El Pollo De Oro
● By Style
Tucked snuggly in a Granite Bay strip mall, sandwiched between a pet grooming store and spa salon, lies El Pollo De Oro.
Don’t let the façade fool you; rather believe the restaurant’s name when they describe the “Pollo” (chicken) as being “Oro” (golden). Once inside, you enter a Sante Fe-style paradise; contemporary colors, sophisticated lighting and Mariachi music immediately set the mood.
My main squeeze had already polished off a basket of chips and memorized the menu by the time I arrived, fashionably late. Luckily, the server was pleasant and he enjoyed good conversation and a frosty brew while waiting. The menu is smart in that it features enough variety to please all palates – carnivores, vegetarians, and lovers of the sea alike – but not so extensive that it takes an hour to read.
We started off with guacamole to accompany the perfectly salted and extra crispy tortilla chips. It wasn’t long until the oohing and aahing began – fresh chunks of avocado, sun-ripened tomatoes and onions, all topped off with a squeeze of lime juice and sprinkling of queso fresco. Muy bueno!
Our entrées of Marinated Chicken and a California Macho Burrito arrived in a timely manner – both hearty portions and aesthetically pleasing. The four pieces of grilled chicken were indeed golden with a crunchy exterior, juicy interior and mouth-watering flavor. Alongside the meat were authentic refried beans, Spanish rice, a green salad and four warmed tortillas. The chicken was succulent on its own, but I also enjoyed making my own “mini tacos” using the items offered. The boyfriend’s burrito, consisting of carne asada, guacamole, rice, sour cream, pico de gallo and French fries (making it a true “California” style), all smothered in enchilada sauce and cheese, tasted of true Mexican comfort food.
Next time, when our stomachs allow, we hope to try the homemade flan…no doubt it’s delicious.
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