what dreams are made of, moist, delcious, perfectly done. There is almost always a line out the door for it.

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I was introduced to Swiss Chalet when growing up in Buffalo and haven't seen it since.... my parents wouldn't take us when we were little, so i had to wait for the times that my friend's family would bring me along :o

On another note, La Granja de Oro on Columbia Rd ain't bad. Sometimes it's a little dry; others, it's spot-on.

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During the past few days, due to being in the appropriate neighborhood at the time, I had the chicken at the Chicken and Steak Place on Route 7 in Alexandria across from Toys ‘R’ Us and also at the Arlington El Pollo Rico. The former has better sides because the salad option is better than El Pollo’s coleslaw and the fries seem fresher. At both places, the chicken is moist although El Pollo’s has spicier herbs. I wish that I had one of these places within walking distance of Rosslyn. They did have a decent, although not as good, place in the shopping center with Ray’s but it is closed now.

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Both branches of El Pollo Rico have the same ownership and the same menu although some claim that the Virginia version has tastier chicken but I can't tell. The Virginia branch is on North Kenmore Street in Arlington on a short block between Wilson Blvd and Fairfax Drive and you can find it by tracing the aroma.

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My favorite is "E Pollo Rico" in Wheaton MD. The only thing on the menu is the chicken (well plus drinks, three choices of sides and dipping sauces) and the chicken is what dreams are made of, moist, delcious, perfectly done. There is almost always a line out the door for it.

At 7:45 on a Tuesday, the line for El Pollo Rico's smoky-flavored rotisserie chicken continued out the door ten deep, and for good reason. Damned good chicken, though the side options do not elicit similar excitement.

Is there an area in DC for greater dining value (dollar : flavor) than Wheaton?

Pax,

Brian

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Since El Pollo Rico was out of commission last week, I tried El Pollo Trujillo in the Four Corners area. Just not the same.....Not nearly as crispy, the chicken seemed a little undercooked and the seasoning was uneven. But I was intrigued by the crispiness of the fries, which the counter person told me was fried in soybean oil. Still no replacement for the star attraction at El Pollo Rico.

Pax,

Brian

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I was so sad to learn on my first trip to Stratford, ON that Swiss Chalet was a chicken place and not a Swiss restaurant!

I've only eaten there once--when we needed a quick lunch before crossing the border and the thought of eating at Tim's or McDonald's at Duty Free panicked us. I thought it was decent--I know my travelling companion would like to go there more often as she can figure out the points easily from their website. It's just far enough away from the theaters in Stratford that we never end up there....

I am somewhat a fan of SC having lived in Montreal for a while. But I first tried them right here in Springfield, where they had a location for some years on Commerce Street. The place they had became Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse (a chain place also) and is now the Dragon Sea Buffet Chinese.

They never got any farther south to my knowledge and retrenched northward to today's very megre presence in the US.

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Finally tried El Pollo Rico for lunch in Arlington last week. Wow! First experience with this type of chicken, and man was that good! Spiced up and juicy, this was a delicious bird! Too bad I work and live too far away (across the river :angry: ) to make this trip often. Only blemish would be the sides - lackluster fries and meh coleslaw. Liked the sauces though, especially mixed together.

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Of all those mentioned so far I've only tried Crisp 'n' Juicy (on Route 7). It was tasty but not so exceptional that I've ever had the sudden urge to go back. I think I'll try the one mentioned in the Willston Center next time I'm around Seven Corners (the "Peruvian Chicken and Steak place").

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I am trying to come up with a comprehensive list of Peruvian Chicken joints in suburban Maryland (not NoVa, not DC, Maryland, folks). I have been browsing the internet looking for as many as I can find and I would appreciate it if folks could confirm names, locations, current existences of this list (see below) as well as any names and addresses of places that I am missing. Ideally I am looking for those places in Montgomery County and Prince George's County, but any Maryland located joint will do.

TIA!

Wheaton:

o Pio Pio (need address)

o Super Chicken (need address)

o Country Chicken Pollo Sabrosa - Grandview Ave. (need actual address)

o Chicken Place - University just east of GA (need actual address)

o Crisp & Juicy - Westfield Wheaton Plaza Mall at University and Veir's Mill (need actual address)

Four Corners:

o Polleria Trujillo - Colesville Rd/29@University (need address)

Piney Branch:

o La Pollera - 8736 Piney Br. Rd, just S. of university

o El Sabroso - Flower and Piney Branch (need actual address)

Langley Park/Grennbelt:

o Chicken Rico - new strip shop center on University E. of NH (need actual address)

o Pollo Casero - SW corner Riggs and University in shopping center (need actual address)

o Senor Chicken - NW corner University and NH in big shopping center (need actual address)

Rockville

o Crisp & Juicy – Next to Penzey’s? (need actual address)

o Unknown Name – At 355 & Rt 28 near IHOP – next to a Latin restaurant (need name and address)

o El Pollo Primo - (Need Address)

o The Nibbler – by MoCo Airpark (Need address)

Silver Spring

o Crisp & Juicy - East-West Hwy and Colesville Rd. (Need actual address)

o Inka Pollo - on Georgia Avenue, in the little strip mall across from the Staples (need actual address)

Laurel

o Megachicken on Rt 198 near BW Parkway

Owings Mills

o Que Rico on Reisterstown Road

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Bethesda: Chicken on the Run. And the same folks will soon have another location, named "Don Pollo," in the space on Wisconsin where Chesapeake Chicken used to be.

I am trying to come up with a comprehensive list of Peruvian Chicken joints in suburban Maryland (not NoVa, not DC, Maryland, folks). I have been browsing the internet looking for as many as I can find and I would appreciate it if folks could confirm names, locations, current existences of this list (see below) as well as any names and addresses of places that I am missing. Ideally I am looking for those places in Montgomery County and Prince George's County, but any Maryland located joint will do.

TIA!

Wheaton:

o Pio Pio (need address)

o Super Chicken (need address)

o Country Chicken Pollo Sabrosa - Grandview Ave. (need actual address)

o Chicken Place - University just east of GA (need actual address)

o Crisp & Juicy - Westfield Wheaton Plaza Mall at University and Veir's Mill (need actual address)

Four Corners:

o Polleria Trujillo - Colesville Rd/29@University (need address)

Piney Branch:

o La Pollera - 8736 Piney Br. Rd, just S. of university

o El Sabroso - Flower and Piney Branch (need actual address)

Langley Park/Grennbelt:

o Chicken Rico - new strip shop center on University E. of NH (need actual address)

o Pollo Casero - SW corner Riggs and University in shopping center (need actual address)

o Senor Chicken - NW corner University and NH in big shopping center (need actual address)

Rockville

o Crisp & Juicy – Next to Penzey’s? (need actual address)

o Unknown Name – At 355 & Rt 28 near IHOP – next to a Latin restaurant (need name and address)

o El Pollo Primo - (Need Address)

o The Nibbler – by MoCo Airpark (Need address)

Silver Spring

o Crisp & Juicy - East-West Hwy and Colesville Rd. (Need actual address)

o Inka Pollo - on Georgia Avenue, in the little strip mall across from the Staples (need actual address)

Laurel

o Megachicken on Rt 198 near BW Parkway

Owings Mills

o Que Rico on Reisterstown Road

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There is a spot on Columbia Pike just West of Glebe Road called "El Pollo Rey." That's right, King Chicken, baby. It may have been mentioned. It is up there, I think, with Crisp N Juicy and Pollo Rico. The chicken is generally consistent and flavorful, but not other worldly. The kicker for me is that they offer pupusas. The real deal--formed, filled and cooked to order. You have to wait a few minutes to get them, but the place is also a laundromat and music store, so there is plenty to do... ;)

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Inka's in Silver Spring is at 9423 Georgia Ave., near the intersection of Dale and GA Ave.

Let me put in a plug for their food. Besides their very good rotisserie chicken, they have a variety of Peruvian dishes. My personal favorite--so much so that I eat it at least once per week--is #5 on the menu. Fried tilapia topped with a seafood mix, then served in a rich and addictive sauce that leaves me wanting to lick the plate. It is so good....

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Rockville

o Crisp & Juicy – Next to Penzey’s? (need actual address)

o Unknown Name – At 355 & Rt 28 near IHOP – next to a Latin restaurant (need name and address)

o El Pollo Primo - (Need Address)

o The Nibbler – by MoCo Airpark (Need address)

I believe that you're talking about La Limena, which is next door to El Mariachi in the Ritchie Center on the Rockville Pike. They have sensational rotisserie chicken and sides, and a lot of Peruvian customers.
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I am trying to come up with a comprehensive list of Peruvian Chicken joints in suburban Maryland (not NoVa, not DC, Maryland, folks).

Because you're trying for a comprehensive (as opposed to best of) list, I'll add Pansa Llena Mexican Grill in the White Oak Shopping Center (11279 New Hampshire Ave.) They have Peruvian chicken in addition to their "Mexican Grill" items such as tacos, burritos, fajitas.

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Because you're trying for a comprehensive (as opposed to best of) list, I'll add Pansa Llena Mexican Grill in the White Oak Shopping Center (11279 New Hampshire Ave.) They have Peruvian chicken in addition to their "Mexican Grill" items such as tacos, burritos, fajitas.

I had no idea. That's clearly in my neck of the world. Iwill have to conduct more research by going here, too. Grazie!

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Where is the current place to go in Northern Virginia? Is it still El Pollo Rico? How come there is no mention of the Carribean Chicken place on Lee Hwy? How does that rate?

The myriad of questions will lead to deciding where to take my Chicago-visiting cousin, who gave me the most quizzical look when I asked if he wanted to try some pollo a la brasa places....

Thanks all!!

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Where is the current place to go in Northern Virginia? Is it still El Pollo Rico?

You can't go wrong with El Pollo Rico, but don't overlook the quality birds at Crisp & Juicy on Lee Highway. At under $10 for a whole chicken cut up, it is quite the bargain as well. With a couple of orders of papas grande as sides, we can feed the entire family for well under $20. The hot sauce and the green mild sauce are recommended.

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I am trying to come up with a comprehensive list of Peruvian Chicken joints in suburban Maryland (not NoVa, not DC, Maryland, folks). I have been browsing the internet looking for as many as I can find and I would appreciate it if folks could confirm names, locations, current existences of this list (see below) as well as any names and addresses of places that I am missing. Ideally I am looking for those places in Montgomery County and Prince George's County, but any Maryland located joint will do.

TIA!

Wheaton:

o Pio Pio (need address)

o Super Chicken (need address)

o Country Chicken Pollo Sabrosa - Grandview Ave. (need actual address)

o Chicken Place - University just east of GA (need actual address)

o Crisp & Juicy - Westfield Wheaton Plaza Mall at University and Veir's Mill (need actual address)

Four Corners:

o Polleria Trujillo - Colesville Rd/29@University (need address)

Piney Branch:

o La Pollera - 8736 Piney Br. Rd, just S. of university

o El Sabroso - Flower and Piney Branch (need actual address)

Langley Park/Grennbelt:

o Chicken Rico - new strip shop center on University E. of NH (need actual address)

o Pollo Casero - SW corner Riggs and University in shopping center (need actual address)

o Senor Chicken - NW corner University and NH in big shopping center (need actual address)

Rockville

o Crisp & Juicy Next to Penzeys? (need actual address)

o Unknown Name At 355 & Rt 28 near IHOP next to a Latin restaurant (need name and address)

o El Pollo Primo - (Need Address)

o The Nibbler by MoCo Airpark (Need address)

Silver Spring

o Crisp & Juicy - East-West Hwy and Colesville Rd. (Need actual address)

o Inka Pollo - on Georgia Avenue, in the little strip mall across from the Staples (need actual address)

Laurel

o Megachicken on Rt 198 near BW Parkway

Owings Mills

o Que Rico on Reisterstown Road

Sobroso Colesville Rd Silver Spring (Across from the AFI)

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Just chiming in, but Coco Rico on the north end of the Springfield Mall complex has very good Peruvian chicken, along with baba ghanouj, hummos, tabbouli and plenty of pita. Enjoy whatever sides you enjoy at all of your standard chicken places, but sign me up for Fady's sides any time.

And then there's Don Alberto's down Rt. 1 in Woodbridge. That's some darned good charcoal grilled chicken....

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