Pollo Tropical

pollotropical.com
Two locations: 2955 Cobb Pkwy., No. 910, Marietta; Mon.-Sun., 10:30 a.m.-midnight
825 Duluth Hwy., Lawrenceville; Mon.-Thurs. and Sun., 10:30 a.m-11 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 10:30 a.m.-midnight

Pollo Tropical is a bright, colorful and friendly Caribbean restaurant with two locations in the metro area: Lawrenceville and Marietta. My friend Bev Mielke of Tucker and her son Caleb, 3, joined me in visiting the Lawrenceville location and had a great time with the delicious food and extremely attentive service. 
What’s on the menu: Plantains! Their plantains are incredible; I quickly declared them my favorite thing on the menu. Pollo Tropical is famous for its citrus- marinated hormone-free chicken and the “Tropichop,” a menu item that lets you build a bowl mixing up a meat with rice or beans, corn, peppers, salsas and more. Pollo Tropical offers a huge variety of choices, including salads, soups, wraps, platters of chicken, roast pork, wings, salmon, fajitas and riblets. Kids have “Little Pollito” meals, with options such as mac and cheese, rice bowls, or a piece of chicken with a side item. The kids’ meals include beverage plus frozen yogurt for dessert. The prices were a nice surprise. The “Tropichop” starts at $4.69 for a small size, and kids’ meals cost $4.99. The large platter options are also reasonable; you’ll pay just $4.89 for a quarter chicken meal with one side. 
Why parents will like it: I really enjoyed the variety at Pollo Tropical, and though some might think of it as a fast-food eatery, we found the food to be very high quality and fresh, and the choices relatively healthy. Though you order at a counter, the food is brought to your table, so you’re not precariously balancing a tray while trying to steer the kids to the table. Bev liked that her son was trying something new and enjoying the tasty Caribbean flavors. She also liked that french fries were not automatically piled on as part of her child’s meal. 
Why kids will like it: Pollo Tropical is family friendly and the service is quick. There are plenty of bright photos of the food so kids can see what they’ll be ordering. The frozen yogurt at the end of the meal is a great bonus!
– Kirsten Gromatzky