Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Review-Pollo Campero, Pawtucket, RI
I went. I saw. And I ate. Pollo Campero that is. Every Guatemalan that I know is absolutely NUTS over this chicken so I decided that once they opened up shop in my neck of the woods I was heading to check it out. I had business to do in Providence this past week, so it was a good time to head to Pawtucket and check out the local Pollo Campero.
When we arrived, the restaurant was practically empty. I was surprised, but considering it had opened some time ago the long lines of Latinos eager for their chicken fix had long gone by. As soon as I opened the door, I was greeted with the smell of fried chicken and my mouth started watering in anticipation. I was surprised to see another Gringo there getting himself a box to go, and while in line trying to decide what to get a few more people showed up.
Considering my only experience with Pollo Campero prior to this was eating a piece that had traveled thousands of miles in hubby's carry on bag, and then the four hours home in a car, finally getting a fresh, hot piece of chicken was very appealing.
I went with a combo meal-a leg and thigh along with rice and a soft drink. Hubby chose the same as me, but with beans as his side. I also could not resist the tres leches cake that seemed to be calling me from behind the counter.
Hubby took a few bites, savored the taste, and announced that while the chicken was good and had SOME spices, it was not as good as the original in Guatemala. Ah... nothing ever tastes as good as home, so I knew that it wouldn't satisfy him completely. But he did eat it all, and we went back for a second trip with my son and his girlfriend before heading back to Maine later that day and got a box to take home.
I am one who loves the (unhealthy) seasoned chicken skin, if I could I would eat just that, lol. I found this chicken to be plump, juicy and lightly seasoned with a very slight bit of heat. It wasn't greasy at all, and that was a plus. The rice was so-so. The next day I had fries, and if I had to choose again, I'd probably go with the fries. Hubby did mention that his beans were ok. I would have liked to try the fried plaintains, but my stomach can only take so much in one sitting. One thing I loved was the salad type bar that had jalapenos, pico de gallo, and other Latin type condiments that could be added to give it even more heat if needed. The tres leches cake was delicious, a bit watery on the bottom but still every bit as good.
What surprised me was that everything was served on white china plates. While the silverware was plastic, the plates were the real deal. No disposable plates here. I would hate to be their dishwasher though, lol! Both visits, the restaurant was very clean and the restrooms as well. Our last visit was a Sunday around noon time and while they were not busy when we arrived, people getting out of church ended up filling it up pretty quickly.
I will be heading to RI in a few weeks for more business, and will definitely stop for some more Pollo Campero-I'll be heading to Guatemala on June 17th and can't wait to try them out there as well. If you've got a Pollo Campero near you, be sure to check it out and let me know what you think!