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
Peruvian chicken houses are nearly as common as burger joints around here, and for years these bare-bones pollerias have been in the top tier. At their finest, the spice-rubbed birds, which rotate above bright-orange coals, sport moist meat and zesty skin.
It’s best to come at dinner, when families pile around tables scattered with cans of Inca Kola and when turnover is high—at slower times the chickens can sit and turn dry. Tiny cups of fiery jalapeño purée and tangy mayo sauce come with your bird—they’re so good we order extra. Lines can be long, but the recent addition of credit-card machines is a convenience.
Also good: Thick-cut fries; alfajores (shortbread cookies).