El Pollo Chulo: it’s dandy chicken
El Pollo Chulo is located at 5805 NW 50th Street in Oklahoma City and is open 7 days a week (map).
PLEASE NOTE: This review was written before El Pollo Chulo moved to its new location on NW 50th Street.
I have seen El Pollo Chulo a hundred times sitting on the corner of Meridian and 23rd in Oklahoma City, but have never stopped. This is unlike me. Part of it is because there is a Mexican restaurant every 200 feet in this town and it gets old eating Mexican food every night. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mexican, but let’s be honest, stale chips and watered down cheese dip get old after a while. That’s where Pollo Chulo is a breath of fresh air. First off, its Spanish, not Mexican. Is there another Spanish restaurant in Oklahoma City? I know Tom and Jerry’s and other popular OKC eateries serve tapas periodically, but is there really a Spanish place in town? If so, please leave a comment and let me know because if this is what Spanish food tastes like I want more!
El Pollo Chulo is in an unassuming building along West 23rd in an area of town with very little culinary appeal. It did have a fairly nicely restored convertible Volkswagen Beetle out front, which made me like it from the start. We walked into a completely empty building which, to be honest, made me a little uneasy. As we ate several people came and ordered takeout, however, which explained the lack of bodies in seats.
The specialty is obviously chicken. But not just any chicken, lime and fruit marinated, flame broiled, perfectly seasoned, juicy, succulent chicken. They have several side items to choose from that are served cafeteria-style out of big warmers. They offer white rice, Spanish rice, roasted potatoes, a vegetable medley, a few types of beans, and spaghetti. They also serve a few types of fish, burritos of several varieties, and a variety of Mediterranean-type desserts such as baklava and a few cakes. I also like a guy, like this restaurant’s owner, who is passionate about his art. He is not afraid to tell you exactly what to eat and why. He knows his chicken is awesome and he has a little swagger when he goes to chop off a couple meaty chunks for you.
A few things you should be aware of:
- The side item portions are single serving portions. So, if you order the eight piece and four sides to feed a family of five, it won’t be enough. Order additional sides.
- You may have to talk your wife into it when she sees an empty building like I did, but it is well worth it.
- The chicken is addictive and you will find yourself craving it at strange times. For instance, it is 11pm right now and I’m fighting the urge to start stockpiling this chicken in my fridge so I can heat it up at night, even knowing full well it won’t be the same reheated.
El Pollo Chulo has everything you want in a local eatery. The owner is in there to greet you and tell you what you should order, the price is VERY nice (8 piece chicken meal and 4 sides is 10 bucks), it is certified by the National Heart Association as a heart-friendly prepared meal, and did I mention they drive what is either a late 60′s or early 70′s Standard Volkswagen Beetle or a ’71 Super? I didn’t have time to check the suspension to find out. The food is fantastic and may now be my favorite chicken in this town. Now if I can just find a decent Weiner Schnitzel my culinary desires will be totally fulfilled.
Flame Broiled Chicken. I have definitely found a new favorite way to eat chicken in Oklahoma City.