The Dish: Pollo Tropical opens in Lawrenceville

825 Duluth Highway, Lawrenceville




• Fried yuca — Cassava, or yuca, is like a potato but with a creamier texture inside. Served with garlic sauce, $2.15

• Sizzling chicken fajitas — Strips of chicken, served with tromaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa and guacamole with three flour tortillas, $7

• Guava pork barbecue sandwich — Slow roasted pulled pork topped with a sweet and tangy guava barbecue sauce on a toasted bun, $5

• Chicken quesadilla salad ­— Grilled chicken breast, romaine lettuce, black bean fiesta mix, multi-colored tortilla chips, shredded cheeses, a chipotle ranch dressing topped off with a cheese-filled tortilla, $7


Pollo Tropical

Pollo Tropical

Open since: August 2011

Location: Pollo Tropical is off of Duluth Highway near AMC Colonial 18

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Saturday

General Manager: David Goldshein

Atmosphere: It can be described as "fast casual" because you can either get your food to go or sit down to eat your meal.

The inside of the restaurant is full of colors and the smell of food cooking from the open kitchen.

To get to the front counter, you may have to wait in a short line, but it moves quickly. After placing your order, find a spot anywhere around the building. There are tables outside for when the cooler weather comes through.

When the food is brought to your table, it isn't inside cardboard boxes or plastic containers — it is served on fire, red plates.If you need a little extra spice in your life, Pollo Tropical offers a wide array of sauces at the salsa bar. Everything from the mild cilantro garlic and curry mustard to the hot salsa fuego and spicy Amazon sauce. Ketchup, onions and jalapenos are also available there. Menu: The flavors are from the Caribbean. They are known for their chicken, no matter how it is prepared: grilled, roasted, diced or stuffed into a wrap. All the chicken is raised hormone free.Pollo Tropical offers the traditional sides, such as beans, rice, yuca frita and plantains. They also offer some things you wouldn't expect on the menu, like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes with gravy and sweet potato mash.Another thing that stands out is the drink selection. Although the food is prepared as fast as possible, the idea is to relax for dinner. They serve beer, wine and sangrias for adults, and for those who don't drink, all soft drinks are Pepsi products.

The restaurant also offers customers the chance to create their own family meals. Start out with a whole chicken, sweet plantains, and four Bahama bread rolls for $12 and add more to your family's needs.For those with a sweet tooth, there is flan, tres leches, frozen yogurt, and guava cheesecake to end your dinner.

Things you might not know: The Lawrenceville location is the only Pollo Tropical in Georgia.