Mexican chicken for Footscray

76 Comments

Los Pollos Flame-Grilled Chicken, 230 Nicholson St, Footscray. Phone: 9396 0368

There was a definite ripple of excitement that hit the inner west as it became know that a Mexican chicken joint would stepping up to take over the premises formerly inhabited by Burger Business.

Somehow – between checking out the business’ Facebook page and website, and then talking with a few folks – I convinced myself that Los Pollos was part of a franchise deal.

It seems that is not the case, though it certainly looks the part if management care to move in that direction and move into other locations.

They make their own corn chips, but when we ask, we’re told the tortillas are brought in.

So how does it stack up – some real-deal Mexican tucker; or just another Tex-Mex place a la Guzman y Gomez?

A big step up from Taco Bill – or on a par?

Well, it’s definitely more Tex-Mex than La Tortilleria – and that’s fine by us.

 

 

After we order, we adjourn to the lovely garden space out back.

 

 

Bennie is very impressed with his Super LP Burrito with grilled chicken, rice, beans, salsa, queso tasty, pica de gallo, guacamole and jalapeno crema ($16.50).

He offers his dad a taste, after which I, too, conclude this is better than similar offerings you’ll find at similar places elsewhere.

And, yes, it eats bigger than it looks.

It comes with a handful of corn chips.

 

 

My half chicken combo with two sides, two salsas and six tortillas ($18.95) is more of a mixed bag.

I like the chicken, even if it doesn’t provide the sort of lip-smacking joy for which I have been hoping.

Bennie, after consuming a drumstick, disagrees with that modest assessment.

It’s different – not Nando’s, not your average Aussie charcoal chook.

The salsas are lovely – though having requested one medium and one hot, I find them similar in the heat/spice department.

The sides – red rice and roasted potatoes – are OK, but on the lacklustre side.

The word “roasted” led me to expect spud chunks with more crackle than has arrived.

You’ll eat fine at Los Pollos, but it’ll pay to keep those expectations grounded.

Check out the Los Pollos website – including menu – here.

 

76 thoughts on “Mexican chicken for Footscray

  1. Burger business was good food,wasn’t a place local asian african felt welcome,not smart move considering area with high asian/african pple plus international students who are ready to eat out alot,university in its toes!

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      • That is the downside of their business strategy but their burgers was alot better than other end of Nicholson st @ kulan eatery ,but you right @kulan every one felt welcome,but some may say they also targeted afro community as business strategy!

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  2. Personally i never felt unwelcome,burger business never claimed to be champion of multiculturalism or made any effort in that respect,but staff was always welcoming mode,although both my visits there i was the only one who wasn’t white,could be timing, it was Friday night white tradesmen atmosphere

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    • No i just mean burger business wasn’t everyday footscray people like kulan eatery but the people who run the place couldn’t be better and very friendly we felt when we visit.you could feel out of your comfort zone such places if you are not white but so do some african places on same street from white community prospective.

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      • I agree with ahmed,their business strategy wasn’t good burger business, the interesting part is burger business entered burger competitions melbourne across, and i think they were awarded top 10 at times,but although burgers at kulan are not spectacular big requiring knife,they have variety wide menu,one good burger can be found that would make you return again & again.their fries are generous,loads of it.kulan has large black customers but also non black,more diverse than burger business for example

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  3. Burger business is burger joint.lets not mixed up with mcdonald,its different. Generally speaking its hub for white community,but there are some burger joints that attract diverse so credit to them.I’m not going to lye,i was more takeaway,but if you go in groups of friends is not as bad.

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    • I’m sudanese and some of my friends are white.we feel very comfortable in kulan,they may have black beat sound music background, but they are also place for all footscray community feel home.you don’t sense it belongs to one particular group. But burger business was there to cater white community,it ok if they do that,some places are like that.you feel you belong in kulan regardless your background,burger business the owners and staff all good but their atmosphere ,only white people community feel they belong.but there is good community feel there for white community like family but its not for me.

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      • Burger Business is no more, so it doesn’t really matter any longer. And the people who ran it are not about or defend themselves. So I will. You and others might have felt less comfortable in Burger Business than in Kulan. But I think it’s fair to presume that this was not because of any deliberate policy by Burger Business management, who I’m sure would have been happy to welcome all and sundry. So a claim such as “burger business was there to cater white community” is unfair.

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      • I wasn’t attacking the people run there or their services or their food,infact i had no issue on all three categories,i was talking about the atmosphere.i can take you to african places ,the service, food and people are all good but still not feel comfortable if you are white.i found kulan to be middle ground for all belong. The atmosphere is what makes you feel belong not how good the food,service or the people running.

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      • Fair enough. But as we now agree (I think!), all of this almost always has nothing to do with any deliberate policy. I know of one African place in the west where black customers are equally as uncomfortable as I am!

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      • But kulan eatery can be too black in some occasions.they play hips of black American music,sports on screen

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  4. You see places like that in every community in footscray including sudanese and its not bad thing.its like black barbershop, not every community feels comfortable & its not bad thing nor the owners are doing anything wrong.

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    • Yes, agree, it’s all just human nature. I do, however, get a bit disturbed if I know – or suspect – I am being charged more for a haircut on the basis of my skin colour, as has happened in Footscray!

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      • Negotiate if they don’t have prices on wall and cut down few dollars,that is african style trade!its what i do in somali ethiopian sudanese places

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      • No prices,negotiate is my policy.i recently got expensive blanket in dirt cheap thos somali retail Nicholson mall.

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    • I don’t get it, you mean a black own business where black people and white people equal feel uncomfortable! Is it asian non mainstream place own by black? Don’t get it kenny!!

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    • Ah yes some non mainstream somali places.true places like sahras kitchen or deli afro restaurant you may experience these in flemington or even footscray area african places, very true keny

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      • I did feel a little uncomfortable in sahras kitchen but long time ago,but later it become very cheerful customer service in flemington but bur

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      • But I’m black so my it wasn’t as nerve breaking as if I’m in non mainstream white or asian eateries if be honest . but you are right many of black friends alo felt places like sahras kitchen in earlier times was not so relaxing atmosphere should we say. Now things may started to change occurring to latest review on sahras kitchen but that was my experience back then,few yrs back though

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      • Hi Hash, the review on sahras kitchen is on this blog considerthesauce page.kenny reviewed already. But hash I’m going to disagree with your comment on sahras kitchen on regarding shyness, places like deli afro may be but i found sahras kitchen to be non mainstream but cheerful customer service from day one on my experience.but its true non black person it could be less relaxing, as it was sea of afro in most cases

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      • I found deli afro restaurant less relaxing,and all my friends felt same,just about every one felt uncomfortable that cafe no matter white or black customers.but Saha kitchen i feel very comfortable to tell you truth.

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      • I like non mainstream places,you feel like tourist in strange land,i love that aspect. I like every one look at you as you enter these non mainstream places,is this person got lost ,i swear its like tourist in new land,i never had bafd experience in non mainstream white or asian places,every one should give it ago such places i think.

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      • Very good, Hanad! Yes, I agree completely. Like visiting a country for the first time. Or being a stranger in a strange land. And it’s why hispterised ethnic eating places, even if they have great food, can be so dull.

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  5. My experience on some of these not so middle ground places is they dont make you aware or let you know any special items on that day or even discount,it happens often to me in white cater or asian cater orientated places,not so mainstream

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  6. Are you guys teaching kenny the african secret trade, ha .african negotiation requires good
    2 or 3 min negotiation,and you should walkout paying 1/2 price of what you wpuld paid in mainstream place.

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  7. Kenny what is going on deli afro restaurant in kensington,are we expecting another african replacement or non african eatery?have checked new eatery dumpling delicious yet also

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    • Bro i saw it yesterday too.kenny doesn’t know, some one earlier asked same question.but i think place will still be under same management,just renovation i think

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  8. People if you ignore your surroundings,burger business could be good experience for minorities.but they are gone now.the mexican looks promising.nit saying the uncomfortablity didn’t exist but we have place to try now

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  9. Interesting comments.footscray is rainbow of colors,we should together and say NO Segregation.and learn more how to accommodate different groups in our businesses

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  10. One important point hasn’t been mentioned here is, the owner must make an effort to welcome ALL, people do it differently or go about it different ways.some they use decoration ,furniture, music or diverse staff but it doesn’t matter how they do it,it needs an effort. I opened an eatery and every one should welcome doesn’t work I’m afraid.

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    • If you look black cafes in flemington, the food,music and people running the place are black,but those use white friendly decoration have white customers and many cases have more white regulars than its asian neighbors, because the decor is heavily white friendly,it doesn’t matter what popular word is used hipster, modern or whatever really

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      • Very true, the only group of people that doesn’t require an “effort ” to be attracted to a place is the group the owner belongs to. Hence black own cafe doesn’t need to make an effort to sell to its place to black community, blacks naturally step in without promotion, but other groups to step in ,it requires an effort, the same goes white and asian eateries, it all requires an effort to attract people of other races. But decor and diverse staff is the two common tools is used to attract diverse customers .

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      • The word modern just means white friendly decor normally used on mainstream minority eateries, nothing more nothing less guys. non mainstream white eateries use same so called modern decor yet they still are non mainstream and can’t attract non white customers, like mr west joint in Nicholson st footscray,besides who is using 1950s tables and chairs anyway be it mainstream or non mainstream? !

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  11. I don’t like the word hipster or modern,not the words bysay but tge way its used racially.i agree its another definition of “acceptable to white community “. Or as one said earlier said “white friendly “. I’ve heard comments like “it’s cute for an African cafe” or as one instagram post said “somalian hipster,who knew”! Referring to ofcourse some of the popular african cafes in flemington!

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    • There is only 3 african cafes in flemington,all use full hipster wood and they are cute,so what is wrong with that.there is only one other african the abyssinian but no relation to hipster design though.

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      • On racecourse rd,there are somalian and one ethiopian.actually talking about flemington not footscray. The somali kitchen,somalieat the mandi house. Ethiopian abyssinian

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      • Somalian restaurants on Racecourse Road in Flemington:

        House of Mandi
        Sahra’s Kitchen
        #SomaliaEats
        Somali Dish
        Deli Afro Restaurant
        New Somali Kitchen

        They have all been written about on this blog.

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      • There are more than 3 somalian cafes in flemington roberta to correct you. I understand you may not be frequently those you don’t know,but there are more than 3 somalian anyway.

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      • Roberta few more than 3 somalian,; try sahras kitchen,really good food but not so trendy as you may experience lets say #somali eats

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    • Hassan, hipster or modern is used same way on minority restaurants,its another way of saying you reached or made the cut of what is perceived to be new culture of white community. This is why when you look white dominated foodiee magazines,they can’t write a review without using the word hipster these days,even the non ethnic food is called hipster food!

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      • My unmarked somali place is old,seen many names&new appropriate name is today is HIPSTER. business is good😊 ,beside that i agree everything said here,if i could add one thing to these comments it will be this ” there are many good ethic places around and many deserve better attention than my one is getting now.the big sad elephant here is”population ” .but I’ve read all your comments, and agree from bottom my heart.

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  12. Roberta trust me that list considerthesauce gave you is real and all on racecourse rd,but they are not so mainstream though

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  13. Hiya Juz (at 5:39pm), just wanted to let you know that I’ve been using the name “Juz” on CTS comments for about 6 years.

    So that people don’t confuse your posts with mine, would you mind using another name in the comments?

    Thank you!
    (The original) Juz

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      • Sahras kitchen could be non mainstream in my experience.I’ve no issue on non mainstream places.but you fair idea who will be the regular customers of a place on by looking around its grand opening day. And tge the pattern would be similar the rest of days its existence

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      • Burger business was welcoming and cheerful staff but at same time it felt white family home and you felt outsider.but such places exist in society, on positive side,the white community was vibrant and enjoying.which is good too

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  14. The people running burger business was wonderful but the atmosphere was mostly white community. Great community feel to it which i though was nice.it can be a little uncomfortable such places but i think its even more uncomfortable for white people to be in such position in non mainstream minority places because language.but it was busy burger joint,a sign of good food.these place are good place to train your self what it feels like to be tourist in foreign country.I’ve traveled alot so it wasn’t scary at all in such places

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    • Easier said than done for many.i am white but interesting comments about burger business,eat there million times but looking back,some truth to it these comments.not many colored faces !

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  15. histerised ethnic eating places can be dull to minority but to white community its heaven territory, hipster is not some subculture of white weird section of white community,its mainstream new white community culture,yes there are some of the white community who resist hipster,but like any new thing,there is some resistance,but mostly when white people see hipsterised ethnic eatery,you will see the white community loves it and feels very comfortable.for example look cafe lalibela in footscray,most white people prefer to go there at night,and not as “i am hungry” but more “safari trip to west this weekend”, where for example the hipsterised african eatry in flemington,its lunch spot for its white regulars,very frequent specially those live near west,so they feel its their joint rather than a joint to be treated as adventure to africa”.people when they feel the place is theirs,they usually are very frequent visitor to the eatery.the decor is very powerful thing,more powerful than food being served.

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    • i never had bad experience non mainstream white or asian places,but they all have same first impression those inside the place as you walk in, as is this person lost,which gives that tourist feeling,love such places.we live in multicultural country and most places are mainstream,so it kind good to see such non mainstream places still exist without leaving the country

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      • when the images of eatery is familiar to a community,then community feel home and comfortable,if the place looks unfamiliar,then that joint will become something not theirs but other’s joint,so it will become weekend adventure instead “i am in the area and hungry lets pop there” for example i love ethiopian injera, and its perfect to eat at lunch time 12pm,but no white people to be seen at luch time cafe lalibela,but next door konjo cafe every different atmosphere,white people everywhere at lunch time, because konjo has diverse people behind counter,the owners wife is white,hence many white feel home and treat as their joint,not unsual to see white people eating ethiopian injera at 12pm! very contrast to its ethiopian neighbors, so decor or diverse staff as one person said earlier is very important to feeling comfortable

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    • Josephine you are using mountain of generalization here.most foodie places black, asian or white are mainstream with diverse customers.and no one is blaming non mainstream white as there same case in black or asian. Its mostly the atmosphere that makes others uncomfortable not the service or food.

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      • Something many of you fail to mention is lack of women representation in these non mainstream places.we can give all excuses under the sun like black women not interested pool table games or white women not interested beer,but the truth is its not only “the other cultures outside theirs” feeling uncomfortable but its also the women in their community tend to prefer to stay away such places, so the pattern of non mainstream places are same for any community when it comes non mainstream.alot of it is the “old culture ” hasn’t died yet.

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      • Hi Hussen! Some interesting points you raise! Some comments from me:

        I can think of a bunch of western suburbs restaurants, Somalian and other, that give the impression of being male-dominated but where it’s the women who run the place and call the shots. Appearances – e.g. men lounging around the place – can be deceptive.

        As well, it’s notable that in #SomaliEats, one of the owners provides such a strong front-of-house female presence, that it’s now common to see one or more tables occupied by Somalian women.

        I also see Somalian women in the other places, but more usually in mixed or family groups.

        I would be against the casual dismissal or condemnation of spaces – restaurant or other – in which one gender or another feel comfortable.

        And I most certainly don’t support the idea – as many loud and right-wing Aussies appear to – that new arrivals in this country should adhere to some archaic notion of doing all things “the Australian way”. In the metro areas, at least, such thinking is already decades out of date.

        So, no enforced integration for me!

        However, integration by stealth – let’s call it “organic integration”.

        Well, that’s perhaps another thing entirely.

        And utterly inevitable.

        I see this in all the Flemington Somalian eateries.

        Slowly, bit by bit, the sight of Somalian community members rubbing shoulders with hungry and happy non-Somalians is becoming just a regular thing.

        As with all previous immigrant waves, all this will add to the ever-evolving, never-static definition of Australians and Australia.

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      • Hussen its not only women not represented but also its not child friendly so it effects also children.but I’m not suggesting its negative,these non mainstream places has place in societies & are mostly a place men chat about their daily lives & issues over beer or coffee

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  16. Tex-mex is a very particular and unique regional cuisine. Los Pollos does not serve Tex-Mex food and as far as I can tell, that’s not the style of cuisine they’re going for. This is a great article if you’re interested: https://www.eater.com/2018/3/7/17081968/best-food-texas-tex-mex-barbecue?src=longreads

    There is a huge variety and depth to “authentic” Mexican food; beyond that, LA-style Mexican has its own vibe. i don’t necessarily disagree with your assessment of the food (i found it a little lacklustre as well) but i think mentioning tex-mex is a bit… misplaced? Misleading?

    One thing i’m looking forward to trying their (I forgot to order it!) is the Street Style Fruit. That, to me anyway, is a great example of LA Mexican and is not something I’ve seen done many other places here in Melbourne.

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    • H! Connie! Thanks for reading and leaving such a cool comment. You may be right. But I’ve long thought that Tex-Mex was widely used to denote just about any food that was hybrid of US and Mexican roots, sources and influences. So, in a Melbourne context, different from La Tortilleria, Los Latinos and Latin Foods & Wines. A usage framed in ignorance perhaps! But I certainly don’t mean it as a slur. And I take your point – it completely leaves no room for all the regional variations there doubtless are.

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