El Pollo Rico - Arlington
932 N. Kenmore Street
Arlington, VA 22201
Neighborhood: Arlington, Arlington, Clarendon/Courthouse
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
Long considered the king of the area's Peruvian-chicken houses, these rotisseries still sit at the top--when the kitchens are on top of their game, which is often. The owners won't say what's in the slightly spicy rub packed under the skin, but they've let leak that the birds are marinated 24 hours before going on the spit. The result is a flavor that's spicy, salty, and peppery. New additions to the Wheaton menu are tamales and chicken empanadas, but they're both forgettable.
A tip to up your chances of a getting a great chicken: Prime time might mean waiting in line, but the birds won't sit in a warmer.
Also good: Chicken comes with a choice of two sides (choose rice and beans over fries or coleslaw); anise-seed-studded alfajores cookies with dulce de leche.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.