This is the type of place that is the reason you read Chowhound ... that unknown little mom and pop dishing up one-of-a-kind chow.
While waiting for my order, I was writing in my mind the obit of this new chicken restaurant that sells organic Mexican chicken. Then at home I opened the containers and found something that was not only different, but delicious.
I was so sure of the soon demise of this place that I didnt take notes. So it is perhaps, Adobado chicken. It looks like the chicken described in Dr. Biggles link below deep red from coating in a spice rub that has hints of cinnamon. The chicken is chopped in pieces.
The chicken comes with five fabulous sides, two terrific house made salsas and a four inch stack of tortillas. As an opening special, buy a whole chicken and get an additional half chicken free a chick and a half.
There are the wonderful soupy beans, smoky and chock full of pieces of bacon. I put them in a little cup and when I finished the beans, I drank the rest of the sauce.
The creamy diced potato salad with peas and carrots has a great firm texture and is pleasantly salty.
The soft spaghetti had some sort of white Mexican cheese on top and mixed in. Really good with a little tang and like nothing Ive ever tried.
The rice is better than some risottos and was obviously cooked in rich chicken broth with some greens.
Spicy-hot pickled beets and crunchy onions had some of the heat from Mexican oregano, but seemed to have chili heat too. How about that Mexican beets.
The salsa verde is bright colored and has a nice herby taste and a real kick. The brown tomatillo sauce was also very fresh tasting and hotter than the salsa verde.
The only thing I didnt take to instantly was the stack of tortillas wrapped in a paper towel. They seemed a little dry. Even though they are thin and uniform size, I suspect they are house made because there is the indention of a tortilla press on the edges. There's just something about them that says house made.
This is down home Mexican cooking, if the home has someone who is known for their good cooking.
So why was I antipating a doomed business? While waiting for the chicken, they gave me a complementary wing. It didnt have much of a coating and the chicken was dry like some tandoori chicken can be. I was anticipating a juicy Lolas roast chicken.
It is a dry chicken, like a long BBQ'd chicken. It allows the complex spicy coating to permeate through the meat. There are layers of flavor and heat to the chicken. Long after lunch, the mouth still pleasantly tingles and the mind lingers on all those different spices.
There are just handwritten signs on the walls, in Spanish and badly translated English. The chicken is described as fried chicken in English. The owner and cook, speaks no English and even though the lady taking the orders did speak English, it wasnt until I said not like KFC that I was assured the chicken wasnt fried liked that. Probably why I was given the wing.
Anyway, there is no take-out menu. There is no menu. Only handwritten signs in the window without prices. They put the dinner together and charged $25. I tried not to faint.
That WAS one hefty bag though with five pint sized containers with enough food to feed the two of us for a couple of days.
But this is a poor neighborhood where people are buying $1 tacos. This may be the only organic chicken in any type of market in miles. I wondered if the working class families were going to spring that much money for a chicken dinner. If they try this chicken, there will be business. But will they try it because of the prices or go to Pollo Loco down the road where prices are almost half? Or will they go to the little nearby restaurants where the food might not be as tasty, but the prices are rock bottom. However, other items are accessibly priced.
Finally, there are only three items on the menu chicken dinner, chicken torta and chicken burrito. I asked if more was coming which was translated back and forth. Nope. So, to get out of the question, I said If you do one thing very well, you dont need more Those words were prophetic. They do one thing very, very well.
A 1/4 chicken dinner is available for $7. Chicken tortas are $5.50 and chicken burritos are $4.25. If the burritos use those fabulous beans they are going to be real winners. I dont eat burritos and tortas often, but Im really intruiged and will probably go back to sample them but it will be in a few days. It will take Roberto and me a few days to finish all this food. The quality and quantity are in line with the price, but will the potential first time buyer know that?
It has the look of a fast food shop outside. Inside it is very, very clean with shiny, modern metal tables and a lunch counter with four seats. There is a huge, unusual chicken on the roof. Im going to have to dig my camera out.
It is across from the middle school, so I dont know if this will appeal to kids. Two stopped by today and didnt buy anything because of the limited menu.
They are very nice people. The restaurant has a parking lot that a business that caters to seniors was using in the year it took for the restaurant to open. When the seniors asked permission to park in the lot if they couldnt find street parking, the owner said yes.
When I said I was writing an obit in my mind, I meant I was planning not to post since mom and pop bashing seems uncessary. It is a pleasure to be able to instead write a positive post ... nice surprise.
I hope Mr. PolloMex makes it. It would be nice to have some delicious organic chicken near home. Wish I knew what part of Mexico the owner is from. It is different from most Mexican food that Ive tried.
3231 MacDonald Avenue
Monday Saturday: 10 am 9 pm (they are new, so hours subject to change)