Combine flavorful Caribbean cooking with fast food and you have Pollo Tropical. It's hitting my neighborhood with a vengeance. The food is a salute to home island cooking, full of spices and textures. I have to admit it's about the best tasting fast food out there.
Since Pollo Tropical means chicken tropical style, there are of course chicken dishes but also beef, shrimp and pork. The grilled chicken is coated with lime and adobe, cooked crisp on the outside and meltingly tender on the inside. I had the value meal which also includes savory yellow rice and red beans in a mild chili sauce. A small roll and soda are added to this for a grand price of $4.21. The rice and beans were wonderful, redolent with spices but not too seasoned. I also bought the flan which is the best I've had. This is what flan should be - a creamy little custard, eggy and not too sweet with a deep dark caramel sauce over it.
You can also get pork ribs for a dinner along with ropa veja, that Cuban classic of shredded beef. Pollo Tropical also has fajitas (OK ,maybe a nod to Mexico here) along with Casar and Cobb salad. unlike other fast food joints it also offers soup. The sides reflect the islands with yucca and fried plantanos along with corm. There are even tropical fruit smoothies too. The food itself is low in calories and not at all laden with the usual fast food evils of grease of over salting.
If Pollo Tropical moves into your neighborhood,go to it. The food is excellent along with the pricing. It's a great way of eating good Caribbean food with out the travel.