With restaurants in 12 countries, fans of Pollo Campero love the Latino restaurant’s signature chicken dishes and yuca fries. But the new Downtown Disney Marketplace restaurant is upped a notch with the first-of-its-kind Fresh A-Peel, inspired by Disney’s commitment to offer guests great-tasting, healthful options. Fresh A-Peel offers all-natural burgers, salads and wraps, and delicious cupcakes, cookies and other sweets (the goodies are all gluten free).
We started with the legendary chicken. I was wowed with the grilled meat’s distinct flavors from citrusy marinade and Latin spices, while my co-diners loved the fried bird with super-thin, super-crisp crust. The secret to crust that crackles? Hand-breading with seasoned flour then slowly pressure cooking without trans-fat. Pair either grilled or fried with thick yuca fries or French fries and their signature dip (a mayo-ketchup concoction), corn tortillas and sweet caramelized plantains, and you’ve got a flavorful, sweet-savory meal.
Right next to the chicken is the Fresh A-Peel, where we balanced fried with fresh – a generous bowl of locally grown greens and chopped chicken tossed with sweet-tangy vinaigrette. You can get that same salad as a wrap for a more substantial meal. Wraps include citrus grilled chicken salad, chopped veggie salad and skirt steak salad. If you’re in a hurry, you can grab fresh fruit or salads with quinoa (the super grain) or couscous, or a fruit smoothie.
Vegetarians, don’t despair, there are plenty of options. And don’t think tasteless or boring: zippy marinades, sauces and vinaigrettes add plenty of pizazz.
The salsa bar is a bold approach to adding flavor: spicy red and green sauces, jalapeños, and chopped onions and cilantro – perfect for topping a bowl of garbanzo bean soup or heaping on chicken tortillas.
Don’t skip dessert – goodies from Erin McKenna’s BabyCakes NYC are featured — scrumptious cookies, cupcakes, and vegan desserts with no gluten, dairy and eggs are her signature. (Maybe you’ve heard Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray raving about her sweets). They use garbanzo-fava bean flour for the cupcakes, which creates a rich, dense cake, and brown rice flour for the brownies. For something decadent, try the donut dipped in dark chocolate.
Whether you have picky or adventurous eaters, between Fresh A-Peel and the legendary chicken, there’s something for everyone in this new approach to quick dining. Do you have a favorite Pollo Campero taste?