Location: 5805 NW 50th St
Oklahoma City, OK
Today for lunch I headed to El Pollo Chulo, which contrary to popular belief is Spanish style, not Mexican. If you’re looking for a low-cost, healthy place to eat, this is a great place. Fred, the owner, will be all too forthright to let you know that his food is healthy and broadcasts it on his wall-menu and take-out menu as well. In fact their moto is “We worry about what goes into your body so you don’t have to…”
The star of the show at El Pollo Chulo is Fred’s chicken. The birds are butterflied and marinated in a fruit and lime marinade (that Fred won’t reveal, doggone him!), and then flame-grilled slowly over some large grills built into the counter. It’s the first sight you see when you walk in the door and step to the front of the cafeteria style serving line.
Through the glass, you can view the sizzling slow-grilled chicken and view its odd crimson- taint of colors from the marinade.
Chicken seems to be the house favorite at El Pollo Chulo. You can opt for 1/4 ($4.99), or 1/2 (6.99) of a chicken or you can order by pieces – 3 piece ($5.99), or 8 pieces ($10.99) of chicken.
All come with 2 sides and complimentary salsa and 2 tortillas. Fred will also ask if you prefer white or dark meat and only asked me the first couple times I went. Now he remembers and doesn’t ask me anymore, which makes you feel remembered and is pretty cool. He also keeps the high def TV tuned to the Cooking Channel or Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations (my latest intrigue), which I enjoy to view while munching on his creations.
But chicken isn’t all that El Pollo offers in the means of animal flesh. You can also get your fill of Omega 3’s with grilled wild salmon ($6.95) or how about a seafood skewer ($6.95). Both of these are served with the 2 choices of sides and 2 complimentary tortillas with salsa as well. Prefer bovine? You can opt for seasoned chuck eye steak for $6.99.
Let’s talk about the sides. The sides are served, as I said before, cafeteria style and they range from pesto-type noodles, to spanish rice to sweet potatoes but also include black or pinto beans, vegetables and parsley potatoes.
Another popular favorite which I’ve enjoyed is the Burritos. Fred hacks up his wonderful chicken and grills a burrito on his flat grill, and there are various versions from which to choose. The burritos range from $1.99 (beans and rice) to $3.25 (The Ultimate), a bargain for lunch.
Don’t know what to make for dinner? How about stopping by El Pollo and picking up a Pollo Party Pack? For $13.75 you can get 12 pieces of chicken, 4 side orders and 8 tortillas and salsa. Keep in mind however, the sides are a tad small, so take that into consideration. At $.99 for a small and $1.99 for a large side order, though you could order a few extra.
The dining room is spacious and very casual and well-lit by large windows.
I am a fan of El Pollo, and go there regularly. I hope you try it sometime. It’s a great healthy alternative to fast food.
One word of advice. Although it’s well into fall, I did go a few times in the summer, and there was no air-conditioning turned on. There were some overhead fans, but in our Oklahoma heat, I could barely stand it for an hour’s lunch. You might try take-out in the summer. Maybe by next summer, Fred will turn the air on.
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