Food Review

Food Review – El Pollo Rico – Arlington, VA

In between growing up in NJ and starting a family in NJ I lived in the DC/Northern VA area for ten years.  There are a lot of things I miss about the DC Metro area (friends, the Smithsonian, traffic on the Beltway) but when it comes to food there is only one thing I crave.  That craving is for the great Peruvian style chicken that you could find all over Northern VA.  It’s a style of rotisserie chicken that I have been unable to find in NJ/PA/NY or been able to replicate.

Of all the Peruvian chicken joints my wife and I both preferred El Pollo RicoSo when the wife heard I had to work from DC for a fews days she insisted that I grab a chicken on my way home (and somehow keep it warm for 2-3 hours).  I gladly agreed, stuck a tasty bird in a cooler in the car for the return trip, and violated most of the speed limits between DC and Philly to get it home warm and tasty.

Now I am not the first to write about El Pollo Rico and surely won’t be the last.  Heck Anthony Bourdain filmed an episode of No Reservations there so I won’t go on about how great their chicken is.  Instead I would offer that this chicken is not just tasty it is instantly addictive to anyone who eats it.

There is something in this chicken that I can’t figure out and no one I know has been able to reproduce it.  I swear they marinate this chicken in heroin.  Once you try it you can’t forget it and can’t get enough.  My very picky 7 year-old daughter got a taste of the chicken I brought home and then proclaimed, “If we lived near this place this is all I would eat …. EVER!”

So if you are in Arlington VA I highly recommend you give this place a try.  But be warned, you may have to wait in a significant line to get your bird and once you’ve tried it the cravings may haunt you forever.

2 replies »

    • Amazing is a good description! I spent a wonderful 6 years in the same area. I miss a lot of things from Arlington but this chicken is in my top 5.


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