Char-Grilled Chicken @ “The Famous” Chicken Place

Every city I’ve lived in has had some form of delicious chicken for lunch time. In Boston, there is Boston Market. The chicken is decent, the sides are eh, but man- is that corn bread good. In Los Angeles it is Zankou Chicken, a small chain of Lebanese chicken joints where the food is super cheap, and the star of the show is this unbelievable garlic sauce that every bite of chicken gets dipped into. But hands down, my favorite chicken place is in my hometown of Miami, and it’s name is Pollo Tropical! If you’ve never been, it’s basically a cuban version of Boston Market, serving char-grilled chicken with rice, beans, & plantains or fried yucca. Awesome. Everytime I go home, I never miss a visit to Pollo Tropical. They are mostly located in Florida, with two weird mysterious locations in the NY/NJ area, one of which I saw while on a bus to the Meadowlands. It was almost like a mirage in the distance, my eyes struggling to make out the sign, wishing I could stop the bus and quench my cuban food thirst… (I still haven’t been)

But alas, there is no Pollo Tropical, or Zankou Chicken in Midtown- so we’ve got to live with what we’ve got… and it seems as if “The Famous” Chicken Place is where it’s at. A small hole in the wall on 3rd Ave. (btw. 38th & 39th), they serve up char-grilled chicken & sides, at amazingly cheap prices.

Pics of the chicken, what I got and the +/- after the jump…

I’m not sure what “The Famous” Chicken place is famous for (even the menu has seemingly ironic quotes around the famous part), but the chicken is pretty tasty. They butterfly the chicken and grill it on both sides, leaving perfectly crispy browned skin. A 1/4 chicken with potato salad or cole slaw is only $4.25 ($4.75 if you want white meat), and a 1/2 chicken with potato salad or cole slaw comes in at an awesome $5.35. You can sub fries for the slaw or potato salad, and it also comes with a piece of pita bread.

I went for the quarter chicken, with slaw (I didn’t know you could sub the fries at the time) and it was pretty damn good. The chicken needed a little bit of salt, but that was easily corrected. In the end, it’s a great deal for the money- and if you are the type of person who can eat a half a chicken on your own for lunch, I can’t imagine you are going to find a cheaper deal than this. They also serve chicken souvlaki & chicken gyros (recommended to me by a reader), regular gyros, burgers, Baby Back Ribs, buffalo wings and salads. They also just remodeled the counter, making it a little nicer than before. If you are looking for char-grilled chicken, at cheap prices this is definitely your place. It’s no Pollo Tropical, but it’ll do…

THE +

  • Char-Grilled Chicken at super cheap prices
  • You can sub fries for cole slaw or potato salad (even though it doesn’t say it on the menu)
  • Comes with pita bread too
  • If you don’t like chicken on the bone, they do have Chicken Souvlaki & Chicken Gyro platters and sandwiches  

THE -

  • The chicken was a little under-seasoned (but that’s easily fixed)
  • It’s a little greasy

“The Famous” Chicken Place, 592 3rd Ave. (btw. 38th & 39th), 212-687-1800

13 Comments

  • i’ve always said if i wanted to make a ton of money (and had the temperament fast food operations require) i’d open a pollo tropical in the city. i went to h.s. in miami and know you’re speaking the truth! man i wish we had one around here! thus far the best satisfaction i’ve had for quick cuban food is margon, which you’ve written about. maybe i’ll give “the famous” chicken place a try. (and make the rice+beans at home!)

  • There’s a pollo tropical in queens and i have partaken of its goodness.

  • Also check out “Golden Chicken and Ribs” on the corner of 9th ave and 43rd street… It’s the same type of place, but they offer much more variety with respect to side dishes. Also, they have ribs! Prices are fairly reasonable.

  • I’m sure you realize this, but Boston Market is a nationwide chain (including a few NYC locations). I think their food is relatively decent, but my favorite part is the sides. And the meatloaf. I don’t think their cornbread is very good…but I’ll take what I can get. Good cornbread is a rare find in NYC.

  • Mmmmmmm…. chicken.

  • If you check out Pollo Tropical’s (PT) website at http://www.pollotropical.com/ you will find that they have TWO official locations in the NY metro area- North Bergen, NJ and Brooklyn. If I’m not mistaken PT expanded into the NY metro area last year so let’s hope a move to Midtown is in the works!

  • The Famous Chicken Place has ribs too, and they are great! I often pick up a 1/2 chicken and a whole rack of ribs for dinner at home.

    I personally think it’s a little better than the one on 43rd and 9th.

  • I had the souvlaki at the famous chicken place due to a suggestion here or on menupages. I thought the chicken was ok (just charred chicken, not marinated) but the tatziki sauce was awful. The best chicken souvlaki is definitely Gene’s coffee shop on 60th and Madison. Excellent.

  • A 2nd Jersey Pollo Tropical is opening on Route 3 West in Clifton (across the highway from Clifton Commons, in the new strip mall). I saw the sign on my commute in this morning. Great news for us Tunnel folks- Pollo Tropical is awesome!

  • i was there recently and they charge you for any substitution.It would have to be the best chicken in the world to make up for their
    miserable atitudes:)

  • The chicken gyro is phenomenal at this place.

  • i agree with mary – i had the chicken souvlaki because i needed something to eat at my desk (chicken on the bone seemed a bad idea in my studio-style office) and it was juicy, but not flavorful enough. their pita is nice and chewy though. wish i had tried something else since this was my first time!

  • Last weekend I passed a Pollo Tropical and the dancing chicken lured me in. When I went inside they were giving away 4 great coupon deals. I bought a ¼ chicken meal for $2.99! (And a picture with the Pollo Tropical Chicken). You can’t find that good of a deal anywhere else.

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