HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


Arlington-Falls Church Rotisserie Chicken

How would you rank the various purveyors of rotisserie chicken in Arlington-Falls Church? My tentative rankings would be as follows, but I can be persuaded. (Also, I know I'm probably leaving some worthy places out.)

1. El Pollo Rico. Most consistenly good chicken; limited sides.
2. Caribbean Grill. Love the range of sides; chicken inconsistent.
3. La Granja D'oro. Good chicken, plus a full menu of other options. Salad bar is just ok.
4. El Sabroso. Can't see how they cook it. May not be rotisserie.
5. Pio Pio. Not bad. Good alternative when the line at El pollo Rico is out the door.
6. Crisp and Juicy. Has lots of fans; it's been awhile, but I remember chicken as too garlicky.

Any thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would add "The Chicken Place" and Route 7 to this list. While there are other worthy opponents, I love this place.

    6 Replies
    1. re: bigskymind

      Is that "The Chicken Place" the one in the Chesapeake Bay Seafood strip? Near Toys'r'Us? I thought they closed up a couple of months ago, though I see the sign is still there. It looked like it was quite the night spot at nigh. I've only had lunch there a couple of times and it was so-so. I prefer the little place on the Rt 7 end of the strip.

      1. re: MikeR

        Is there still a Chesapeake Bay Seafood in existence?! God, I used to love those places...

        1. re: flavrmeistr

          I don't think there are any Chesapeake Bay Seafoods around. They used to be everywhere, back in the days when I could eat all the crab legs I could eat and didn't care that they weren't all that good.

          But back on topic, I tried Super Pollo for lunch today since it got raves from a few folks here. I agree that the chicken was super moist and tender and had a pretty good flavor, but there wasn't very much meat on the quarter chicken that I got. At those prices, next time, if I'm hungry, I'll get a half. The chickpeas were strange. The initial taste was kind of medicinal, but something very tasty came along a few seconds later. I wonder what's in them.

          1. re: MikeR

            I had the same reaction re the quantity of meat on a quarter, which is why I would still give the edge to El Pollo Rico. My wife, who has a more diminutive appetite, thought it was pretty much a toss up.

            1. re: MikeR

              I liked the fried oysters, scallops and steamed shrimp. Had my hopes up for a minute there.

          2. re: MikeR

            It is near there -- it is the one RIGHT on the street -- not in the strip mall.

        2. This might be too pedestrian, but we love the whole chickens we get at Chicken Out. Organic, and absolutely succulent. The sides are uninteresting, but the chicken is great.

          1. blanking on the name... can anyone remember it?
            It's the peruvian chicken place across from the Ballston mall... right next to the shell station... down the street from the Harris Teeter?
            regardless... I really like the place... chicken is almost almost almost as good as el pollo rico, but they have probably 10 choices of sides... including fried yucca.... yum!
            (also better i would say than pio-pio, which is the only other one close to me i've tried...)

            6 Replies
              1. re: kabrown

                It's Super Pollo. My wife and I actually like the chicken better here than at EPR.

                1. re: jaydreb

                  I like the chicken sandwiches here better than the sandwiches at Pio Pio.

                  1. re: jaydreb

                    Super Pollo has better sides, like yuca and rice, but El Pollo Rico is #1 for taste in my book. Crispy and Juicy just doesnt do it for me and Pio Pio has a giant chicken outside waving you in (that is all it has).

                  2. re: kabrown

                    Tried Super Pollo today on your recommendation. Very good. I think I still give El Pollo Rico a slight edge on the chicken itself, but Super Pollo's sides are excellent (had the yucca and corn-on-the-cob). BUT ALSO, the fried fish at Super Pollo was some of the best I've had locally. Tender, not overcooked, not boney, dusted with a little of what to me seemd like Old Bay seasoning. (I should cross-post this finding to that other current thread on downscale seafood.) Yumm!

                    1. re: Gonzocook

                      glad you liked it!
                      and i shall have to try the fish!

                  3. I think EPR is clearly the best. Crisp n' Juicy is reliably good - I consider garlicky a good thing. Pio Pio has very good flavor, but you can't count on the freshness as it has so few customers.

                    1. I concur with your comments on Caribbean Grill and Granja d'Oro. At the former I have often made a meal out of sides and just skipped the chicken. The platanos melt in your mouth and the yuca is the best around (at many places it's too thick and mealy). At the latter the salad bar is indeed forgettable -- but as you say this place has a whole menu of stuff (it's more of a full restaurant than most of these places).

                      Another popular place is Super Chicken in Falls Church -- a stone's throw from Elevation Burger and Victor's.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Bob W

                        Tried Super Chicken last week. Very satisfied. Chicken was great, meatier than Super Pollo's. But the pleasant surprise of the occasion was the fried rice: not just "dirty rice," but Chinese-influenced with scrambled egg and pieces of chicken in it. (As my son said, "So you had a side of chicken with your chicken?") Thanks for the recommendation.

                        1. re: Bob W

                          Tried Super Chicken a couple weeks ago, the yucca and french fries were very good and plentiful, the chicken was also very good. Would still choose Crispy and Juicy over anything I've tried, mostly because of the sauce. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the hot, orange sauce. Excellent.

                        2. Chicken Pollo on Little River Turnpike in Annandale is excellent. Has fried Yuca and many other side dishes.

                          1. I would also add 'Peruvian Chicken and Steak' on 50 (near Target) - the chicken is always perfect and the two sauces that you get on the side are the best.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: lumos1428

                              I live right near Peruvian Chicken and Steak, and I never get the chicken fresh. I see chicken being roasted; I smell it. But they always grab some pieces from under the counter and serve me dry chicken.

                              The only item I've had there that is Chow-worthy is the notable chorizo sandwich.

                            2. EPR gets a 9/10.. no yucca fries, but great chicken
                              Pio Pio is inconsistent but can be better than EPR on their good days. 7/10
                              Polo Int'l in sterling (by RoomStore) is actually pretty good. 8/10
                              Edy's (peruvian) is ok but they got yucca. 8/10 (bonus for the yucca)
                              Crisp 'N Juicy is consistent and good (but not great) 7/10 (for MD and VA branches)
                              Peruvian Chicken & Steak (rte. 50 at Wilston 2 plaza?) wasn't bad 6/10 (but that was last yr)
                              Chicken on the run (bethesda). not worth going unless you're starving. 3/10
                              Caribbean grill. their "jerk" chicken is more of a wimp. 2/10
                              .. have not tried Super Pollo, will have to. I know I've been to more but can't remember.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: hungryT

                                I probably had the best ever at Pio Pio, but I agree it is rather wildly inconsistent, and can be kind of salty, stale, and poorly seasoned. Consistently great beans, though. Decent yucca. Their green sauce is great. I do have the sense that if they had more business their product would be more consistent and better.

                                1. re: hungryT

                                  There's also Pollo Campero (sp?) at Bailey's Xrds and Herndon. 7/10 solid taste but nothing worth mentioning
                                  The chicken at La Choza Grill (VA Rte 50), 7/10, chicken was smaller than expected, skin was tasty but meat wasn't, bean/onion mixture was pretty good though(bonus +1).

                                2. Further north of DC on E Diamond Ave in old town Gaithersburg is Junior's Chicken (301-977-7919). They use a closed oven, so the chicken is not quite as crispy as El Pollo Rico, but they use bigger birds and also make the best homemade aji sauce (the yellow spicy mayo sauce) of all the Peruvian joints I've tried. BIG bonus points for that sauce alone, which comes both mild and spicy. They also make an extremely good potato salad, plus they feature a rotating menu of other Peruvian specialties including tripe and flank steak. And I'm pretty sure they have yucca. I'd rank Junior's an 8/10, but only because I wish it were crispier.

                                  Someone in another post mentioned the Guatamalan bakery across the street, so after your $15 dinner for 2-4 at Junior's, you can cross the street and grab fresh dessert for 50 cents. They make a flaky pastry with cream frosting, sort of a poor man's napolean, that is quite good. Plus you can grab a loaf of fresh bread to take home.

                                  PS: I know this is not Falls Church - Arlington, but I used to drive from Germantown to Silver Spring for Peruvian chicken. So a jaunt to Gaithersburg from Falls Church sounds reasonable to me ;-)

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: gumbrinus

                                    I found Junior's chicken to be undercooked and generally uninspired. Flav likes his chicken crispy and garlicky. On the whole, nothing up here can touch Pollo Tropical, a South Florida chain. Everything up here is rotisserie rather than grilled. Doesn't quite get it, in my opinion.

                                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                                      Junior's Chicken in Gaithersburg, MD has the best chicken. I also like their super size Peruvian dishes. The food is very fresh and the place is clean. Full on the weekends.

                                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                                        A few years back there was a guy doing grilled chicken in what is now the Dolce Vita Cantina on 29 in Fairfax. I went their once and liked it a lot but it looked like I might have been his only customer; he didn't last long.

                                    2. Crisp and Juicy.... too garlicky?!

                                      I don't think such a thing is even possible! I've always been a fan of this place. Can't imagine why you'd want to go anywhere else.

                                      1. Just found an excellent place on Columbia Rd at Four Mile Run Dr. called "Pollo Chicken." And I'm not making that up. The rare place where the chicken and the sides were equally delicious.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Steve

                                          Actually, I did get the name wrong. Just grabbed a quarter chicken last night from GOLDEN CHICKEN just east of Four Mile Run Dr. on Columbia Pike. (halfway between Carlin Springs and George Mason). Potent spicing. Thoroughly delicious.