The guys with the cleavers—whack! whack! whack!—work way too close to their fingers. But somehow the choppers at these beloved local places, where the lines on a midweek night stretch to the door, never seem to miss.
The cooking is just as true. Indians, Asians, Latinos, baby-strollers, business suits, cops—all flock to the storefronts for their fix. There are plenty of chicken shops in town, but none has mastered the process like these guys, from the 24-hour soak in a cumin-spiked paste of Peruvian peppers to the slow, careful tending over an open flame. The result is a bird that’s tangy and tender. Another attraction: the clean, bright atmosphere, more picnic area than polleria.
Skip the fries that replace the yucca in Arlington, and don’t miss the surprise in Wheaton: a flan that is light and full of caramel taste.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.