After eating lunch at La Platilleria we met some friends for a carajillo and a glass of wine at the Victoria. We were searching for a bar with Kahlúa to make an Espresso Martini for Dick Bradsell. This proved to be quite hard, but in the end, our friend and chef Alfredo Marcus kindly obliged, mixing us the cocktail himself.
After all that wandering around in the Raval, Oli mentioned that he was hungry, being close by, I suggest Pollo Rico. I expected a protest, but instead Oli marched off in the direction of the restaurant – who was I to stop him!
Pollo Rico is a cheap bar and restaurant that specialises in rotisserie chicken (which of course goes with fries). This place has been here forever (long before I lived in Barcelona back in the early 90s) and is very popular with the locals. The rotisserie (above) used to be in the window and after admiring the chicken and the chef’s attention to basting it for several months, one day I went in to try it…
We were both starving and ordered the same food. Croquetas, which are very good here
and allioli (of course).
When our chicken and chips arrived we had to order more allioli – we got through 3 dishes of it in total! The chicken was moist and tender – as expected and remembered. The thick cut fries were nice and fluffy inside. As you can see from the photo above, we drank another bottle of rosado.
Pollo Rico is open 7 days a week and closes late. Sit at the long metal bar, left as you enter, the food costs more if the waiter has to walk upstairs and serve you at a table. Pollo Rico do a “cheap as chips” menú del dia at lunchtime for less than €9. Half a chicken and fries costs €8 at any time. A whole chicken plus fries and salad to take away is €11. This part of the Raval is still a bit rough (but nowhere near as rough as 25 years ago) so keep your wits about you.
Years ago, my girlfriend lived almost opposite in C
Pollo Rico is at: Carrer de Sant Pau, 31 Barcelona, 08001
August 29th, 2017 – sadly the owner of Pollo Rico has retired after 54 years and the restaurant has closed. Pollo Rico was an iconic locale and the epitome of popular restaurants in Barcelona, where most neighbours still met to eat or drink a beer.
Hilarious. My husband is Colombian and they have so many pollo Rico type places or pollo a la brasa in the Colombian neighborhoods here. I have a love/ hate, mostly love, relationship with them. I’ll order a Colombiana soda, which when mixed with beer and aguardiente is called refrajo. For dessert i get a batido to complete the experience. It’s a very special experience and it’s good to know that it’s not limited to Queens, NY and Bogotá.
Ha ha – I’m very fond of Pollo Rico and hole in the wall joints in general. They are so much more real than global franchises and they sell all sorts of delicacies, such as baby octopus. I must go and check out the Asturian places by the port (if there are any left) – they sell aguadiente and leche de pantera. Cider gets poured over the back of the shoulder (to oxidise it – a lot goes on the floor) and I seem to remember drizzling aguadiente onto chorizos and setting light to them… 🙂
That seems like an awesome ritual!
Half goes on the floor and I seem to remember that the pouring is called escanciar. Measures of about an inch (or so) are poured into the glass and it must be drunk straight away – it should not be left to stand in the glass!
Aha – croquetas again! I have not forgotton last time you talked about them. The good news is that Inaki’s mother makes these all the time so I am awaiting the recipe and the Tips. (I think the tips will be important) then next week Inaki and I are going to teach ourselves to make them. At least he knows how they are meant to taste. Though they are more Spanish than Basque. I am looking forward to it! c
Miss C – you will blog after, won’t you 🙂 ?
I really love croquetas – they are not so hard to make – just very thick béchamel (and whatever additional flavours), with a breadcrumb coating. This article is good and the recipes come from Barrafina, who have a fantastic Basque chef (Nieves Barragán Mohacho): http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/feb/02/how-to-cook-perfect-ham-croquetas
If you want Basque croqetas add some bacalao – they introduced it to Spain 😉
aha! thank you – inaki has been trolling the internet looking for a link for me!
They are very easy to make, I had to make some after Mad Dog’s last post about them and they turned out great.
Looking for a reply ‘gone AWOL’ 🙂 !! Was there just awhile ago . . . must be out to lunch!!
Hi Eha, you replied to Cecilia a few posts above, but I haven’t seen anything else…
We had a hole in the wall place in Los Angeles that made the best rotisserie chicken and fries. You got half a chicken and fries for $7. I do miss that place.
Thanks Nadia, I love hole in the wall places – the march of global chains really upsets me.
You can’t beat a roast chicken dinner, add fries and it is perfect. 🙂
Especially with your wasakaka 😉
Yes…along with the allioli, you’d have a very tasty chicken. Pass along some of the chips, please. 😀
So much tastier than the horrible chicken and chips places we have here. Ourgent local butcher in Spain opens on Sunday mornings and sells rotisserie chickens but you have to order if you want to be sure of getting one!
I know! How do people in Britain get it so wrong? Your butcher sounds great 😉
He is a good butcher and he and his wife are very good paso doble dancers….they love to take to the floor at the village fiestas!
Wow! How fantastic!
Damn auto correct…our LOCAL butcher!
Oh how I wish I had one of those just down the street!
Thanks Michelle – it can be very handy!
This looks like a place definitely go to. I wouldn’t hesitate. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Cecilia, I’m glad you liked the post!
Love those rotisseries which feature in all the markets here…cooking gigots, chicken et al with all the juices dripping onto the potatoes beneath….health and safety UK fainting in the background:)
I should suggest that to them – potatoes underneath – that’s a great idea! I hate the fact that common sense has gone out the window in favour of health and safety. Everyone is wrapped in cotton wool and they behave like sheep.
I laughed as I read the post’s last paragraph, MD. While reading the description of the chicken, I imagined that I’d have been a regular there back in my bartending days. Certainly no miracle cure but nothing caps off a day of imbibing like fried anything. If I enjoyed the food earlier in the week while sober, you know I’d be back after my shift ended. 🙂
Ha ha – it does stay open late – I could end up there myself tonight!
enjoyed a meal and a chupito here many times through the years. the last time was 4 days in a row in july 2017, only to find it closed on my next visit in september of that year.
would love to know anywhere comparable currently open in bcn.
r.i.p. to a real one.
Thanks Carlos! There’s another good chicken place called El Pollo
on Calle Del Tigre 31, in the Raval. The Victoria is also very good – it’s not a chicken place but the menú del dia is great.
perfecto. I will try both this week.
muchísimas gracias, mad dog.