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Chicken fans, celebrate! 4th El Pollo Rico opens in Fairfax City

Lucky Fairfax City! El Pollo Rico is here. You’ve heard about it, now try it yourself.

It’s the marinade.

That was celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s conclusion after inhaling half of roasted chicken, skin and all, at El Pollo Rico’s legendary location at Virginia Square in Arlington. He took his camera crew behind the scenes of the always-spinning rotisserie and engaged employees in conversation but none of them would offer what the secret ingredients were to the marinade, which Bourdain said he had never had before. 

And now great news: Chicken aficionados in and around Fairfax City are getting their own El Pollo Rico. And as if the regular prices are not reasonable enough — they are! — the new rotisserie restaurant is now open to coincide with the start of Fairfax City Restaurant Week (August 29-September 4). 

Fairfax City is the fourth of the independent Peruvian chain’s storefronts since opening the Arlington location in 1984. The fast-casual counter served setting provides convenient inside dining or rapid pick-up, the better to consume in front of drooling co-workers back at the office. (Delivery is available too, via Uber Eats.)

The menu? Chicken, of course with a selection of sides, sodas and deserts.

The tender chicken is grilled over charcoal and served in fractions of a quarter or a half or a whole of dark or white meat. The seasoned skin is roasted to a soft crackle, and even health nuts who ordinarily wouldn’t touch the skin can’t help themselves and devour everything on the plate but the bones.

Insider tip: Dip the chicken meat into one of the two sauces available. Those sauces are called, no kidding, green sauce and yellow sauce.

An extra insider tip: Mix the green and yellow sauces. No idea what’s in them, but ask for extras!

Of course, there the are sides — you get a choice of beans, slaw, rice, fried plantains, fried yuca and fries. There is an assortment of Latin American-style soft drinks — including Rio Grande “Champagne,” coconut juice and the number one soda, Inca Kola — in addition to more familiar brands.

And that’s it! Easy.

Best advice of the day? Get some El Pollo Rico soon!

El Pollo Rico is located at 10801 Fairfax Blvd., in Fairfax City. It’s now open for Fairfax Restaurant Week (August 29-September 4) from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. El Pollo Rico will be open for regular hours starting September 5, open 5 days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday.

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