Pollo Tropical

When I’m away from NYC, I love trying new fast food joints that I can’t find back home. In Florida, I kept seeing these Pollo Tropical joints all over the place, so I had to try it.

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The menu is pretty simple – chicken or pork, rice bowls, platters and sandwiches. My wife and I tried a bunch of stuff.

First was the guava BBQ pulled pork sandwich, which reminded me of luau pork or achiote pork. The BBQ sauce was good – sweet and tangy with a unique fruity flavor. The chicken sandwich was pretty basic – nothing special there: grilled chicken, cheese and some fixings on a potato bun. The rice bowl we tried was the same pork meat as the sandwich, but on a bed of yellow rice with black beans, onions, and corn. This was the best value, in my opinion. You got a lot of food for the money.

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Each sandwich item came with a side. We had fried yucca, and corn soufflé – both were excellent, and easily addicting snack foods.

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They even serve beer from the Bahamas. Sweet!

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But the thing that really sets Pollo Tropical apart from other joints is the sauce selection, all free to grab as much as you want, to mix and make concoctions of your own, etc. They have things like guava BBQ sauce (as well as regular BBQ sauce), curry mustard sauce (amazing – I know it sounds bad, but trust me), garlic cilantro cream sauce (awesome for the beef selections, if available in that particular restaurant – and it has a hint of lime), pineapple rum (thing “tropical duck sauce”), spicy poyo poyo sauce (great kick from habanero peppers), Pollo Tropical hot sauce, and fresh salsa. You really can’t go wrong with any of them.

In short, I dig this place. If there was one in NYC, I’d be hitting it pretty often.

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