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Chicken Fight: Super Pollo (Ballston) vs. El Pollo Rico (VA Square)

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Super Pollo, next to Ballston Commons, the mall. Peruvian style chicken, rottisserie over coals. Whatever they do, it is so good, and the spices and equipment, and technique used to cook the chicken and the Yucca on the side is beyond my home kitchen's fantasies. I wanted to post something positive on here: Super Pollo is simply the best chicken I've ever had, of all time.

The green salsa is also divine -- whatever it's name is -- and the fried Yucca sides are as good, the best Yucca i've ever had as well. The chickpeas were good but very spicy; the patrons here seem to be mostly hispanophones.

It's good folks, good. As good as it gets. You can't do it at home.

El Pollo Rico: The word on the street is that EPR has better chicken by far, but has terrible sides. As far as the chicken, they are similar, but Super Pollo seemed just as good, if not better. The sides here suck pretty bad -- french fries? GRINGOS! The restaurant building itself was almost empty, cramped, dark, the opposite of the fiesta - like Super pollo. Skip it.

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  1. Super Pollo got rave reviews here a couple of years back. I tried it a few times and found that the chicken was often mushy, and the pieces were pretty small. I really liked their beans, though.

    I've never had a skimpy or mushy piece of chicken at El Pollo Rico, though sometimes the skin is crisper than others. While yuca is more "traditional" tha french fries, the fries are very good. The slaw is mediocre, tastes like it comes from a bulk food supplier, but it's a little refreshing.

    Maybe I should go back and give Super Polla another try, but El Pollo Rico is a great buy for a tasty lunch, and that's what I'm after when I go for this sort of meal.

    1. i agree, they are neck and neck. the sides at super pollo are plentiful but none of them are that good. the yucca is only good if its fresh out the frier, which is rare.

      1. For me, the key is getting the chicken hot off the spit. EPR is the most likely place for that to happen because of its popularity and turnover. This is one place where you WANT to see a line out the door. It means that people have been waiting for a new round of chickens to come off the spit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steve

          When there's a line waiting, sometimes I think they might pull them out just a bit too soon. I've never had chicken that wasn't cooked all the way through, but this skin is sometimes kind of limp when they're in a hurry to get the line moving again.

        2. I have been to both and quarrel with the comment that "the building itself was almost empty, cramped, dark" in referring to El Pollo. It is quite brightly lit and even when crowded doesn't seem cramped. It is a pleasanter atmosphere to me that Super Pollo.

          1. I am from Puerto Rico and I have been eating roasted chicken my whole life, which is very similar to the peruvian version. When I moved to the US (to Michigan) I had constant cravings and I became a fan of Boston Market. But when I moved to the area I was SO happy. I live very close to EPR and this week I tried el super pollo, we were so impressed-- the sides are amazing, the chicken YUMMMM and the prices!!! I like EPR, but the I hate the lack of options. Thus, I truly recommend super pollo.

            1 Reply
            1. re: marielyls

              What a great asset our pollo places are. I've only found even remotely similar in Miami, with names like pollo tropicale, and they were great but not concentrating on right from the fire. Do other US cities have pollo a la brasa joints? LA?

            2. I'm probably in the minority, but put me down for Super Pollo as well. I like EPR, but I've found the chicken at Super Pollo to be a little bigger/meatier, and I like the rice and beans sides.

              Both places are good, but SP is a little closer to me and usually has less of a line, so I usually go there.