Pollo Tropical's crispy chipotle chicken slider is better than anything I've ever tasted from Chick-Fil-A

  • Pollo Tropical is a Florida-based fast food chain that specializes in citrus-marinated grilled chicken.
  • The chain recently closed locations in states like Georgia and Texas, but it has more than 140 stores in Florida, where it was founded in 1988.
  • Business Insider's Graham Flanagan visited the chain to find out how its chicken sandwiches compare to Chick-Fil-A and Popeyes in the viral "chicken sandwich war."
  • Pollo Tropical's crispy chipotle chicken slider was better than anything Flanagan has tasted from Chick-fil-A.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.

Graham Flanagan: I traveled a long way to try out Pollo Tropical, Florida's chicken chain. You can only get it in Florida.

This is way better than anything I've ever tasted from Chick-fil-A.
The first Pollo Tropical restaurant opened in Miami in 1988. Today, there are more than 140 Pollo Tropical locations in the Sunshine State. I tried Pollo Tropical in Tampa.

So, the chicken-sandwich debate has been going on for a long time: Chick-fil-A and Popeyes, brands we've known for years. I'm here to showcase a chicken chain from the southern United States. Not too many people know about it. And I'm gonna go see what their chicken sandwich is all about.

Let's see what all I have here. I got the classic chicken sandwich, one chipotle chicken slider, an order of fries, an order of plantains, and I got a special, Mexican-style Coke.

Let's take a look at this classic chicken sandwich. "Warning: Contents of this box cause serious cravings."

That is thick, man. Check that out. Oh, yeah. So, all their chicken here is marinated for 24 hours, at least. So, it's just this Kaiser roll, beautifully grilled white chicken, lettuce, and a tomato, in addition to this lemony citrus sauce. Let's give it a try.

Everything about this is fresh. I don't feel the guilt that you feel when you have Chick-fil-A, in more ways than one.

They have an awesome sauce selection here. I'll try a bite with the Guava BBQ. Mm. Oh man, yeah. Sauce is really good. We'll do the Poyo-Poyo. Whoop, don't drip. Oh man, that is spicy. This stuff is nuclear. The Poyo-Poyo blends with the house sauce; it's just a delicious combination.

Pollo Tropical does make a fried-chicken sandwich, but it only comes in slider form. This is their crispy chicken chipotle slider. Oh, man. Dude. That was a chicken explosion just now. Tender. Flavorful. Fresh. It's fried, but it's not, like, too fried. It just adds a nice texture to it. It doesn't dominate the chicken like so many other fried-chicken sandwiches.

They've gotta jump in this fried-chicken-sandwich game for, like, the full sandwich. They only sell the big one as grilled, and I get that 'cause that's their specialty, is grilled chicken. But they've got something really special going on here.

I'm from Alabama; I grew up with Chick-fil-A. This is way better than anything I've ever tasted from Chick-fil-A. So, let's try the fries. Not really their specialty, maybe a little soggy. What the fries may lack in crispiness, you can make up for with the sauces. Got a serious sauce situation going on here.

Since this is sort of a Caribbean-influenced chain, they have plantains: beautiful, golden plantains. These look amazing, so let's try it. So, plantains. An acquired taste that I maybe have not yet acquired, but they sure are pretty to look at.

I've got to get another fried chipotle chicken sandwich. I had to do it. Two more of these crispy chicken chipotle sliders. I'm just getting greedy at this point. It has got to be inevitable that they will make that, like, an actual, big chicken sandwich that can compete with Chick-fil-A and Popeyes.

If you're in Florida, you're lucky. The rest of the United States has no idea what they're missing. Out of five stars, I'd give it four and a half. I'm gonna have to get another one of these.
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