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Great grilled chicken’s the game with Mr. Pollo food truck 

click to enlarge Choose a quarter ($7), half ($11) or whole ($20) bird, but each comes with generous sides of Mexican rice, whole pintos, grilled onions, ramekins of mild salsa, and a single, fiery, grilled serrano pepper — plus a thick stack of corn tortillas (in the case of my half bird). - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Choose a quarter ($7), half ($11) or whole ($20) bird, but each comes with generous sides of Mexican rice, whole pintos, grilled onions, ramekins of mild salsa, and a single, fiery, grilled serrano pepper — plus a thick stack of corn tortillas (in the case of my half bird).

Mr. Pollo, Mobile business, 805/890-3527, facebook.com/MrPollofoodtruck1

You’ll find Mr. Pollo outside the South Academy Boulevard Home Depot, on Delaware Drive, just up the hill from Pikes Peak Avenue — daily, from around 11 a.m. until they sell out. Owner Israel Muro (no, I respectfully do not ask him if his nickname is “Mr. Pollo”) says he’s been parking here about a month, as he’s new to town, having spent the last 25 years in the industry in San Diego. As expected, he sells one thing: chicken.

Choose a quarter ($7), half ($11) or whole ($20) bird, but each comes with generous sides of Mexican rice, whole pintos, grilled onions, ramekins of mild salsa, and a single, fiery, grilled serrano pepper — plus a thick stack of corn tortillas (in the case of my half bird). Muro says he marinates in lemon, orange and pineapple juices and otherwise just seasons with black pepper, cooking over charcoal, which imparts a meaningful char flavor. The acid bath tenderizes the meat well, and despite the toasting it’s juicy, and plenty straightforward sans any dry rub seasoning. Back home, I pull chicken hunks into the tortillas with all the fixings (deseeding the serrano but its oil still burns my lips) and pour a shot of raicilla (an agave-based distillate, cousin to tequila and mezcal) to sip, which proves the perfect accompaniment, amplifying the heat a bit.

The flavors are simple and familiar but wholly enjoyable. And I get almost three full meals for myself out of the $11, a helluva value. Thank you, Mr. Pollo. 

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