Chicken comes first at
July 17, 2014
The Secret Gourmet - Special to The Journal , Journal News
RANSON - There's an old question: what comes first, the chicken or the egg?
If you visit El Pollon in Ranson's Potomac Marketplace, an eatery specializing in Peruvian-style charlcoal rotisserie chicken, you'll find the answer to be an easy one.
At El Pollon, the chicken always comes first.
Photo by The Secret Gourmet
The rotisserie-style chicken served at El Pollon is quite possibly the best you're going to find around the Eastern Panhandle.
Anyone can make a good drumstick or cook up a good thigh, but the chicken breast is a different beast all to itself. The limited fat quantity of the breast meat makes it difficult to keep the moisture while cooking, which makes the chicken breast at El Pollon even more remarkable. The chicken breast is tender and has a nice moisture to it that is bursting with charcoal flavor.
All things considered, the chicken, regardless of what part you are eating, is really tasty and satisfying.
The side dishes are also good. We had the fried plantains, the fried yucca, Peruvian fried rice and corn on the cob. The fried plaintains were a solid choice. The fried yucca had the texture of potato, but at the same time, there was a hint of sweetness to it. The real star of the side dishes was the Peruvian fried rice, which had a nice airy quality to it. It was spiced perfectly to where it added flavor and, at the same time, brought out the real flavor of the rice. The chicken quesadilla is also a nice offering. It is full of juicy chunks of chicken and has a good helping of cheese packed into it.
Just about all the food served at El Pollon has a nice feel to it. I've never been to Peru, but it's pretty easy to tell that this is a good example of what Peruvian comfort food has to taste like.
The portions are generous and the prices are very reasonable. Most of the sandwiches and the quesadillas cost less than $8. The half-chicken dinner comes with two sides and is less than $10, while a quarter chicken dinner costs less than $6. You could easily feed a family of four for less than $30 at El Pollon.
The atmosphere at El Pollon has a very modern, clean feel to it. Lots of mirrors on the inside make it feel like a palace of sorts.
The service was excellent and the staff was very helpful in explaining menu items and offering suggestions - all of which turned out to be good information.