While on one of my runs for Wednesday 99-cents fish tacos at Tacos Baja Ensenada - (East) Los Angeles, I noticed the Pollo Campero a little ways down and across the street. I knew it was Guatemalan fried chicken, but that was about the extent of it.
According to Wikipedia, Pollo Campero was founded in 1971 in Guatemala and has expanded to 300 locations around the world. While most of the restaurants are in Central America, there are locations as far-flung as Bahrain and Indonesia. There are 50 locations in the United States.
Considering how much I love fried chicken and that I didn't have a Guatemalan entry on the blog, I made a note to check it out on a non-Wednesday. Which I did, way back in September 2008. I know! Reaching far back for this one. I ordered a 2-piece leg and thigh meal with yucca fries and a roll. I also got red and green salsas, chilies, and limes.
According to the website, the chicken was marinated in citrus with Latin herbs. Honestly? The chicken was juicy and the breading and skin were crispy, but I couldn't really taste the citrus or herbs. Loved the crispy yucca fries though. The condiments just reminded me of Mexican versions. Overall, good chicken, but nothing extraordinary.
I went back again later in June 2009 with Kung Food Panda. I got a 2-piece leg and thigh meal with yucca fries and this time a tortilla instead of the roll, $3.99. Same as before, I thought the chicken was fine, but nothing unusual that made me think I was tasting Guatemalan flavors. Maybe I was expecting too much?
We also got sweet plantains, $2.49. Can't go wrong with fried plantains that were caramelized crispy with soft, sweet insides.
He ordered a chicken burrito with regular fries, $4.48. The burrito was stuffed with rice, beans, and peas and carrots. The latter was slightly different from the Mexican burritos I'm used to, but beyond that, pretty standard as well.
We also got a large Jamaica (Hibiscus Drink), $2.59. Horchata, tamarind, and guava drinks are also offered. Flan and Tres Leches Cake also are on the menu online, although I can't recall seeing it on the menu here or I would have ordered it.
Some say the other outposts don't taste the same as the Pollo Camperos in Guatemala. If I ever go one day, perhaps I'll be able to compare, but for now, this will have to do.
Other chicken restaurants:
Baccali Cafe and Rotisserie - Alhambra
KyoChon Chicken - Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Pollo Ala Brasa - Los Angeles
Pollo Mania - El Monte
Pollos KiKiRyKi Peruvian Restaurant - Claremont
Zankou Chicken - Pasadena
This location is now closed, but there are several other restaurants in SoCal.
Pollo Campero (Multiple locations.)
906 Goodrich Blvd
Commerce, CA 90022
Sunday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
1 year ago today, columbines in my garden.
2 years ago today, Yong Tau Foo (Chinese Stuffed Tofu).
3 years ago today, Ma Po Tofu (Chinese Pockmarked Old Lady's Tofu).