Chicken Express, Vallejo
Several times I'd driven by this unassuming box of restaurant on Redwood near Broadway assuming it was another fast food chain. But a coworker said it's a locally owned Mexican rotisserie chicken place with good food. This came in handy when I needed a late night bite to eat and a place to get off the road after car trouble.
There were several people in line ahead of me, even at 9:45pm on a Monday night, and it stayed busy while I ate my food there. Turnover is high. I ordered the 2-piece combo which offered a choice of breast/wing or thigh/leg, two sides, corn or flour tortillas or garlic bread, and salsa cruda in hot or mild, plus a medium drink for $4.69. Chicken can also be devoured in hard shell taco, salad or burrito form. I tried the mashed potatoes with gravy and cole slaw, and skipped the refritos and spanish rice as sides.
The chicken was moist, and while overdone for me (remember I like it red at the bone), certainly tasty. I wish the skin were crisper, but it was golden brown and carmelized. The potatoes were decent and the gravy tasted like real chicken and dried herbs and not bouillon. Cole slaw was fresh tasting and not drenched with mayo. The corn tortillas were very good, thick and flavorful, and hot from the steamer. The hot salsa cruda had 1/4" chunks of jalapeños that were about a quarter of the mass and very HOT! I found myself having to pick out some of the peppers and limiting myself to the fresh tomatoes, onions and cilantro in the mix.
All in all, I found it quite decent food for the value received and the tables are clean and picked up for eating in. While I'm not in a hurry to return, it's the kind of place you're happy to know about when the need arises. This block of Redwood also has a Wendy's, Taco Bell, and Long John Silver - Chicken Express seemed to be holding its own in that crowd.
Chicken Express [Solano County]
1075 Redwood St.
Open until 10:30pm
Yes, I know I'm asking you about a place you ate at in 2002. Do you remember if it had a sign like this
What is weird about this is that there is a Southern chain with that name and logo.
Yet reading about this joint it seems like it never had anything to do with that chain. Prior to it being Chicken Express, it was called Chicken Spit ... I know what they meant, but still not a appetizing name. Wonder with the connection was. Also there are restaurants with that name in Suisun City and Fairfield, yet everything I read about the Vallejo location is that it is a single location and not part of any chain.
1075 Redwood St, Vallejo, CA 94590