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Crisp & Juicy, A Local Peruvian Chicken Chain With Multiple Area Locations

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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.

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I've gone to the store near Olney at Leisure World plaza several times over the past few years including once last month. The chicken is great. The skin not always crisp, but the chicken is very juicy and flavorful with hints of smoke. I also like the spicy mayo-like sauces they give you, although I can only handle the "mild" which is pretty spicy. I haven't been too impressed with the sides, but the chicken makes up for it.

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I generally don't single out individual locations of chain restaurants (have you noticed?), but the Arlington Crisp & Juicy has what can legitimately be termed "Deathbed Chicken."

Although I never got to try Loiseau's Poularde de Bresse a la Vapeur, I've had some pretty good birds in my day - including, of course, the magnificent version at Palena. But if someone were to tell me I could have chicken only one more time in my life, I might just choose the one at the Arlington Crisp & Juicy ($9.75 for a whole). I've had it a million times, and it's consistently great.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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But if someone were to tell me I could have chicken only one more time in my life, I might just choose the one at the Arlington Crisp & Juicy ($9.75 for a whole). I've had it a million times, and it's consistently great.

This is one of the few places where you and I really part company. I've had mixed results here over the years to the point where I don't even bother anymore.

Lee Highway C&J can't hold the Wilson Blvd. Pollo Rico's jock.

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Too much cumin in that jock.

Blasphemer!

Forget the skin. Throw that out and just compare the meat. PR is always moist, but never wet. Very consistent. C&J is sometimes soggy, sometimes dry, sometimes right on. You never know what you're getting, and it's sad that it depends on the time of day you're there (when it's slow the chicken is particularly inconsistent). Sauces are never as good as on Wilson Blvd.

I think C&J is closer in comparison to Caribbean Grill than PR, to be honest.

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I generally don't single out individual locations of chain restaurants (have you noticed?), but the Arlington Crisp & Juicy has what can legitimately be termed "Deathbed Chicken."

But if someone were to tell me I could have chicken only one more time in my life, I might just choose the one at the Arlington Crisp & Juicy ($9.75 for a whole). I've had it a million times, and it's consistently great.

I used to live withing smelling distance (during all times of the day) of the Arlington Crisp and Juicy. On the nights I didn't eat it, pure torture.

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Since fuzzy510 just posted about El Pollo Rico, I'll add that the original (Lee Heights Shopping Center) Crisp and Juicy had an off-night tonight - a whole chicken ($9.95) had dry breast meat (not always the case here), and a rub that was more herbaceous than usual, which I think incorporated some of the same spices in their green sauce. The chicken seemed like it had been out of the oven for a good while (this was at about 8:15).

I've heard of consistency problems at this location, and tonight I experienced it first-hand. However, they did include an extra 1/4 dark-meat (maybe because it was getting late; maybe because I left a dollar tip).

Cheers,

Rocks.

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I was at the El Pollo Rico in Arlington last Saturday night. My guess is that they brine the chicken which allows for the succulent juicy flavor of its meat which is unmatched by any other. But I continue to favor both Don Pollo in Bethesda and the Lee HIghway Crisp and Juicy chicken over El Pollo Rico. Part of the reason is the flavor of the skin which I also believe is a bit crisper at Don Pollo. Additionally, I prefer the dips at both over El Pollo Rico.

Still, Arlington's El Pollo Rico is an incredible operation with four rotisseries and only french fries and deli slaw for sides. On this visit there must have been well over 100 people in there.

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The best solution for my "Dining in Westminster" query was to stop at the Crisp & Juicy in the Leisure World shopping center off 97. I've probably stopped here 10 times since last year and I've never thought this location came close to El Pollo Rico or my experiences at Don Pollo, but it's still the best take out option on my route from Bethesda to Westminster and I'm glad it's there.

Pax,

Brian

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I used to live withing smelling distance (during all times of the day) of the Arlington Crisp and Juicy. On the nights I didn't eat it, pure torture.

I feel your pain! I work nearby too, and when the wind is out of the east it is hard not immediately crossing the street and ordering a half chicken with a side of the beans and rice. That said, they are getting a lot more hit or miss this past year or so. I had a dry bird a month ago, and a slightly underdone one that did a number on my stomach a couple months before that. I tend to nuke my birds for 30 seconds now, which is pitiful. El Pollo Rico is a good second best but their herb rub just tastes off, maybe it is the cumin, I don't know, but it doesn't pass the sniff test. Crisp & Juicy, a great rotisserie bird, though not as far in front of the pack, or flock, if you will, as it used to be.

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The Lee Heights location was quite busy at around 7pm last night for a quick whole chicken carryout order. I was sad that they ran out of Fried Plantains, though, but at least they still had Fried Yuca.

The bird wasn't as flavorful as it may have been in the past, with only one other experience to compare. The last time the whole chicken was dry and old-tasting, but this time, the meat was juicier and tender. There was not much herb run on the chicken at all this time, which was a bit odd to me.

My cousin enjoyed the experience, but later commented, "it's good, but why get this when you can get the same rotisserie chicken in the grocery stores for less?" Oh well, I tried, I guess.

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The Falls Church C&J is a short drive, that's the good part. The bad part is that the last time I got my chicken and yucca there, I thought that perhaps they completely forgot to season the bird. :D

I hope the Lee Heights branch of C&J gets in the groove soon, I'm moving to that area next month.

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Expanding into DC! Meant to post it a few days ago, but now can't remember the exact location...I think it's Tenleytown?

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Expanding into DC! Meant to post it a few days ago, but now can't remember the exact location...I think it's Tenleytown?

That's right, goodeats. I just found out that Crisp & Juicy's latest location has opened in Tenleytown at 4533 Wisconsin Ave. Early reports (from another board) are that the chicken is quite good, moist w/ crispy skin. Am looking forward to trying it soon!

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We somehow end up at the Arlington Crisp & Juicy almost every week. It is inconsistent, but the worst days are still wonderful, and on the best days, we eat in awe of the deliciousness. This chicken is where it is at!

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That's right, goodeats. I just found out that Crisp & Juicy's latest location has opened in Tenleytown at 4533 Wisconsin Ave. Early reports (from another board) are that the chicken is quite good, moist w/ crispy skin. Am looking forward to trying it soon!

Thanks for the update. Now I know what we're having for dinner, LOL. Except for the little vegetarian whose guitar lesson takes me to T'town every Wed afternoon. Am I right in assuming that there's not much for her there?

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Thanks for the update. Now I know what we're having for dinner, LOL. Except for the little vegetarian whose guitar lesson takes me to T'town every Wed afternoon. Am I right in assuming that there's not much for her there?

She can gnaw on some yuca and plantains while she's waiting for her tofu to defrost at home. :rolleyes:

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I tried the Silver Spring branch this past week, ordering the quarter dark-meat dinner: one full leg, the kind of dinner roll I just throw in the trash, a small salad and yucca fries (paid extra, I think) for around $6.73. The fries were great, even the hard, thin, over-saturated small bits. If tiny, the salad (I wish you could order fewer fries and a much larger salad w the meal, though I suspect you could a la carte) was nonetheless far better than any I've ever had at a fast-food joint. Somebody else was happily shoveling in yellow rice w beans; it looked good.

The chicken, like Kenny's, was quite moist, flavorful meat (if not distinctly seasoned), though in this case without the gritty spice rub. I have yet to enjoy crispy skin on one of these chickens. Nothing yet compares w one's own dry-brined roasted chicken at home.

Is there a particular seasoning one ought to expect on a Peruvian roasted chicken?

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Thanks for the update. Now I know what we're having for dinner, LOL. Except for the little vegetarian whose guitar lesson takes me to T'town every Wed afternoon. Am I right in assuming that there's not much for her there?

You're welcome. The guitar-playing vegetarian can get sides of yucca (but FYI, I've heard that they're better at some locations than others, or maybe it depends on how soft or crispy you like them) and plantains. There's also salad and sweet and mashed potatoes. If she's still hungry, there's always the salad bar and other good stuff at Whole Foods close by.

P.S. I'm going to try to make it there this week and can't wait to try the sauces (spicy hot pink one and a medium yellow one). Have yet to find a sauce for Peruvian chicken as heavenly as Pio Pio's (in New York) green sauce, but I'm keeping an open mind.

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She can gnaw on some yuca and plantains while she's waiting for her tofu to defrost at home. :rolleyes:

re what will be defrosting. Cheese and peas (aka mattar paneer) more likely, LOL! That tends to be her default. Although maybe I'll be more indulgent and put on some sushi rice before I leave home.

Just looked up the menu. Am I correct in deducing from your (yucca/plantain) recommendations that the rice & beans aren't any good? Or is the chicken just so much better that you aren't going to waste any space on something so mundane?

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Am I correct in deducing from your (yucca/plantain) recommendations that the rice & beans aren't any good?

I'm not sure the beans are vegetarian...

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I'm not sure the beans are vegetarian...

Good point -- thanks for the reminder! Of course when I mentioned I planned to check this place out tonight, her immediate response was "no problem -- I'll just have peas and cheese!"

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The best-laid plans, LOL... My husband called to say he was just going out for lunch at 3:30, so there went my bring-chicken-home-for-dinner-at-6pm scenario. But I was still eager to give our new Crisp & Juicy at try, so I decided to stop in for a late afternoon snack. (I was being kind to the little vegetarian, remembering that Roast Chicken was the one dish she desperately wanted to learn to make right before she had her conversion experience.)

The chicken was good, but not to die for. Sauce was ok, but not my kind of thing (green would be much better). Fries were totally unexceptional (I ended up pitching most of them, along with most of the roll). Haven't tried the salad yet (it looked really cold and uninviting). I think, for me, this will just serve as a superior substitute for the occasional supermarket chicken.

Forget it, Rocks. It's Tenleytown.

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