El Pollo : Peruvian in Park Slope
Did a search of the board and was surprised that nothing came up for this place. I've walked by a few times and it has always been empty, and asked around- the neighbors in the building said Coco Roco was better. Although I noticed it was usually empty and had gotten bad reviews, I was in the mood for Peruvian, so decided to give Coco Roco a try. We ordered pisco sours, lobo, snapper with papaya ceviche, and Papa a la Huancaína. The pisco sours were so sour we could barely drink them. The Lobo tasted like it was made with a chinese seasoning packet, and was a very small portion- mostly old rice, the ceviche tasted like it had been made with sour mix (we didn't finish it), the papa was alright- they didn't have cancha or pickled onions. We walked out hungry, and 75 dollars lighter- a real kick in the gut.
On our way home we looked in El Bollo, and noticed that it was open until 10:30, so decided to give it a try. Unlike at Coco Roco, we were greeted warmly. There were hand written specials. This place really felt like a home kitchen. The waitress was the daughter of the chef, and proud of the place. We ordered pisco sours and they were good- you could actually taste the pisco over the sour- a good balance. We got a whole chicken, a papa rellena, and tostones. The Salsa de ají amarillo? and Salsa de perejil? were really spicy and good. The papa rellena was a nice size and had an egg in it- something I've seen others skimp on. The chicken was good too. And we really liked our big bowl of pickled onions- you could tell she cares about it because instead of being just onions and vinegar, it had a little pepper and salt, cilantro and tomato diced in it- that's care. We both really enjoyed it, and the bill was around half of what coco roco was.
I had to tell the waitress our story and she said that she hears it often- people complaining about coco roco to her. She says the people at el bollo are peruvian, and her mother cooks for everyone like she does her children. She said that they don't serve ceviche unless they can find a really good fish- that others will serve it all the time regardless of the quality- but not them. I asked if they had anything that wasn't on the menu, and she said to come back on the weekend for specials- that during the week the specials are usually things on the menu at cheaper prices. I told her that I noticed that they were empty when I passed by- and wondered why- she said she thinks people are looking for them but just pass by and get lost and accidently going to coco roco instead, and end up having a bad experience. She said most of the business they do is takeout but usually only chicken, and that they do have a bigger crowd at lunch- the workers in the neighborhood that come in for their 6 dollar lunch specials. Please go to this place and support them. They are really nice and do a great job. I used to live in sunset park and miss going to super latino chicken- so am really glad to have this in the neighborhood.