Chicken Loco, Annandale, VA

Chicken Loco had been closed for about seven months for renovations, but has reopened as of about three weeks ago. It’s an odd-man-out on the outskirts of Koreatown, serving primarily Salvadoran, Mexican, and Peruvian Pollo a la Brasa. Yet, there is some Asian influence as well: Yesterday, they were offering three types of teriyaki!

I don’t care how much you think you don’t like tongue. If they have it, you simply must order the Lengua Guisada ($6.99 with two sides). This is thick-cut, long-cooked, and melt in your mouth brisket-like greatness, and is the best tongue I’ve had in months.

You order from the counter here, so you can see many of the items right in front of you. I made my meal downright healthy with sides of cubed potatoes and green beans. While these may sound innocuous, they were both very good – the potatoes first baked, then cubed and ever-so-lightly finished on the grill; the green beans had shards of scrambled egg in them, and maybe even the barest hint of soy sauce, which put them over the top.

I also got a couple corn-made tortillas, but they were as they so often are: bland, and were discarded after just a couple of bites.

One big, big draw here is that Chicken Loco is open for breakfast – Latin-American breakfast (think Tamal de Gallina, Breakfast Burritos, etc.) – seven days a week, at 5:30 AM Monday through Saturday, and 6:30 AM on Sunday.

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