Fast Food

El Pollo Loco Rolls Out New Signature Summer Burritos, With Two Weeks Left of Summer


Summertime is for the birds, AKA the hype-obsessed little tweeters chasing down the latest Maple Bacon Cronut Burgers or “Fiery” Flame-Ass Tacos we all turn into whenever there aren’t any looming paper deadlines to worry about. Well, we all know how this story ends. Sooner or later (sooner), over-saturation starts setting in. We start craving home cooked meals again, missing foods that look and taste the way they’re supposed to instead of some crazy mash-up of at least five different food-like chemicals and compounds. All things considered, it’s probably a really brilliant move for El Pollo Loco to launch its new “summer” burritos so late into the season. If pitted against a Cronut, goodness knows we wouldn’t have paid them any attention otherwise.

Available for a limited time only, El Pollo Loco is offering three new Signature Summer Chicken Burritos, a Chicken & Chorizo, Chicken Bacon Avocado and Chicken Fajita, each served in a warm 12-inch flour tortilla, each starting at $5.49.

Here’s how the press release describes them:

The Chicken Bacon Avocado Burrito features El Pollo Loco’s signature citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken, bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, and ripe hand-sliced California avocado, dressed with fresh handmade pico de gallo salsa and creamy cilantro dressing.

The Chicken Fajita Burrito features Monterey Jack cheese, black beans, fire-grilled chicken, ripe hand-sliced California avocado, and a blend of seared peppers and onions topped with poblano cream sauce.

The Chicken & Chorizo Burrito features Authentic Mexican Rice, tender, slow-simmered pinto beans in a creamy stock with Mexican spices, chorizo, fire-grilled chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, fresh green cabbage and hand-chopped onions sprinkled with fresh cilantro and dressed with poblano salsa.

And there you have it. No portmanteaus to be seen, no inception-level concoctery here. (Not up in here!) Basically, El Pollo Loco is owning its boring-ness in a way that will still probably taste pretty damn amazing. Go on EPL, you do you. You do you.

PicThx El Pollo Loco


Chorizo Wontons and More Deep-Fried Goodies at Cha Café [ADVENTURE]


So I was craving tacos like nobody’s business the other day and was recommended to this place in El Monte, Calif. named Cha Café. Since I hadn’t gone on a food porn adventure in a while, I felt like this was the perfect place to jump back in. Cha has been through many changes since it opened in 2009. It started as a Vietnamese coffee house, then moved on to a Tapas restaurant, then a Fusion restaurant and finally found its place serving California comfort food. This hole-in-the-wall establishment was a nice and relaxing surprise in the heart of my former hometown of El Monte.

Taco Tuesday


Let me start off by saying bravo. Although they have daily specials on different menu items every day of the week, Tuesday is always Taco Tuesday. Cha serves delightful fusion tacos at $2 for two and come in kalbi beef, chicken and pork. I love fusion tacos, and this place really hit the spot in terms of flavor, heat and portions. I was a happy man.


My definite favorite of the three had to be the kalbi beef. I almost didn’t want to take a bite and ruin the beautiful sight before me. Of course, I quickly squashed that idea the moment the wondrous aroma hit my nose.

Ninja Fries


I know why they call them Ninja Fries. It’s because they’ve made their way into my stomach, undetected, in a matter of minutes. The Ninja Fries are one of the more well-known menu items at Cha and very much beloved in my own heart after my trip. Served with their special Cha sauce, the fries are made from Kabocha, a Japanese pumpkin packed with vitamin C, iron and fiber. Thankfully, their deliciousness tells you none of that.

Probably because they were deep-fried.

Chorizo Wontons


This is the one menu item I was most excited for when I first heard about Cha. Chorizo is probably one of my favorite types of meats, and the idea of throwing it in a deep-fried wonton? Well, I just had to try it. Cha, from what I heard, has been known to run out of their Chorizo Wontons from time-to-time. But I was willing to take a chance and see if this was worth all the buzz.


A definite: Yes.

Served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce, these deep-fried packets of heaven were music to my ears and poetry for my soul. It was definitely worth the fatty deposits to my heart.

Cha Café is worth looking up if you’re ever in the El Monte area and craving some good comfort foods. Plus, on a hot day you can order their especially refreshing sweet tea mojitos. Make sure to take advantage of their daily specials though, so you can definitely get more bang for your buck.


Cha Café
10308 Lower Azusa Road
El Monte, CA 91731


Here’s How to Make Landshark Beer-Smoked Spanish Chicken


Do you ever wake up these days and think to yourself, “Well heck, summer’s almost over”? It’s a reasonable worry for sure, but nothing a couple cans of beer won’t cure. So go ahead and enjoy however many days of late nights and outdoor grilling we have left by whipping up a batch of this Landshark Beer-Smoked Spanish Chicken. The directions suggest “taking a few sips” before pouring the rest of the can into your mixture of lime slices, ionion, dried ancho chilies and black peppercorns. Darling, you don’t have to tell us twice.


Landshark Beer-Smoked Spanish Chicken


4-5lb all natural whole chicken
4 oz fresh chorizo sausage
1 can Landshark Lager
1 dried ancho chili
1 small lime, cut into 8 wedges
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tbs sea salt
1 tbs fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil


1. Pop open a can of Landshark and empty about half the liquid (we recommend taking a few sips). Remove the pop-top and fill can with lime slices, onion and dried ancho peppers, seeds and all. Add black peppercorns and shake can.

2. Pat and dry chicken. Stuff most of the chorizo underneath the  skin of the chicken. Take the last bit of chorizo and stuff in the neck area; it will self-baste as the chicken roasts.

3. Mix together cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic, powdered onion, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Press and rub onto the skin of the chicken. Place Landshark can inside the chicken carcass and stand it up in foil pan to contain the drippings.

4. Place foil pan on grill or smoker (you can smoke with apple or cherry wood for extra flavor) and cook for 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 hours at temperature of 315 to 325 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to thoroughly cook chicken. Remove beer can, let chicken rest for about 15 minutes and cut in half. Serve with fresh vegetables or green salad, and enjoy, compliments of Chef Rusty!


Papa John’s Launches a 5-Sausage Pizza with Chorizo

Papa John’s is catering to the serious meat lover this March with the launch of their new Five Sausage Pizza. The new $10 (large) pizza is covered with the chain’s new Chorizo sausage topping, along with real pork sausage, mild & spicy Italian sausage, smoked sausage and a round of Mozzarella cheese.

The pizza is available for a limited time, so get it while the sausage is smokey. Or spicy. Or Italian-y….there are 5 types of sausage on this pizza, you get the picture.

Fast Food

Chipotle Testing Chorizo As New Meat Option

Chipotle Mexican Grill told NRN this past Friday that a new Chorizo Sausage meat option was in heavy testing in the New York area. Chorizo, a spanish-style sausage, has reportedly been rolled out to all Chipotle locations in New York, save four restaurants.

Given a week’s time, the test will expand to Denver, the company’s home base. Company officials have noted previous difficulty with cooking chicken chorizo on the chain’s already established grooved griddles. Notably, the availability of the new protein would mark a rather significant addition in Chipotle’s rarely altered menu.

For those who stay up on their chorizo game, you’ll notice how rare it is that a national food chain would incorporate it into its menu. The last notable sighting, in the form Jack In The Box Chorizo Chili Cheese Fries, was short-lived and never saw a national roll-out.

In the same NRN report cited above, Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets gave some further insight into Chorizo’s potential systemwide rollout. Prices for a chicken chorizo burrito in Manhattan ranged from $7.35 and $7.81 and the chorizo was put together with “naturally raised pork and chicken sausage with herbs and spices.”


Jack in the Box Reveals Chorizo Chili Fries

Jack in the Box has begun rolling out Chorizo Chili Fries at certain locations. We have a few pictures of a Cheesy Chorizo Chili on a mound of fries at a local Jack in the Box (Orange County, CA). No official word from Jack in the Box on any national availability of this product, but it is indeed available at certain locations. One box of these Chorizo Chili fries stands at $1.99, and our friend Victor Yanie has already consumed two boxes over the past couple days with no outstanding side effects. We understand the idea of Chorizo at a fast food establishment is a bit unsettling, to say the least. But hell, we’ll try everything once. And that’s what we did:


Chorizo-Stuffed Dates Wrapped With Bacon

Pig stuffed in dates wrapped in pig again! I don’t know how else to explain it, there’s a lot of pork in this appetizer! Spanish chorizo sausage stuffed in Medjool dates and wrapped in bacon! I don’t know how this spin off of pigs in a blanket actually tastes, but I’m down to try! (Thx TMG)

Adventures News

Taco Tuesday Taco Truck

Every Tuesday in the Orange Circle, for the last two years there is a bike ride from Orange to Santa Ana to a 24hour taco truck. Well the two year anniversary ride just passed, so myself and about 80 other people made the ride. After the line had died down, we finally ate.