El Pollo Rico - Arlington
932 N. Kenmore Street
Arlington, VA 22201
Neighborhood: Arlington, Clarendon/Courthouse, Arlington
Cuisines: South American, Peruvian
Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Virginia Square-GMU
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Accepted
Peruvian chicken; French fries; rum cake; alfajores; mayo-yellow mustard sauce and cilantro-lime sauce.
Quarter chicken with sides $3.90; half chicken with sides $6.30; whole chicken with sides $11.70.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly
Why go: Who cares if the plates are Styrofoam, the utensils are plastic, and the only attempt at jazzing up the atmosphere at this Ballston polleria is a staticky radio tuned to easy listening? You’re here for the Peruvian-style chicken, one bite of which will grab your attention.
What to get: Spice-crusted, spit-roasted chicken—so moist and tender that you barely need a knife—hacked into quarters or halves or served whole and accompanied by a mild mayo sauce and a piquant salsa of crushed jalapeños. Steak fries and coleslaw, the only other offerings on the menu, are just so-so.
Best for: A satisfying meal at lightning speed—the cashier will have your plate assembled in less than 30 seconds; taking the chicken to go and making your own sides.
Insider tip: El Pollo Rico’s Wheaton twin, destroyed by fire in February, is expected to reopen in the fall.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.