El Pollo Rico: Is It a Magnet Because It’s Good or Hyped?
The new El Pollo Rico in Wheaton looks as if it were actually designed for its intended purpose—selling those browned beauties pulled from the charcoal rotisserie. Unlike its previous location just a block or two away, this Pollo Rico spot is both stylish and functional.
The stylish elements—the upscale advertising posters, the French bistro paintings—don't do a thing for me, unless they're intended as irony (which would then tickle me no end). But I love the place's new sense of functionality, beginning with the waiting line that's actually inside the structure. No longer do you need to brave the elements to satisfy your urge for a to-go container of the joint's namesake "delicious chicken." But I also like where the owners placed the butcher board—right in front of your face at the counter, behind a protective window, where a woman pulls the charcoal birds from a holding unit and whacks away at them with a cleaver. The act is aggressive. It's dramatic. It's dinner and show at El Pollo Rico.
But as I'm proving with this very blog post, El Pollo Rico gets a lot of media attention; sometimes, of course, it's not so flattering. But often it is, including Anthony Bourdain's drive-by on his recent No Reservations episode on D.C. (Full disclosure: I gave Bourdain's producer the tip for El Pollo Rico.)
Our region, however, is stuffed with pollo a la brasa. I want to know where you like to eat Peruvian chicken. After the jump, I've listed a number of spots that sell the stuff. Do me a solid and write some comments on your favorites. I have a sneaking suspicion that your words may end up in next week's paper, if you catch my drift, and I think you do.
Here are a few of the joints that sell Peruvian chicken in the area: