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“It isn't just a good value!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Pollo Rico

El Pollo Rico
932 North Kenmore Street, Arlington, VA 22201-2227
703 522 3220
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Ranked #3 of 679 Restaurants in Arlington
Cuisines: Barbecue, Mexican, Peruvian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Delivery, Late Night
Hillsdale, New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“It isn't just a good value!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

For nearly 20 years, El Pollo Rico has been a favorite. I was initially turned on to the place by Phyllis Richman's "top 50 cheap eats" from the Washington Post, and then by a friend who finally got me to go. He pointed out some things that have stuck with me over the years.

Those who patron the place are like a United Nations of people, but the BEST of the United Nations. Many are South Americans (it IS Peruvian chicken place!). They are a beautiful people, rich in culture. There are Chinese Americans, black, white... blue and white collar. There are old, young... people with kids and even grandkids. The parking lot has work trucks, BMWs and even a Honda like mine. I even saw a limo drive up as I was leaving.

But this would mean nothing if the chicken wasn't heavenly. I don't know what they do to draw out so much flavor. It helps with the jalapeno & yellow-hot mustard dipping sauces. The old-time stake cut fries are the perfect way to get every last bit. NO ketchup for the purist here; it would just be evil. Add some coleslaw and an Inca cola, and the magic begins.

I look around me and see men using their forks; but they are with women or family. Then you see the men like me... solo, and they come with clean hands because they know they will be eating with their fingers. And it WILL be a mess, a lovely mess.

I was told that they can easily sell 3,000 chickens in a day. Sometimes on Saturdays, the line will go out of the door (oh... this place was retro-fitted into a convenience store I think. Nothing fancy, but that IS part of it). Price is really low, but don't let that fool you. My thanks to all that work at this store, and I offer a tribute to the years of great work. Thank you, thank you, thank you. YOU are a big part of the reason I return to the D.C. Metro area.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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196 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    105
    63
    25
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Arlington, Virginia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Cheap, fresh food and friendly service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

You can feed two people an enormous amount of food, including char-broiled chicken, for $11.00. Hard to beat that.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The best!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

This Peruvian charcoal grilled chicken restaurant/takeout is the best! Reviewed by Tony Bourdain, I'm grateful it is convenient for me. If you need an inexpensive, wholesome, well flavored meal (chicken, Fr Fries and cole slaw) this is the place to go!

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Cheap and Awesome”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Hands down the best chicken in the area. Come early, the lines can be long, left lane allows credit right is cash only.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great for Lunch!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Their chicken is amazing and you'll get large portions for a reasonable price. My co-workers and I was frequent this place regularly.

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