Depending on who you trust, El Pollo Chulo could have several meanings. Google decided it means “The Pimp Chicken,” and if I’m being completely honest, this is the definition I want to believe is true.
El Pollo Chulo (5805 NW 50th St.), strutting down the street. Fancy feather-fur coat. Chicken cane. Hens all over the city waiting for him to give them a cluck.
El Pollo Chulo, in addition to being a smooth-talking fowl about town, is a restaurant that serves grilled food with an emphasis on health.
“Health food, Greg? Really?” you might ask if you don’t mind talking to a newspaper in public. “I want something that tastes good.”
“Lucky for you, then,” I might reply if I were sitting near you and decided to rescue you from a sincerely appalling faux pas, “that El Pollo Chulo isn’t trying to shove a mouthful of kale down your gripe bucket.”
the chicken is a fine choice. Stripped of skin and slathered in spices
before hitting the grill, the bird is nearly blackened, resulting in a
crispy, flavorful and tender bite. You can buy it in pieces or quarters
($4.99 for a quarter chicken, $5.99 for a three-piece meal, $5.99 for a
breast), and it comes with two sides, tortillas and fresh salsa.
City is experiencing a chicken renaissance right now, with The Drum
Room and Inca Trail Peruvian Restaurant serving great fried and roasted
chicken, and many chickens speaking Latin and painting. I’ll gladly put
El Pollo Chulo among them.
also serves Pollo Bowls with chicken and beans over rice. The Big “O”
Bowl ($3.75) is a real steal when it comes to satisfying taste buds and
hungry stomachs. The Ultimate burrito ($3.25) includes chicken, pinto
beans and rice with cheese, guacamole and sour cream. All things
considered, I preferred the bowls to the burritos.
you want beef — who doesn’t? — the seasoned chuck eye steak ($6.99 for a
meal, $5.99 by itself) is juicy and tasty. Owner-operator Fred Tavanger
works the grill like a master, creating a nice sear and lots of flavor
without overcooking the meat.
big surprise was the grilled wild salmon ($6.95), which comes with two
sides. You get a nice, big portion of fish grilled with a crispy
exterior and a flaky, sweet interior.
Across the street from
Abel’s Mexican Restaurant and in the same small shopping center with
Charm Thai Cuisine, El Pollo Chulo has lots of competition. Luckily,
they’re turning out affordable and enjoyable fare on a daily basis. The
fact that it’s also healthy is just icing on the cake. (Seriously, if
you eat at El Pollo Chulo, you can probably eat cake and still be pretty