Monday, September 14, 2009

Pollo Campero from Guatemala

Grilled Chicken, Fried Chicken, and Campero Beans

It might seem odd to hit up a fast food chain when there was so much else to eat here in LA. But I came here for a specific reason: this was a fried chicken chain from Guatemala that apparently was so strong that it kept KFC from being successful there. And it has since expanded to a number of overseas locations, including Southern California. I wanted to see what it was all about.

At first glance, there was some resemblance to El Pollo Loco, with the black plastic plates, salsa bar, and corn tortillas in a bag. But these guys did both fried and grilled versions of chicken, and they were both much saltier than I was expecting. Perhaps that is not surprising given how salt is sometimes even added to things like candy and beer in parts of Latin America.

Well, it was tasty and tender nonetheless. Interestingly, Pollo Campero has expanded to Indonesia and China as well, which I suppose makes sense considering Asia's affinity for fried chicken. I just wish that El Pollo Loco would come out to Asia, as I'm a bigger fan of theirs.


grace said...

unlikely, considering that there used to be an el pollo loco in holland v, about 10 years ago? Guess it didn't do too well.

Diego Castro said...

I would like to mention that pollo campero in southern california is no where near the same as the ones in central america. Every person i know that likes pollo campero will tell you that it does not compare. It used to be the same recipe back in the 90's but the person that ran the place was sued for stealing the recipe, then pollo campero changed it for north america. If you ever get the chance to go to Guatemala or El Salvador give it another chance. It's still a running joke that planes coming into LAX from Guatamala or El Salvador smell like pollo campero because passengers would be carrying them into the US for relatives placing advance orders! Instead of souvenirs, they want pollo campero.