On a very hot Sunday afternoon we headed over to Logan Heights to check out a “pollo al carbon” (grilled chicken) shop. I noticed it on Yelp and was interested in trying out some homemade grilled chicken.
One of the first things we noticed when pulling into the small lot was there was a lot going on for this one little corner. There was a car wash place to the right of the taco shop and a little fruiteria tucked into another spot (to the right of this wall you see above).
And this was kind of a two-in-one restaurant. Jose’s Pollos were grilling it up outside while inside there was a taco shop serving the other kind of Mexican food you’re used to (tacos, burritos, toastadas, etc).
The menu for Jose’s Pollos is outside on the sidewalk. They offer chicken, ribs, and carne asada. Prices are different if you eat there or you can take it to go to save yourself a dollar.
When you go inside, there’s a sign that says “Pague Aqui Su Pollo” which means “Pay for your chicken here”. This is in the back, on the right side. To the left is the other taco shop we didn’t try.
There’s this list taped to the counter with to go prices for the chicken. It’s a tiny bit more if you stay to eat (I’m guessing they just add the taxes on).
There’s no English spoken here. Luckily Jake and I know enough to get by and we order a 1/2 marinated chicken (you can also opt for it “natural” style with no marinade) and a half rack of ribs. The ribs also have two different styles of sauce. One was “dulce” (or sweet) and I don’t remember what the other option was. I think it was a spicy version. We choose the sweet BBQ sauce. Both halves were $10 bucks each.
After you pay, you bring your receipt outside and give it to one of the gentlemen here and they prepare your order.
There were a few tables partially in the shade and there was a nice breeze going. The lady from inside brought out the sides and salsas for us. These are the two salsas they offer. I only tried the orange sauce which was pretty spicy but had a nice overall flavor.
We were given our food in a styrofoam container with half of a grilled onion on top. These are the ribs.
And here in the grilled, marinated chicken.
I like that they separate it for you so the meats don’t touch. No sauce contamination!
The rice and the beans. The rice was really flavorful – it was Spanish style rice but there was a little something else in it to give it an extra depth of flavor that we really enjoyed. I didn’t even try the beans, I dislike whole beans. The texture is too gross to me. Refried or nothing!
Also included is a stack of corn tortillas.
I assembled a little taco with grilled chicken and grilled onions with a little hot sauce and it was quite tasty. The grilled onion was nice and sweet. The dark meat of the chicken was very juicy and flavorful though the white breast meat was a little on the drier side. The marinade was good but I think I might rather just have it “al natural” in the future. Actually, what I would have really enjoyed the best would be the chicken with the sweet BBQ sauce from the pork ribs! I loved the sweet BBQ sauce so much but the ribs themselves were like these weird little chopped end pieces. It felt like we got BBQ “leftovers” instead of actual ribs. They tasted fine but the meat was too tough in some parts.
I also wished we could have had some cilantro on the side, but oh well. The grilled chicken was very good and I’d come back for that. I wonder if I can figure out how to ask in Spanish if I can get the sweet BBQ sauce with the chicken instead… hmm.
As we were leaving, Jake spied one of the cooks tending to a long, large grill near our parked car. He has the lid up and was adding new chickens to the grill. Jake politely asked in Spanish if I could take a photo and I snapped a quick shot. Those chickens were looking mighty tasty and smelled so good!
Be warned if you go on Sunday like we did you’ll get to listen to a musical showdown from the church across the street. They were really rockin’ it up over there!
Since it was crazy hot and we didn’t want to go home yet, we decided to get some ice cream to cool us down a little. We initially tried to go to a place off Market Street but the place was packed to the brim! We ended up going out to San Carlos to find a yogurt shop that didn’t seem to exist anymore and not wanting to strike out again, we ended up going to Rite Aid for some Thrifty Ice Cream.
They didn’t have my preferred Thrifty ice cream flavor (chocolate malted crunch) and I opted for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. They have a pink ice cream with animal circus cookies in it which I tried but it tasted way too sweet, so I opted for this stand by flavor.
Jake got a scoop of Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream and I thought his flavor was the best. It was slightly tangy with bits of tasty strawberry in it.
T got the Blueberry Cheesecake sorbet which I thought was a little too much on the icy side but it had a good flavor. It was a cheap way to cool down and enjoy a little treat during the dumb heat wave we had a couple of weeks ago.
Rite Aid | Multiple Locations
8694 Lake Murray Blvd
San Diego, CA 92119