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Chicken Caliente

Chicken Caliente

This location is closed

By Christopher Skokna | Posted 7/23/2003

Many local eaters complain about our area's lack of Peruvian rotisserie chicken. It's especially depressing since the nearby Washington suburbs are chock-full of places that serve up this mouth-watering dish. There is at least one such takeout joint here, however, located on a rather desolate stretch of York Road.

If the thought of Peruvian chicken gets you salivating, Chicken Caliente may disappoint. The chicken is good, certainly: crispy, well-spiced skin wrapped around juicy, flavorful meat (prices range from $4.75 for a quarter chicken to $11.60 for a whole chicken). And the sides range from excellent (fried plantains) to pretty good (too-soupy rice and beans) to just OK (french fries); the side salad (iceberg lettuce, carrot and red cabbage shreds, no dressing) is better left uneaten. But this is not the addictive, melt-in-your-mouth poultry served at those always-crowded emporiums found in North Jersey and around D.C. that serve what everyone swears is the best chicken they've ever tasted. Chicken Caliente is basically a lonesome hole-in-the-wall whose poultry is worth an occasional visit, but not your allegiance or devotion.

One further warning: Do stick with this eatery's namesake dish. We tried the Argentinean-style steak ($7.50, including a side), which, while edible, was on the wrong side of mediocre. We remain somewhat hopeful, though, as the restaurant's owner seems very enthusiastic and helpful to Peruvian chicken rookies.

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