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(Covid Update Dec 2021 – in business) Yes, it is (kind of) the Latino KFC. A “fast-food” chain that started in Guatemala, Pollo Campero now operates over 300 stores world-wide. Most are in Latin America, but 50 are in the USA. It’s not surprising that Trenton, as the 6th largest Guatemalan community in the country, is home to one of them.
While originally focused on fried chicken, Campero now offers “Citrus Peruvian Grilled Chicken” as an alternative. And what an alternative! My order came PERFECTLY cooked: succulent and flavorful: without a doubt some of the best chicken I ever had anywhere. Normally we don’t like to review chain stores; but when they can deliver something this good, we make an exception. Clearly these guys know what they’re doing, and have superb process control to make sure it ends up this good when it hits your tray. Of course, you can order fried chicken instead, but when grilled chicken comes this juicy, why would you want the extra fat and breading?
You can order a “Personal Meal” consisting of 2 or 3 pieces of chicken with a “side” at prices that range (November 2015) of $4.99 to $7.19 depending on the number of pieces, and whether you’re getting dark meat or white meat. “Classic Sides” are fries, black or red beans, coleslaw, or Campero rice. My wife LOVES their coleslaw: she claims it’s the best anywhere. The dressing is unsweetened, and the slaw has a nice balance of cabbage, onion, and green pepper. The french fries are also quite good: they remind me of what McDonald’s used to be.
You can also order “Signature sides” — yuca fries or sweet plantains for $0.30 extra. If you’re extra hungry, you can add a classic side for $1.49, or $1.79 for a signature side; you can also get a Half Chicken Special (4 pieces, plus 2 sides) for $8.99. You can also order 8, 12, 16, or 20-piece “Family Meals” which come with larger, “Family Sides”.
Other menu items include “Camperitos” (their version of chicken McNuggets), Chicken Empanadas (fried pastries filled with chicken and a cheese sauce), and chicken bowls. All of these items are fine, but none reaches the gustatory heights of the grilled chicken pieces.
Desserts include the classic Latino confections: flan with caramel sauce and “Quatro Leches” cake (doing Tres Leches one better). We’ve not yet tried them.
For a fast food joint that focuses principally on chicken, there are a fair number of vegetarian sides you can order. Many have either eggs or milk, though even vegans can puzzle out a meal in a pinch. We’ve rated it Veggie Friendly, but not Vegan Friendly. However, note that the Beans Camperos (red beans) are flavored with meat: vegetarians should stick to the black beans.