Super Pollo No Mas

Photo courtesy of
‘super pollo!’
courtesy of ‘tornatore’

Friends and readers, it is with a very heavy heart that I sit down to write this post. I could spend all day poetically waxing about the feelings that have overcome me on this surprisingly sunny yet very dark, dark day. But instead I will just go ahead and put it out there. The Super Pollo in Ballston has closed. Gonezo. Done. No mas. Somehow, someway, we will find a way to go on. But right now, I cannot see that way for I am horrified over this closure.

Super Pollo is the ridiculously popular Peruvian char-broiled chicken restaurant on Randolph street across from the Ballston Mall. It was in a weird looking building that looks like it may have been a McDonald’s a few decades ago. It served amazingly good Peruvian chicken, with two delicious sides of your choosing, for just over $5 to hundreds of hungry lunch and dinner goers everyday.

As I do nearly once a week, I set out on foot today for Super Pollo for lunch. As I approached, I noticed I didn’t smell the delightful smell of charcoal grilled chicken smoke wafting through the air. I knew something was wrong. My worst fears were confirmed when I saw the entrance to the parking was lot covered with a big canvas sign inviting patrons to come to their other location about 2 miles down Wilson Blvd. Now I guess life can go on because there IS another Super Pollo that exists. But it is not in walking distance of the thousands of workers and residents of Ballston and I no longer get to smell that should-be-patented Super Pollo aroma coming in my window on a hot day.

Why is it gone? Well, it’s a little weird that it just shut down out of the blue. I mean, if anyone would have known about its pending demise, it surely would have been me. I basically run the fan club. But most likely, it has shut down to make way for a new mega-complex, including the new site of the super secure DoD DARPA building, which Tom wrote about back in July (and I commented on, as you can see). DARPA does some amazing work (like, I don’t know, CREATING THE INTERNET)…but it’s a tough sell to me. The Internet or Super Pollo? Don’t make me choose one.

Karl is a Washingtonian who lives and breathes everything that is DC. Politics, ethnic restaurants, sad sports teams, the Metro and pretty much anything in between. Karl’s life is kind of like going to a Nats’ game while eating Ethiopian food and discussing the latest legislation to pass the House. Then cramming on the Metro for a ride home. That ’bout sums it up. See why Karl loves DC or check him out on Twitter.

9 thoughts on “Super Pollo No Mas

  1. Aw hell, I lived right by it for over a year and never did go in for lunch despite telling myself repeatedly to do so… between that and Murkys, I’m really missing out on Arlington’s best munchies as they vanish. :(

  2. Ballston Super Pollo: I have many memories inside your greasy dining room. You will be sorely missed…

  3. This is horrible news. How could this happen with no notice? Maybe they are just renovating?

  4. Meh. Lived in Ballston for 6+ years. Never went.

    I’m assuming the Shell station is next to close, and the Mercedes dealer is remaining.

  5. Bummer news. The original building, as any native Arlingtonian age 37 or older would know, was a Red Barn. Another common fast food franchise that was alive during the 70′s and maybe earlier. Sad that another small business in Arlington has gotten pushed out. We still have El Pollo Rico, which was the original Peruvian chicken place in Arlington, and maybe the area. As for the Mercedes place… Unlikely they will be going anywhere any time soon… they have also been an Arlington institution for decades… and they have the money to support staying put.

  6. Pingback: Ballston Will Be Super Once Again » We Love DC