I have had my eye on El Llano for a while, usually when I see double L’s at the front of a name I am in Wales, but tonight I was entering a little Colombian haven.
I wasn’t really sure what I fancied, but some sort of grilled or roasted chicken was high on the agenda. Outside the special was advertised as chicken with rice and beans, but once inside I was tempted into choosing the “Pollo Entero – se sirve con papa, arepa y platona’. basically the only word I knew was chicken, but a small picture on the menu suggested that it came with plantain or fries. Of course now with the benefit of google translations and actually getting the plate I know it meant whole chicken. To be honest I think it was several chickens and it answered the riddle “Why did the chicken cross the road? To get away from El Llano!” – while it could. Sadly or gladly for me these did not quite escape.
This was a total lesson in how to fail in consuming your dinner. I almost never take a doggy bag home, but this evening I had no choice.
Somehow 20 minutes later there seemed to be more food than I started with. After consuming half the chicken I found all sorts of goodies and stuff underneath. I tried to hide the leftovers under my knife and fork, but they just rolled off, looked me in the eye and said “forget it mate, we are too tired to feed you any more, you will have to get the rest to take home” I really don’t know how it happened or even why but after I had ordered the waitress somehow persuaded / tempted me into trying a beef empanada to start. Somewhat foolishly I accepted, why oh why I could have eaten that last 4 pounds of chicken..not.
It was quite a tasty little treat, crispy deep fried I expect, once split open it was filled with tender shredded beef. Totally unecessary in the great scheme of the meal but nonetheless worth a tiny diversion in appetiser world. Overall the chicken was really tasty, overwhelming yes, and perhaps would have benefitted from some sauce to go with it. Next visit I will have to bring a crowd of people to eat just one dish, or maybe I won’t and just plan to have chicken with salad for lunch the next day (and the day after that too) El Llano is at 3941 N Lincoln Ave (between Damen Ave and Irving Park Road). The closest el is the Irving Park Brown, but the Addison Brown is almost as close