Open 7 days: 10 AM to 10 PM
(609) 278-1200 Website Google Maps
Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
(Covid Update Dec 2021 – in business) El Chapin is a Guatemalan restaurant at the corner of Cass and Lamberton Streets, within spitting distance of Waterfront Park, started in 2010.
The specialty of the house is charcoal grilled rotisserie chicken, and it’s really, really, really good. People on low sodium diets will have to stay away, but the chicken is marinated then slowly grilled. It comes out slightly spicy: crispy on the outside, and succulent and tender on the inside. It’s much better than fried chicken, and there’s no added fat! As a special order, El Chapin will also do a chicken in BBQ sauce.
Just to be sure I wasn’t imagining this, I brought my wife for dinner this evening. This is a woman, who when she was 12 years old, demanded roast chicken for her birthday dinner instead of the steak or lobster or roast beef her mother advocated. My wife LOVED this place, so we know it’s a keeper.
If you’re not into the chicken, there’s a pretty complete Guatemalan menu to pick from. There’s tacos and sea food, including Sopa de Mariscos and fried whole fish.
They’re not on the menu, but El Chapin does pupusas as well. My wife and I shared an order this evening, and they are outstanding. Light, grilled in almost no oil, with a tender masa harina shell and gooey queso blanco filling. Yummy.
Prices aren’t the lowest in Trenton, but they’re more than reasonable. The restaurant is clean and pleasant to sit in: nothing fancy, mind you, but much nicer than the average dive.