Now you're ready to roll. To...
EL POLLO RICO!!!!!
TELL THEM WHAT THEY'VE WON ARTIE.......
Located on faaaaaaaaaabulous East Riverside, in the heart of Austin, Texas is this faaaaaaaantastic little hole in the wall...
(formerly an El Pollo Regio, obviously)
Complete with barred windows, daaaangerous seating and NOOOOOOOOO microphone or speaker, this little drive-thru is serving up faaaaaaaantastic roasted chicken at a faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaantastic price!
Yep. For just under $8, you can get a half a chicken, broken down into breast, wing, thigh, and leg, rubbed with Mexican spices and charcoal grilled to juicy perfection, along with a roasted whole onion, Mexican rice, charro beans, white corn tortillas, a mild red salsa, and a bright green creamy verde salsa.
The place is in the middle of a parking lot on the south side of Riverside east of I-35. Not well lit and not necessarily a particularly safe location, so the best bet is to roll up your windows, lock your doors and hit the drive-thru, but don't drive around looking for a speaker, just drive straight up to the window. You order at it and pick it up, and it's quick, and generally pretty healthy.
The rice is relatively run of the mill Mexican rice, a little on the dry side, but the beans are very good, with just a bit of tooth, and a great smoky meat flavor, enhanced by chunks of smoked sausage. As for the salsas, I wouldn't bother with the red, but savor the green, and it might be a good idea to ask for an extra. Tortillas? Warm and basic white corn, but hold together well when folded or rolled. I'm a dark meat guy, so ate the thigh and leg as they were, also ate the wing, but then I pulled the breast, added it and a little rice, as well as some of the flavorful roasted onion to a tortilla, rolled it into a taco and dunked it in the green sauce, which has great, but not overly powerful heat.
Short story. A great cheap and relatively healthy meal that is quick and easy to pick up. A whole chicken combo is just $12.69 before tax, so can feed anywhere between two and four depending on appetite for cheap. Great spot to swing by on the way home from work with dinner for the family.
Atmosphere: parking lot drive-thru, don't eat there
Food: Mexican char-grilled chicken
Dog Friendly: yes, so long as your dog is locked in the back seat with the windows up
When to Go: lunch, dinner
Crowd: primarily Latino, mostly in cars
What to Order for the First Timer: chicken combo