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Jan 1, 2011 08:51 AM

Listo El Poljo (The "Colombian Hooters"): Elmhurst Queens

I did a quick search and did not find any write ups on this place, although I am sure they have been done, and perhaps even by me.

Listo has been around in various forms for at least ten years, its a family style Colombian place that occupies an old Tiki bar at 86th and 37th. I have been coming for over five years, and because of the rather aggressive outfits the waitresses wear, me and my friends call it the Colombian hooters.

That tag is not to disrespect the food, which is top notch, and cheap. As with most Queens Colombian places, the portions are huge, making me feel like a wuss when I cant finish.

The mountain plate, the one with the beef, egg, avocado, pork rind, beans, rice, and arepa is my go to dish, and done as well here as any of the other Jackson Heights places. There is also a full menu of other Colombian plates, with meats being dominate.

For just food, I prefer the Peruvian Urubamba nearby (, but Listo is about the ambiance. Its a former tiki bar, that still gots a tiki theme, turned into a warm family place that has some pretty decent live music (well, if you like Colombian music). The waitresses, well, they are dressed in traditional Colombian folk style as envisioned by Fredericks of Hollywood.

Some might find it all cheesy, I have found it to be one of those warm endearing cultural mashups that only Queens can offer.

Here is a few of the waitresses from last night. Happy New Years!

86-20 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

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  1. Sounds fun. Listo el POLLO though, right? Can you compare it to any other Colombian places? Would the food be worth a special trip compared to a place like Basurero or Pollo de Mario in Astoria?

    21 Replies
    1. re: Mr Porkchop

      Yes, Pollo. For food only, I prefer Los Arrieros at 76th and Roosevelt. I have not been to the places in Astoria, so cannot compare.

      Urubamba, which is down the street and Peruvian, covers pretty much the same fair, and does it much better. (no, not the mountain plate, but many other items on the menu are the same, and they have a kick ass cerviche).

      For me, its more about the atmosphere.

      86-20 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

      Los Arrieros
      76-02 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

      1. re: driggs

        Driggs, with all due respect, the prominence of the waitresses' chests is really not relevant. We don't need the cute nickname or the busty photo. Stick to the food, please.

          1. re: parkslopemama

            I respectfully disagree. Myself, and many others on this board, find the atmosphere of the restaurant, or the culture and history of the cuisine as important as the food. That is especially true of the outer boroughs board.

            Listo El Pollo is a well established cornerstone restaurant of the Colombian Queens neighborhood. As I mentioned in my review, part of how it distinguishes itself is in the atmosphere. If I leave those details out I have not gone very far in describing the place.

            If you look at my past reviews, you will see most everyone includes a picture of what I think makes the place or the neighborhood unique, or of the waiter or waitress, if they are kind enough to let me take their picture:)

            So I say, dont just stick to the food!

            Listo el Pollo
            86-02 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

            1. re: parkslopemama

              Hi parkslopemama,

              If the food is bad, then why bother going no matter what the ambience. But if the food is decent.....

              For me, scenery/ambience is, to some degree, a factor and with Listo El Poljo, there is perhaps even a bit of unintentional theater. Aw heck, the photos make it look like some kooky, cross-cultural fun.

              But, to better illustrate what I'm talking about, check out my response to Deb Van D in this thread:


              To me, a little eccentricity is a plus.

              Also, I can imagine that many Chowhounds would find it very helpful to know in advance that Listo El Poljo IS sort of a "Colombian Hooters"—especially if they wouldn't appreciate that sort of place.

              I think most people would agree that it''s good to know what sort of atmosphere to expect before you make plans to go.


              Glendale is hungry...

              1. re: Glendale is hungry

                Didn't mean to be a spoilsport, but it just cracks me up what you guys think of as "scenery"! ;) Can you imagine if waiters were made to wear tight pants for their customers' perusal, and where customers casually posted crotch shots in their reviews of "Dickie's" restaurant? Hmm, maybe not such a bad idea....

                1. re: parkslopemama

                  Hi parkslopemama,

                  Actually, you're right.

                  That's a GREAT idea!

                  Idiosyncrasy is the spice of life! Down with sameness!!!! Up with Dickies!!


                  Glendale is hungry...

                  1. re: parkslopemama

                    If Dickies had good food, was in Queens, and was a former Tikki bar, then sure!

                    Please check out my other photos in my other posts. Here are some of them.

                    Little Pepper:
                    Oneg Bakery:
                    Xochimilco Tacos:
                    OMR Deli:

                    I view these as a cross section of the places I visit.

                    Little Pepper
                    133-43 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                    653 Melrose Ave, Bronx, NY 10455

                    OMR Deli
                    33-01 36th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                      1. re: driggs

                        I hear ya', Driggs! And thanks for the shot of the old guys at Tatiana's -- hot stuff. ;)

                      2. re: parkslopemama

                        This describes a few gay bars I've heard of, but this kind of stuff isn't limited to men. When I lived in Portland, OR there was a popular lesbian bar that was known for it's fish tacos.

                        Anyway, for those interested, Raymund's Place in W'Burg is sometimes called "Polish Hooters," though their outfits aren't particularly revealing. The food was tasty though.

                        The concept of the ____ Hooters is funny, but you might be surprised by how international the chain already is. I've had their wings in Mexico, Lima, Austria, China, and Israel. There are three in Colombia, though having been to restaurants in Colombia, the concept seems a little redundant to me.

                    1. re: parkslopemama

                      If the waitresses wore stilts, would that be something worth mentioning? or is atmospheric mention always hands-off when it refers to a woman's hoohas?

                      1. re: Jeffsayyes

                        Maybe a food review of the steam tables at Romanticos might be pushing it.

                        1. re: driggs

                          wait, they have steam tables??? or is that a euphamism?

                          1. re: Jeffsayyes

                            No steam tables at Romanticos. I was going to use PUMPS as a reference, but wanted to keep it local to Jackson heights, So some poetic license (first time Romanticos has been used in same sentence as poetic)

                          2. re: driggs

                            what about atlantis at the opposite end of the block

                            1. re: 2slices

                              I have some nice shots of Atlantis, but I dont remember any food there. I do miss the giant eye that hovered about the street a few years back

                          3. re: Jeffsayyes

                            I was surprised by the photos, expecting the worst. Those just looked like cute little outfits, nothing remotely Hooters-y. (from a feminist here.)

                            1. re: Up With Olives

                              Well to be honest, the skirts are pretty darn short....

                              1. re: driggs

                                There is a strip club on the queens side of the bridge on greenpoint avenue. they always advertise a buffet. seems interesting, but to be honest, food is the last thing I would be thinking about while there. I wonder what their DOH grade is.

                                1. re: Jeffsayyes

                                  lots of strip clubs have free buffet on off hours. Went to Galaghers 2000 on a Sunday at 2 with friends couple years ago, we skipped the penne shrimp parm.

                    2. I was in Colombia recently. A Colombian Hooters sounds like a a great idea :).

                      Really enjoyed the food down there, will try it out. Wonder if they have patacones

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: 2slices

                        Yes, the Mountain plate also has Patacones included.

                      2. Thanks for the post Driggs, I'll have to check this place out. I agree, atmosphere etc is part of what makes a place unique. No one made ParkSlopeMania click on your Flickr link!