I have always liked a good rotisserie chicken. Yes, I liked Boston Market. The problem is that when Boston Market went out business in RVA, there was nothing to fill its place. I hate dry, old chickens that have sat around for hours. That description fits the bill for Ukrops, Fresh Market, European Market and others. So when I had the chance to be in Northern Virginia, I would make my way to any number of the Peruvian style chicken places up there including Crisp and Juicy and El Pollo Rico. Pollo Ala Brasa is the term they use at the restaurants and it is characterized by well seasoned chicken, cooked on a rotating spit over a charcoal fire, and served with very tasty dipping sauces.
About 18 months ago, I saw one of these Peruvian Chicken joints in RVA. The place is called Chicken Fiesta and is located on Midlothian Turnpike between Chippenham Pkwy and the Powhite Pkwy. Since that time I would consider myself a frequent visitor.
Let me preface this by saying that I am no way an expert on Peruvian style chicken, and I will even go as far to say that this isn’t the best that I have eaten. I will say that I am grateful that it exists here, and they do a good job at it.
For atmosphere, it’s nothing exciting. It is counter service with about 10 tables inside. The staff and the clientele are mostly Hispanic. I think a good sign for any ethnic restaurant is that the clientele represents the origins of the food being made there. I think one of the standouts though, is the manager, Harold. From the first time I have been there, he has engaged in conversation and remembered me every other time I have returned.
The menu is made up grilled and roasted meats, sandwiches, and several side dishes. While I have ventured into the other cuisines, I think the chicken is where it is at. It is served in four pieces (a whole bird) and each piece has a nice golden brown color. The skin is perfectly flavored and crispy, The meat has a nice pink smoke color on the outer edges, and is juicy and wonderful. I like the dark meat better than the white, but that is because I think fat always tastes better. And speaking of fat, I like their mayonnaise based sauces. They serve a yellow, pink and a green. The green actually is a hot sauce with no mayo in it. But the yellow and the pink are perfect for dipping the chicken (the boring breast pieces). If you ask nicely, Harold may give you a sample of the special sauce he is currently working on. IT IS PHENOMENAL.
As for the sides, I think they have a well fried Yucca. The plantains served with crema are also nice. If you are feeling adventurous, they have an amazing drink made out rice milk and cinnamon.
This is a simple joint with solid food. It is reasonably priced, and it helps me when I start jonesing for some GOOD rotisserie chicken.