Aug 15, 2012

Review: El Pollo Loco - Original Pollo Bowl

El Pollo Loco's Original Pollo Bowl features a bowl of seasoned rice and pinto beans topped with flame-grilled chicken breast, onions, cilantro, and pico de gallo.

It's $4.69 a bowl at my local El Pollo Loco restaurant.

While the chicken exhibited the trademark flame-grilled, citrus marinaded flavor of El Pollo Loco, it didn't hold up to well against the rice and beans with the amount given. The chicken was also a little on the dry side (not surprising with breast meat).

The rice didn't have much flavor. I was hoping for some more seasoning to match the look. The onion and cilantro were fresh enough, but didn't add that much needed "oomph" and the beans were a more muted taste (which also left bean water on the bottom of the bowl... slotted spoon anyone?). I was hoping the salsa might save it, but it was mostly just tomato-y. The whole bowl was really in want of a sauce or something.

The saving grace of the overly bland Original Pollo Bowl was El Pollo Loco's fresh salsa bar which sits in each restaurant and allows you to load up on four different salsas with varying levels of heat. My favorite is the avocado salsa which delivers on creamy flavor with a substantial spicy bite. Added to the bowl, it delivered on the flavor I was looking for, but El Pollo Loco has better eats on the menu for the money.

If you do get it, don't forget the salsa bar! I don't know what you're supposed to do if you go drive-thru though.

Nutritional Info - El Pollo Loco Original Pollo Bowl (18.1 oz)
Calories - 610 (from Fat - 90)
Fat - 10g (Saturated Fat - 2g)
Sodium - 1750mg
Carbs - 87g (Sugar - 3g)
Protein - 40g