Pollo Campero | Belmont Cragin | Latin American | Restaurant
First Chicago outpost of a Guatamalan fried-chicken chain with a cultlike following.

Our Review

For the past 30 years Pollo Campero has been hatching franchises all over Latin America, serving food that has proved to be immensely popular, though it's not quite clear to me why. The chicken is marinated, lightly breaded, and slightly spiced with a blend that seems to contain cinnamon and pepper (the exact recipe, predictably, is a closely held secret); it's also fried somewhat darker though less greasily than chicken at Brown's or KFC--OK, but far from groundbreaking. There's a decent lineup of red, green, and chipotle salsas, none very spicy but probably better than what you'd expect if these condiments had emerged from Burger King.Some side dishes are fine--I had the tostones, crisp and tasty with the salsas--and if you eat inside a server brings your food on a hard plate with silverware, a welcome gesture of civility. And the drinks are more interesting than at most stateside franchises: you can get horchata, tamarindo (from the sweet-sour tamarind), and maranon, made from the fruit of the cashew, a sweet, pale yellow liquid.

David Hammond

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Price: $
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa

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