Thursday, March 8, 2012
Crisp & Juicy
Arlington, VA 22207
The first time I lived in Arlington, VA (about 13 years ago), I moved to an apartment that was walking distance to the Crisp & Juicy on Lee Highway. Usually, when I move into a new place, I tend to unpack slowly and so that means not really having the ability to cook anything for the first few days. Also, when you move to a new area, you want to find out if there are any nearby places that can provide a solid and reliable meal. Within those first few days, way back when, I stumbled upon Crisp & Juicy and now that I've moved back, I still consider it one of the best places to eat that I've ever tried.
When I first tried it, my buddies and I described it as "that Argentinian chicken place" but I think technically it is Peruvian chicken joint, which are plentiful all over Northern Virginia (and reminds of The Famous Chicken Place in New York City). The chicken is spit roasted in an oven and come out very much like the name of the restaurant implies. I think I've tried the yucca and the french fries are tasty but the sides don't quite compare to the main part of the dish. For the most part, all these places produce the same kind of flavorful chicken but what stands out in my mind at Crisp & Juicy is the dipping sauce. Make sure you order the hot kind and make sure you order at least two. To me, Crisp & Juicy produces the best accompanying sauce out of any of the others. It is tangy, sweet & a bit creamy with just the right amount of kick that enhances the flavors of anything you dip into it. To me, hot sauces associated with Peruvian chicken are more concerned with adding spiciness rather than enhancing flavor. This is not the case here as this sauce works harmoniously with the chicken and keeps you coming back for more.
I don't know if I've ever had over a decade break in visiting any restaurant and usually the memory is better than the actual thing. However, Crisp & Juicy goes against that and after all these years, is still producing something worth coming back to, over and over again.