Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mega Chicken in Laurel

Yucca fries can be a perfect food -- hot from the fryer, lighter than french fries but a little more flavor.

Mega Chicken fries up delicious yucca to accompany its Peruvian grilled chickens in a converted McDonalds in Laurel. As BillZ noted, we can only wish for Peruvian chicken here in Howard County. But we can make a quick dash into Anne Arundel to feast or carry home takeout.

(Update: A comment below says in late April 2009 that there are signs that say Pollo Fuego (Peruvian) is coming in around the corner from My Organic Market at Rte 175 and Rte 1 in Jessup.)

I'm a recent convert to rotisserie chicken, and Mega Chicken clearly beats out the supermarket birds that I have tasted. It's a touch more expensive too, but the meat is moist and flavorful with a charcoal tinge. It also comes with those yucca fries and two sauces -- one yellow and creamy, the other green and spicy -- that are the hallmark of the Peruvian chicken fad. Well worth the $10-20 that you'll spend depending on whether you want a half or whole chicken and how many sides you order. We got four meals from a whole bird with yucca and rice & beans.

The restaurant has zero ambiance. It's a converted McDonalds with a counter and fast food tables. But it's extremely clean, and it's a quick ride west on Rte 198 through Laurel and home. Inadvertently, I discovered that everything travels well. I raced home only to find Mrs. HowChow on a business call. By the time she was done, I had had the food for an hour. The chicken was still moist and delicious. The yucca fries softened as they cooled, but then crisped in a 400-degree oven until they were as good as they'd been when I was sneaking a few in the car.

If you go, concentrate on the chicken and yucca. Try the plantains, which I didn't notice on my visit. The half and whole chickens come with salads that are just lettuce and some shredded carrot. You can also buy rice and beans, but they were nothing special. Definitely add some of the spicy green sauce to liven them up. On Yelp, reviewers did not talk highly of the beef dishes. It is called Mega Chicken for a reason.

If you're looking for other trends that are close, but not yet in Howard County, you should go for the tart frozen yogurt at YogiBerry in Olney. If you're looking for takeout chicken, check out the fried chicken -- or the roasted ones -- at Chick N' Friends in Columbia.

Mega Chicken
3485 Fort Meade Road
Laurel, MD 20724

NEAR: This is on Rte 198 east on downtown Laurel and into Anne Arundel County. It's not an upscale area. You pass the Home Depot on the right, then look for Mega Chicken after another light or two. It's a converted McDonalds. You can't miss it.

Mega Chicken on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Have you tried Sardi's Pollo on Rt 1 in Beltsville? It's in a converted Pizza Hut, and pretty good. Not as great as EPR in Wheaton, but closer.

BeerGuy said...

Mmmm, yucca fries. Curious if anyone in Howard does 'em?

Marianne said...

I love this place! I was so excited to see this on your blog. I tell everyone I know about it.

The chicken's great and the staff is very friendly. I like to eat there especially if I am low on cash and want something quick and delicious. I think their beans and rice are the best I have ever had.

emk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
emkenton said...

I hope this isn't old news, but there's a sign saying that El Pollo Fuego (Peruvian) is coming in around the corner from MOM, where My Girlfriend's Kitchen used to be, at Rts 175 and 1. And while we're on the subject of that general area, I noticed today that the El Patio restaurant side (which I think has been closed for awhile) now says Las Vegas Restaurant #2.

HowChow said...

Anonymous -- I haven't been to Sardo's Pollo. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

I tried it out this weekend. It was quite good. Couple of minor complaints: the amount of sauce given out is much too small and the music was much too loud. However, the chicken was great with a nice charcoal flavor differentiating it from many chicken places. The yucca was quite good and really does crisp up nicely in the oven.

Anonymous said...

IMO Mega Chicken is not that good. Chicken has a wierd smell to it. Sardi's is worth the drive for great chicken. Yucca was good though at Mega but wouldn't cause me to go back.

Anonymous said...

Hey HowChow,

I love your blog. Sardi's sucks, it is in no way comparable to El Pollo Rico. Theres a thread that suspects Sardi's employees and family members are plastering blogs & other internet outlets with fake reviews and praises. Their chicken is not bad but there is nothing special about it other than that is has a pollo monopoly in the Beltsville area. That being said I'll need to try out Mega Chicken in Laurel thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm originally from Arlington Virginia and have been looking for a good Peruvian Chicken Joint around Odenton. Mega Chicken is a good substitute, but to me the best Peruvian Chicken will always be Edy's on King Street in Arlington. But, while in the area I'm glad I've discovered Mega Chicken through HowChow. Good Looking Out, Thank you.