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New Fried Chicken place in Brickyard Mall Chicago

New Fried Chicken place in Brickyard Mall Chicago
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  • New Fried Chicken place in Brickyard Mall Chicago

    Post #1 - July 30th, 2005, 6:28 am
    Post #1 - July 30th, 2005, 6:28 am Post #1 - July 30th, 2005, 6:28 am
    Yesterday Steve Dahl (WCKG) was sampling a new carribean fried chicken chain from the Brickyard Mall in Chicago. Anyone know the name of the place? Any good?
  • Post #2 - July 30th, 2005, 7:04 am
    Post #2 - July 30th, 2005, 7:04 am Post #2 - July 30th, 2005, 7:04 am
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  • Post #3 - July 30th, 2005, 9:06 am
    Post #3 - July 30th, 2005, 9:06 am Post #3 - July 30th, 2005, 9:06 am
    http://www.chowhound.com/california/boards/losangeles7/messages/32581.html

    I had the same questions so I researched and I found this post on Chowhound -- makes me slighly less eager to try, but curious nonetheless.
  • Post #4 - July 30th, 2005, 7:59 pm
    Post #4 - July 30th, 2005, 7:59 pm Post #4 - July 30th, 2005, 7:59 pm
    Tonight I was looking for a place to get a quick, but good, dinner. The first thing that popped into my head was to head to the Brickyard and check out the fried chicken at Pollo Campero.

    Senior Pollo Campero
    Image

    Evidently, I was not alone in my thinking. When I got there, the line was so long to get in, you would have thought it was the first coming of Krispy Kreme. The wait was oven 1 hour just to get in the front door. Then there was a second line inside that snaked around like you were waiting for a ride at Disney World.

    What do they put in the chicken?
    Image

    I spoke to the manager, who was directing traffic, complete with walkie-talkie, in the parking lot. He told me that they opened on Wednesday, and the line has been like this ever since. They are so busy that they had to bring in a refrigerated truck ala Taste of Chicago to store the raw chicken.

    Check out the Reefer
    Image

    I took a look around and decided that my first taste of Pollo Campero would have to wait for another time. Once pollo euphoria wears down, I'll be back to check it out and take some pictures.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #5 - July 30th, 2005, 8:50 pm
    Post #5 - July 30th, 2005, 8:50 pm Post #5 - July 30th, 2005, 8:50 pm
    We went there for dinner tonight. Got there at 4:30 PM. There was line close to 250 people, didnt get the meal until 6:00. The chicken was well worth the wait! It had a great flavor and none of the grease like KFC or Popyes. To me it persoally tastes more like broasted chicken. However, it was great!

    Also, enjoyed the bean side side, like a real spicy chili, great peppery flavor! The fries were ok, tasted more like burger king fries. I heard on Steve Dahl that they are planning on opening another 14 in Chicago lannd.
  • Post #6 - July 30th, 2005, 8:52 pm
    Post #6 - July 30th, 2005, 8:52 pm Post #6 - July 30th, 2005, 8:52 pm
    I am new to the forum, but could help but jump in after seeing this thread. In light of the hype of Pollo Campero, I must state that my background is Asian in origin so any flames about nostalgia being the basis behind the hoopla is misguided. I love fried chicken and as any Chicagoan worth their weight in WonderBread knows, Chicago is host of some serious fried chicken sites, like Harold's, Farmer Brown's, and the usual franchises. Considering all the many restaurants (if anything, I am nostalgic about bullet-proof cashier turntables) my first response to trying Pollo Campero was "Can I franchise?" It's that much better than the usual suspects. I am going to brave the masses tomorrow at Brickyard and will post my humble opinion.
  • Post #7 - July 30th, 2005, 9:54 pm
    Post #7 - July 30th, 2005, 9:54 pm Post #7 - July 30th, 2005, 9:54 pm
    Judging from the response that I got from a couple of folks in my office who are natives of Guatemala, I suspected it would be a few weeks before the furor over the pace died down.
  • Post #8 - July 31st, 2005, 12:52 pm
    Post #8 - July 31st, 2005, 12:52 pm Post #8 - July 31st, 2005, 12:52 pm
    I'm still trying to imagine any food, let alone chicken, that I'd stand in line for an hour and a half or longer for. And most of that time is waiting standing in a parking lot. I mean, I 2nd guess whether I want to stand in line for 15 minutes at Johnnie's or Paradise Pup. I can't imagine an hour and a half for chicken.
  • Post #9 - July 31st, 2005, 9:14 pm
    Post #9 - July 31st, 2005, 9:14 pm Post #9 - July 31st, 2005, 9:14 pm
    7:30 PM Today... The line pretty much looks the same as stevez picture above. I think we also saw a guy from the Trib taking pictures. I would say the lines won't die down for another few weeks. Let's just say that we didn't bother.
  • Post #10 - July 31st, 2005, 9:23 pm
    Post #10 - July 31st, 2005, 9:23 pm Post #10 - July 31st, 2005, 9:23 pm
    A friend in Houston tells me that their local outposts of Pollo Campero frequently have lines of cars wrapped around them -- and they've been open for at least a year. Many of his Central-American friends/workmates all love it and consider it to be the best. After trying it, his opinion was that while it was good, there was nothing particularly distinctive about it. Tastes like chicken, I guess . . . ;)

    =R=
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    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #11 - July 31st, 2005, 11:24 pm
    Post #11 - July 31st, 2005, 11:24 pm Post #11 - July 31st, 2005, 11:24 pm
    A little more info from the Sun Times

    Not going to brave 2-hour waits, but I'm looking forward to trying Pollo Campero's chicken.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - August 1st, 2005, 2:05 am
    Post #12 - August 1st, 2005, 2:05 am Post #12 - August 1st, 2005, 2:05 am
    After failing to make it to Campero yesterday, as the line was snaking around the place at 9:30 PM and they weren't letting any more people in, I made the long (although relatively less so with smart use of Metra trains) trip to Campero again today.

    Image

    I waited in this line for just under an hour... kind of a pain, but efficiently managed nonetheless. The pounding reggaeton being played in the parking lot didn't bother me either.

    Once I got in the line was relatively short. Around seven cashiers were taking orders, and eat-in and to-go orders were separated. Much like at Culver's, you place your order and take a number, and your food is brought to your table. Chicken is served on plastic reusable plates with reusable stainless utensils... something other chains could CLEARLY learn from. I don't like the styrofoam packaging used for the sides, either.

    But onto the food. I ordered a #3 combo (wing, leg, and thigh) with sides of tostones (fried plantains) and "Campero beans." It came with tortillas on the side. The chicken was, as has been described earlier on the board, much less greasy than its chain competition, with a noticeable hint of spice. It's not soggy, either. I'm not sure how it stacks up to the Evanston Chicken Shack, and it's no Gus's (Memphis, TN) but it's certainly not bad chicken. The tortillas are weak, but there's a self-service salsa bar (with green and red molcajete, taquera, and pico de gallo. Tearing off a few pieces of chicken and eating them with salsa verde or red molcajete in a tortilla is quite satisfying.

    The side items are clearly the best part of the meal. Campero beans have a vaguely Cajun flavor to them, with lots of spice and a salty, smoky flavor coming from the bits of pork lying therein. Tostones are salty and crisp, and pleasantly un-greasy, and are fantastic dipped in anything. Other restaurants in Chicago need to take the hint: tostones could be the new french fries. Desserts include various flans (which I didn't try) and a satisfying soft-serve ice cream that is probably similar to most fast-food stuff.

    I'll be back to Pollo Campero, probably when the lines die down (although by that time they may have opened a new location closer in... I'm guessing Logan Square or the Ford City area) and I may even consider bringing a few large orders of tostones the next time I entertain people.

    Oh, man, those tostones... Campero needs to serve them with the garlic sauce from the Taste of Chicago.
    Last edited by Evan B. Druce on August 1st, 2005, 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #13 - August 1st, 2005, 12:44 pm
    Post #13 - August 1st, 2005, 12:44 pm Post #13 - August 1st, 2005, 12:44 pm
    This place is right around the corner from my gym (once again I commence a workout program so I can better eat fried chicken...). So, I drove by just to see what the line was like. This was right about noon. There was about a 10 person line at the door, but the place looked pretty empty inside. The drive though almost snaked around itself.

    Rob
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #14 - August 2nd, 2005, 12:18 pm
    Post #14 - August 2nd, 2005, 12:18 pm Post #14 - August 2nd, 2005, 12:18 pm
    OK, made it today. The worst part of the wait was the stuck train, but I do not think that should happen too often... :wink: :roll: Other than that, it was pretty much exactly an hour from walking out of the car to walking back in. They hold you for a while outside, and the line moves slow enough that I thought perhaps it was a bit of hype creating, then get you to another line inside. Like Disney World, you get a bit of a let down when you find yourselves in the second line. But, but it is all efficiancy, they really are moving constantly, and from ordering, the food was on the table in minutes. Or put it this way, by the time you grab some salsas or fill up your drink, you have food.

    Food. The chicken was described above as not greasy or not soggy. It was, I s'pose, but I also found it, what I might call wet. In a good way, at a point where marination and fry combine well. The marination stands out, heavy with garlic powder, almost too much, but not quite. You really do not need the salsas (although they are all good). As noted above, the fries are average but the beans better than (the smokey flavor seems to come from lotsa bacon pieces). We also got the Campero rice and the Camero slaw, both good enough for these kinda places.

    I would call it a very good fast food restaurant with all that implies.

    Rob
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #15 - August 4th, 2005, 2:15 pm
    Post #15 - August 4th, 2005, 2:15 pm Post #15 - August 4th, 2005, 2:15 pm
    I've been craving fried chicken all week, and yesterday's drive thru KFC snacker did not fit the bill. Well, today business was bringing me to the Melrose Park/ Oak Park area and I figured what's another coupla miles for lunch.

    I arrived at Pollo Campero around 11:30AM. I was a little weary when the closest parking space was the same space which Steve Z took his picture of the refrigerated truck. I slyly tried to sneak into the west entrance, but was informed that I must use the North door. Much to my relief upon turning the corner, there wasn't anyone standing outside. Upon entering, I was pleasantly asked if my order would e for here or to go. With plenty of seats available, and not enough people in front of me to fill them, I happily replied "for here".

    Now, here is where I started liking this place. I was handed a menu in the style of those fold-up Cubs schedules us true fans carry in their wallet. It was a good facsimile of the menu board behind the registers. Much like Evan I ordered the #3 combo with tostones and Campero beans. However, when the order taker asked for my choice of bread (you can get tortillas, biscuit, or dinner roll) I chose the dinner roll, which IMO was a good thing.

    As VI mentioned I payed for my meal and headed straight to the salsa bar, opting for the molcajete roja, and the chipoltle sauces. By the time I filled the two small cups a server was next to me with my food. First, I found it refreshing that in a fast food environment the 'server' would not let me take the tray, but additionally, when she placed my meal infront of me actually asked if it was complete.

    Now, on to the food. At first looks the chicken appeared similar to White Fence Farm. Lightly floured 'thin' coating nicely browned. Unlike WFF there was a notable presence of spices in the coating. From my first bite to the last scraping of bone I enjoyed every bit of this chicken. It was juicy and wonderfully flavored. I did not, however, enjoy the tostones as much as Evan. I would say that my order had sat under a heat lamp a little too long. They were hard as a rock and leathery. The beans were truly another highlight though. As has been said before: spicy, porky, smoky, MMMM. I could have eaten a family size side of these on my own. Additionally, my choice of dinner roll came into use by being the perfect 'sponge' to absorb the spicy, porky, smoky elixir in which the beans were served.

    Overall, I guess you could say that I enjoyed the place. My only real complaint is that I live in Naperville, work in Oakbrook, and only get to this part of town about once every six months.


    btw: unlike others my time from arrival to departure was about 35 minutes.

    Flip
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #16 - August 5th, 2005, 2:28 pm
    Post #16 - August 5th, 2005, 2:28 pm Post #16 - August 5th, 2005, 2:28 pm
    Finally had the chance on Thursday night to visit Pollo Campero. We arrived at 5:10, got in line, and we were walking out the door with the food by 5:45.

    This place is terrific---The chicken was very tasty and unlike any fried chicken that I have had. I echo the sentiments regarding the side dishes ( I too could eat a large serving of the beans, no problem )

    If someone forced me to 'nit-pick' I would offer the following. The chicken pieces, most notably the wing and the leg were smaller than those served at other chains--Also, the tortillas had a somewhat rubbery texture to them. Neither of these things,however, would prevent me from wholeheartedly endorsing this place.
  • Post #17 - August 6th, 2005, 10:38 pm
    Post #17 - August 6th, 2005, 10:38 pm Post #17 - August 6th, 2005, 10:38 pm
    I was very excited when I visited Pollo Campero today. My friend and I elected for carry out after realizing that the line for a table might have taken more than an hour. Instead, we waited about 25 minutes for take out.

    I ordered the three piece meal and was a little sad to receive a thigh and 2 drumsticks -- oh well. I thought the chicken was perfectly moist and had a nice, crisp coating. However, I guess I would have liked a little more breading and I thought the flavor was slightly bland. It was cooked perfectly though.

    We shared several sides. The beans were truly the highlight. Sweet, smokey, spicey and great flavor -- perhaps a little too much liquid but worth a trip back. Tostones were good, fresh and nicely salted, and a little better with some of the salsas they have, even though the salsas were not particularly memorable. Biscuit was tasty -- nice and flaky and considerably less greasy than KFC's version. French fries were very soggy so even though the flavor was nice, the texture was horribly wrong. Also disappointed with the sweetened plantains which were also a little soggy and the flavor uninspiring.

    For dessert, we had the caramel flan, which was decent, but by no means a flan (served in an aluminum foil topped cup). But for $1.35, I could hardly complain.

    Overall, it was a fun experience -- there was so much excitement in the line with people waiting to try PC. The service is outstanding and very organized. I was shocked how they were able to maintain order with so many hungry people trying to get in, and they were very friendly. The chicken pieces were a little small and we didn't love the food, but I guess I'm willing to give it another try, at least for the beans -- they stole the show.
  • Post #18 - August 10th, 2005, 8:24 pm
    Post #18 - August 10th, 2005, 8:24 pm Post #18 - August 10th, 2005, 8:24 pm
    Went tonight around 7. Ate in and it took about 30 minutes from order to table. There weren't any lines outside when we got there. We ordered a an 8 piece (hungry hubby), tortillas, rice, beans, and fries. I AM SOOOO DISAPPOINTED and was soo hyped up beforehand. I would say the chicken was nothing special.... its way too seasoned.. in other words way tooo salty for my taste... probably hurting my kidneys right now. The sides were salty too (rice + beans). Boy would I have loved to measure the sodium content for this meal. We really have no desire to go back and probably won't. I can't imagine why people waited over an hour an half for it. Maybe it was an off day, but even if it was 25% better I don't see why people bring this on planes and let it get all soggy. Everyone else is right in saying the chicken pieces were smaller. Now bring on Pollo Loco!
  • Post #19 - August 10th, 2005, 8:27 pm
    Post #19 - August 10th, 2005, 8:27 pm Post #19 - August 10th, 2005, 8:27 pm
    Haahaa one thing that cracked me up was their containers say "Keep America Clean" and some of them are styrofoam. Uhhhmm how contradicting. Ugh I'm not giving into the hype anymore of new places opening up!
  • Post #20 - August 11th, 2005, 2:22 pm
    Post #20 - August 11th, 2005, 2:22 pm Post #20 - August 11th, 2005, 2:22 pm
    It appears the novelty seekers are finally gone. I went for lunch today and not only has the auxiliary reefer truck been downsized (although it's still there), the line at 1:15 was not very long. I got in the building immediately and only had to wait in the interior line for 5 - 7 minutes. They had a separate line for those ordering in and those getting take away. I ordered a three piece meal, which included a thigh, a leg, a wing, 2 side dishes and choice of tortillas, biscuit or dinner roll.

    I opted for the beans and the sweet plantains as my side dishes along with tortillas.

    My Lunch
    Image

    The chicken was as described. Not greasy or heavily breaded and served on an actual plate with real silverware. The plaintains were pretty good, but nothing out of the ordinary and the beans were as excellent as described. They were quite soupy with a prevailant taste of porkiness (ham hock or some similar smoked pork product). I found they benefited from an addition of some fresh cilantro from the rather large salsa bar.

    Salsa Anyone?
    Image

    My only complaints were that the tortillas were insipid pieces of damp sponge wrapped in a plastic bag. Next time, it's a dinner roll for me. Also, when they brought my lunch, they had substituted a chicken breast for the chicken thigh. Normally this is an extra cost item, and maybe they thought they were doing the Gringo a favor by sparing him the need to eat that undesirable chicken thigh, but I'm a dark meat fan all the way. Because the line is so long, I decided to just eat what they gave me. The breast was not as dried out as I would have expected and was actually pretty good. I'd still be sure to double check that the correct pieces were being delivered if I should go back again. The other downside to having such a long wait in line is that it cuts down on the ability to make impulse purchases. When I was done with lunch, I thought it would have been nice to try the rice pudding or one of the flans for desert, but I just couldn't see going through the whole waiting in line process again just for a desert that probably wasn't all that great in the first place.

    The staff to customer ratio was astounding for a fast food operation and, as others have noted, they went out of their way to check that everything was OK upon delivery of the order to the table. If I had noticed the breast mixup at the time my order was delivered, I'm sure they would have swapped it out immediately.

    All in all, this was a pretty good experience for a fast food operation. I'll probably be back at some point, although I won't go out of my way to make a special trip anytime soon.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #21 - August 13th, 2005, 7:56 am
    Post #21 - August 13th, 2005, 7:56 am Post #21 - August 13th, 2005, 7:56 am
    We finally had a chance to try Pollo Campero, which has been on our list of "Must At Least Give A Shot"s since opening weekend. We went on Thursday night, and had to wait outside in order to dine in - but only for about 10 minutes. My wife and I each ordered a 2-piece meal; she went for the sweet plantains and I went for tostones (crispy plantains). Tortillas for both.

    The chicken we had was quite juicy and had enough flavor to be deemed tasty. I didn't find the taste to be overwhelming but it was almost - almost - subtle. I agree with cito and others that the pieces were a bit small overall but it was probably some of the best fried chicken I'd had at a fast food chain in a long time.

    The sweet plantains were not to my liking, nor my wife's, as they were overly greasy. But I was big on the tostones and enjoyed the tortillas. I also gave the pico de gallo a try and thought it was quite fresh-tasting, with all flavors represented well.

    Service was solid - the employees are really, really attentive and friendly.

    I think that, overall, it was pretty good but isn't something I'd personally make a trip to eat again.
  • Post #22 - August 14th, 2005, 2:10 pm
    Post #22 - August 14th, 2005, 2:10 pm Post #22 - August 14th, 2005, 2:10 pm
    Waiting in line for over an hour is a rarity for me. Waiting in line for Pollo Campero, the Guatemalan fried chicken franchise could be called insane. The only reason I endured such a mission was the hope that maybe some foreign corporation could produce a fried chicken meal that was somehow superior to our American fast food equivalents.
    About the only good thing I can report about Pollo Campero is that they nailed the chicken coating, rendering most the fat and creating a nice crispy skin. I can give them these accolades in terms of execution only but not necessarily in its flavor.
    As sides, we tried the tortillas, rice, and beans. The tortillas were an insult to any taqueria who spends the time making their own. The rice was mushy and lacking any personality, and the beans, which initially, I thought were quite good but lost me with each successive bite due to oversaltiness.
    I guess the main question is whether you’re a fast food chicken person or not. If you are, give it a try. You just MIGHT think it’s better than Popeye’s, KFC, etc. But maybe not.
  • Post #23 - September 14th, 2005, 5:10 pm
    Post #23 - September 14th, 2005, 5:10 pm Post #23 - September 14th, 2005, 5:10 pm
    mby385 wrote:Now bring on Pollo Loco!


    Good News.

    While running an errand this afternoon, I noticed that an El Pollo Loco is opening on the corner of Sawyer and Milwaukee, in Logan Square.

    Now, I wait for Jollibee to come to town. :wink:

    E.M.
  • Post #24 - September 15th, 2005, 8:14 pm
    Post #24 - September 15th, 2005, 8:14 pm Post #24 - September 15th, 2005, 8:14 pm
    PIGMON wrote:Waiting in line for over an hour is a rarity for me. Waiting in line for Pollo Campero, the Guatemalan fried chicken franchise could be called insane. The only reason I endured such a mission was the hope that maybe some foreign corporation could produce a fried chicken meal that was somehow superior to our American fast food equivalents.
    About the only good thing I can report about Pollo Campero is that they nailed the chicken coating, rendering most the fat and creating a nice crispy skin. I can give them these accolades in terms of execution only but not necessarily in its flavor.
    As sides, we tried the tortillas, rice, and beans. The tortillas were an insult to any taqueria who spends the time making their own. The rice was mushy and lacking any personality, and the beans, which initially, I thought were quite good but lost me with each successive bite due to oversaltiness.
    I guess the main question is whether you’re a fast food chicken person or not. If you are, give it a try. You just MIGHT think it’s better than Popeye’s, KFC, etc. But maybe not.


    I don't fault them the crappy tortillas (I would expect no more at a franchise), but I do not see much to like about this place. I found the chicken just fine...but not great. The tostones were good, but not as good as you can get in any one of dozens of Puerto Rican or Cuban places in Chicago. They were out of beans, and that was a shame, though the salsas were okay for a quick-service joint. Overall, I was underwhelmed.

    This place, however, seems vastly popular among the Hispanic community...so maybe I just don't understand Guatemalan chicken.

    Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #25 - September 15th, 2005, 9:16 pm
    Post #25 - September 15th, 2005, 9:16 pm Post #25 - September 15th, 2005, 9:16 pm
    Now, I wait for Jollibee to come to town.


    Mmm, I want me some jolly cheezy fries.
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  • Post #26 - September 16th, 2005, 7:15 am
    Post #26 - September 16th, 2005, 7:15 am Post #26 - September 16th, 2005, 7:15 am
    David Hammond wrote:
    PIGMON wrote:Waiting in line for over an hour is a rarity for me. Waiting in line for Pollo Campero, the Guatemalan fried chicken franchise could be called insane. The only reason I endured such a mission was the hope that maybe some foreign corporation could produce a fried chicken meal that was somehow superior to our American fast food equivalents.
    About the only good thing I can report about Pollo Campero is that they nailed the chicken coating, rendering most the fat and creating a nice crispy skin. I can give them these accolades in terms of execution only but not necessarily in its flavor.
    As sides, we tried the tortillas, rice, and beans. The tortillas were an insult to any taqueria who spends the time making their own. The rice was mushy and lacking any personality, and the beans, which initially, I thought were quite good but lost me with each successive bite due to oversaltiness.
    I guess the main question is whether you’re a fast food chicken person or not. If you are, give it a try. You just MIGHT think it’s better than Popeye’s, KFC, etc. But maybe not.


    I don't fault them the crappy tortillas (I would expect no more at a franchise), but I do not see much to like about this place. I found the chicken just fine...but not great. The tostones were good, but not as good as you can get in any one of dozens of Puerto Rican or Cuban places in Chicago. They were out of beans, and that was a shame, though the salsas were okay for a quick-service joint. Overall, I was underwhelmed.

    This place, however, seems vastly popular among the Hispanic community...so maybe I just don't understand Guatemalan chicken.

    Hammond


    Well, I guess this just another agree to disagree 'bout place. I've been a few times now as it is pretty close to the bungalow, and I have always been happy with the chicken. To somewhat paraphrase Gwiv, there's not much fried chicken I do not like. Still, I find their fried chicken very well cooked with a distict and unique flavoring. Now, I've been a Popeyes fan from years back, but Popeyes these days suffers tremendously from inconsistency, and some local franchises are downright bad. KFC is something I enjoy about once a year. Twice, and I know I pushed it. As to the sides, they are roughly what I expect for this kinda place. No one dis's Barbara Ann 'cause of their fries...

    Rob
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #27 - September 16th, 2005, 7:25 am
    Post #27 - September 16th, 2005, 7:25 am Post #27 - September 16th, 2005, 7:25 am
    Vital Information wrote: ... and I have always been happy with the chicken. To somewhat paraphrase Gwiv, there's not much fried chicken I do not like. Still, I find their fried chicken very well cooked with a distict and unique flavoring. Rob


    So all fried chicken is good. Okay.

    Well cooked. Yes, that's true.

    But what about their flavoring is "distinct and unique"? I want to understand, and VI, in all sincerity, I know few people who know more than you about Hispanic food in Chicago. So enlighten me. I did detect cinammon and pepperiness in the light breading (which was better than I'd expect from Brown's, KFC, etc.), but is that it? I'm just baffled by the popularity of this place, and my cynical side tends to think they are beneficiaries of momentary novelty and powerful PR rather than actual quality differences.

    Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #28 - September 16th, 2005, 7:33 am
    Post #28 - September 16th, 2005, 7:33 am Post #28 - September 16th, 2005, 7:33 am
    David Hammond wrote:
    Vital Information wrote: ... and I have always been happy with the chicken. To somewhat paraphrase Gwiv, there's not much fried chicken I do not like. Still, I find their fried chicken very well cooked with a distict and unique flavoring. Rob


    So all fried chicken is good. Okay.

    Well cooked. Yes, that's true.

    But what about their flavoring is "distinct and unique"? I want to understand, and VI, in all sincerity, I know few people who know more than you about Hispanic food in Chicago. So enlighten me. I did detect cinammon and pepperiness in the light breading (which was better than I'd expect from Brown's, KFC, etc.), but is that it? I'm just baffled by the popularity of this place, and my cynical side tends to think they are beneficiaries of momentary novelty and powerful PR rather than actual quality differences.

    Hammond


    But that's like saying Krispy Kreme is just a fad too. Just because something is novel and faddish does not mean it does not taste good too. And people like me who like KK from way back still eat 'em, and for people who just went to try. Well, check the stock ticker.

    If you want me to dig out the ol' chemistry set, I'd say the predominate flavor in the marinade that gives it its taste, is garlic, followed by some indeterminate fruit juices, and a fair amount of salt. But you know KFC has flavor too (up the wazoo). So it is the flavor and the quality in the frying that makes this a fine fast food place. Just 'cause I like it does not mean you do. 8)

    Rob
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #29 - September 16th, 2005, 7:50 am
    Post #29 - September 16th, 2005, 7:50 am Post #29 - September 16th, 2005, 7:50 am
    Vital Information wrote: But that's like saying Krispy Kreme is just a fad too. Just because something is novel and faddish does not mean it does not taste good too.


    Of course a fad can taste good...and after a few centuries, it may become a classic. But that's not the point. I'm thinking that the MAIN reason people go to Pollo Campero is because it has had HUGE publicity. In line last night, both people in front and back of me (both of whom spoke to me in Spanish, figuring I must be Hispanic, which I love) had NEVER been there before. They came there based solely on what they'd heard. Now, if they were return customers, that'd be one thing, but I think this place is still coasting on the "wow, it's now." This will pass.

    Vital Information wrote:If you want me to dig out the ol' chemistry set, I'd say the predominate flavor in the marinade that gives it its taste, is garlic, followed by some indeterminate fruit juices, and a fair amount of salt. But you know KFC has flavor too (up the wazoo). So it is the flavor and the quality in the frying that makes this a fine fast food place. Just 'cause I like it does not mean you do. Rob


    Fine fast food. Okay, given the choice between Pollo Campero and, say, McD, KFC, etc., I'd go to Pollo Campero -- if only because I've eaten at those other places a zillion times. That does not, however, make PC a fine place to eat. It simply makes it a new place to eat.

    If we want to just shake hands and say De Gustibus, that's fine with me, but I'm trying to understand how someone who knows good Hispanic food can give this place the nod.

    I will say this: the salsas at PC are vastely better than what one would expect from BK, even if the stuff had come from Bayless' mechanized robotic molcajete.

    Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #30 - September 16th, 2005, 7:56 am
    Post #30 - September 16th, 2005, 7:56 am Post #30 - September 16th, 2005, 7:56 am
    I think the man in the hat has a very good point. I enjoyed my visit to PC very much, but I have not seen fit to return. It was sort of a novelty to me that there was a fast food place that had better than average fast food with an unusual (for the USA) twist, but it's still fast food.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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