Cheap Eats 2010: El Pollo Rico— Arlington

100 great places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: We’re not sure if it’s black-mint paste, aji pepper, or something the owners won’t divulge. Whatever the secret to the 24-hour marinade, lots of people are addicted to the birds turned out by this duo of Peruvian-style rotisseries.

What to get: Chickens fresh off the spit, sold whole or hacked into halves or quarters. Two sauces come on the side, one cool and creamy, the other green and fiery. Extras such as fries and coleslaw are skippable. For dessert you’ll find punch-packing rum cake.

Best for: Carryout—the dining rooms are loud and charmless.

Insider tip: If you’re getting chicken to go, ask for extra sauces. The to-go cups are tiny.

>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here            

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

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