Are you a fan of grilled chicken? Do you want to try something new and delicious? If you're in San Francisco, CA, then you need to check out Mr. Pollo – a small restaurant that will blow your taste buds away!
Mr. Pollo is a hidden gem located on Mission Street, between 24th and 25th streets, in the vibrant and colorful Mission District. This cozy and unpretentious eatery has been delighting locals and visitors since it opened its doors in 2010. Its simple menu features mouthwatering charcoal-grilled chicken and other Latin American-inspired dishes that are made with fresh and high-quality ingredients. Whether you're looking for a quick lunch, a romantic dinner, or a casual hangout spot, Mr. Pollo has got you covered.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at what makes Mr. Pollo a must-try chicken grill experience in San Francisco, CA. We'll explore its history, menu, ambiance, and customer reviews. We'll also provide some tips and recommendations on how to make the most of your visit to Mr. Pollo. So, let's get started!
History of Mr. Pollo
Mr. Pollo was founded by two entrepreneurs from Colombia, Manuel and Miguel, who shared a passion for cooking and hospitality. They wanted to bring the flavors and traditions of their homeland to San Francisco and share them with the diverse and curious foodie scene. They opened Mr. Pollo as a small and humble restaurant with only four tables and a counter, but soon their reputation grew, and they had to expand to accommodate more customers. Today, Mr. Pollo seats up to 30 guests and has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere that reflects its owners' warmth and enthusiasm.
One of the unique aspects of Mr. Pollo is its commitment to using free-range, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free chicken that is sourced from local farms. This ensures that the chicken is not only healthier but also more flavorful and juicier than conventional chicken. The chicken is marinated overnight in a secret blend of spices and herbs that give it a zesty and smoky taste. It is then grilled over charcoal until it's crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The result is a chicken that is truly addictive and unforgettable.
The menu at Mr. Pollo
The menu at Mr. Pollo is concise but varied enough to satisfy different tastes and preferences. The star of the show is, of course, the chicken, which comes in three different options: whole, half, or quarter. You can also order chicken wings, which are equally delicious and come with a side of house-made spicy sauce. If you're not in the mood for chicken, you can try the vegetarian option, which is a roasted portobello mushroom sandwich with avocado, cilantro, onions, and salsa verde. There's also an empanada of the day, which changes depending on the chef's inspiration.
All dishes come with a side of rice, black beans, and plantains, which add a sweet and savory touch to the meal. You can also order additional sides, such as yucca fries, potato salad, or mixed greens. To quench your thirst, Mr. Pollo offers a selection of craft beers, wines, and non-alcoholic beverages, including horchata, tamarindo, and Jamaica.
View our menu: https://mrpollo.net/menu
The ambiance at Mr. Pollo
The ambiance at Mr. Pollo is cozy, rustic, and laid-back. The walls are adorned with colorful paintings and murals that depict scenes from Colombia and other Latin American countries. The tables are covered with red checkered tablecloths and decorated with fresh flowers and candles. The music is upbeat and eclectic, ranging from salsa and cumbia to rock and pop.
The staff at Mr. Pollo are friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable about the menu. They will gladly explain the different dishes, offer recommendations, and make sure that you're satisfied with your meal. The service is fast and efficient, but not rushed, allowing you to savor each bite and enjoy the relaxed vibe.
Customer Reviews of Mr. Pollo
Customer reviews of Mr. Pollo are overwhelmingly positive and reflective of its high standards of quality and taste. On Yelp, Mr. Pollo has an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5, based on over 2000 reviews. Customers praise the chicken's flavor, tenderness, and juiciness, as well as the generous portions and affordable prices. They also appreciate the friendly and welcoming atmosphere, the cozy ambiance, and the excellent service.
Some customers note that the restaurant can get crowded and noisy during peak hours, so it's advisable to come early or late to avoid waiting in line or being rushed. Others mention that the seating is limited and not ideal for large groups or families, so it's best suited for solo diners or couples. However, the overall consensus is that Mr. Pollo is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves grilled chicken and wants to experience authentic Latin American cuisine.
How to Enjoy Mr. Pollo in San Francisco?
If you're planning to visit Mr. Pollo in San Francisco, here are some tips on how to make the most of your experience:
- Come early or late: Mr. Pollo can get busy during lunch and dinner hours, so try to avoid peak times if you don't want to wait in line or be rushed. The restaurant opens at 11 am and closes at 9 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 12 pm to 7 pm on Sundays.
- Try the chicken wings: While the whole, half, or quarter chicken are the signature dishes, don't overlook the chicken wings. They're crispy, spicy, and addictive, and come with a side of house-made sauce that takes them to the next level.
- Bring cash: Mr. Pollo accepts cash only, so make sure you have enough bills on hand before you arrive. There's an ATM nearby if you forget, but it charges a fee.
- Chat with the owners: Manuel and Miguel are often present at the restaurant and love to chat with customers. They're friendly, passionate, and knowledgeable about Colombian culture and cuisine, so don't hesitate to ask them questions or share your feedback.
- Takeout is an option: If you can't find a seat or prefer to eat at home, Mr. Pollo offers takeout services. You can call ahead or order online through their website or third-party delivery apps.
Comparing Mr. Pollo with Other Chicken Grills in San Francisco
San Francisco has no shortage of restaurants that serve grilled chicken, but few can match the quality and authenticity of Mr. Pollo. Here are some of the main differences between Mr. Pollo and other chicken grills in the city:
- Quality of ingredients: Mr. Pollo uses free-range, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free chicken that is sourced from local farms. This ensures that the chicken is healthier, tastier, and more sustainable than conventional chicken. Other chicken grills may use cheaper and lower-quality chicken that can compromise the flavor and texture of the dish.
- Unique marinade and grilling technique: Mr. Pollo's chicken is marinated overnight in a secret blend of spices and herbs that give it a zesty and smoky taste. It is then grilled over charcoal until it's crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This results in a chicken that is juicy, flavorful, and addictive. Other chicken grills may use different marinades and cooking methods that produce different results.
- Latin American-inspired sides and drinks: Mr. Pollo's menu includes traditional Latin American side dishes like rice, beans, and plantains that complement the chicken perfectly. They also offer refreshing and exotic non-alcoholic beverages like horchata and tamarindo that add to the cultural experience. Other chicken grills may have more generic or Westernized sides and drinks that don't enhance the meal as much.
Advises for Visiting Mr. Pollo
If you're still not convinced that Mr. Pollo is worth a visit, here are some final pieces of advice that might help:
- Don't be intimidated by the location: The Mission District may seem edgy or sketchy to some visitors, but it's actually one of the most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco. It's known for its colorful murals, hipster shops, and excellent food scene. Mr. Pollo is located on a bustling street that has plenty of other shops and restaurants around, so you can make a day out of it.
- Bring an appetite: The portions at Mr. Pollo are generous and filling, so make sure you come hungry. You don't want to miss out on any of the delicious sides or drinks either.
- Be open-minded: Latin American cuisine may be unfamiliar or exotic to some people, but it's worth trying. Mr. Pollo offers a unique and authentic experience that can broaden your culinary horizons and introduce you to new flavors and textures.
In conclusion, Mr. Pollo is a must-try chicken grill experience in San Francisco, CA, that deserves all the hype and praise it gets. Its commitment to using high-quality ingredients, its unique marinade and grilling technique, and its cozy and welcoming ambiance make it stand out from other chicken grills in the city. Whether you're a local or a visitor, Mr. Pollo is a destination that should be on your foodie bucket list.