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Outer Boroughs Queens

Pollo Campero in Corona, Queens

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Pollo Campero in Corona, Queens

Jim Leff | Dec 9, 2004 10:13 PM

After trying several times to brave the ridiculous queue at when it first opened, I gave up for a while. Tonight, I just waltzed in.

Pollo Campero. 103-16 Roosevelt Ave, Corona Phone: 718-205.6943

People have said the chicken's totally mediocre and fast foodish, but I think that's unfair. It's surprisingly unexotic for an operation based so far away (Salvador and other Latin American countries), and it's certainly no hand-made careful food product (this IS a chain, modern and efficient). But it's good chicken, with a nice (black) peppery kick. Healthy plump birds. Nothing to write home about, but notches up from the usual fast food fried chicken (and good quality control seems to make the diff).

I agree with previous praise for the beans, though even they aren't, like, great. Nice porky flavor. Stingy portion, though, and a tad overcooked.

Horchata is clever. I didn't think there was much common ground between Mexican horchata (bright, milky, clean-tasting) and Salvadoran (dark-flavored, cinnamon-y, candy sweet), but they've found it (which makes sense, given the chain's geographics). Like the chicken, it's obviously commercial, but whoever conceived it went to considerable trouble to make it the best it could be within the parameters of a super commercialized operation like this.

It's not as good as Popeye's (I mean a really good branch at a really good time of day), though.

ciao

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