I’m a sucker for 1) anything labeled new (hence this blog) and 2) anyplace producing something outside their normal comfort zone. So when I got some coupons in the mail a few weeks ago advertising Baja Shrimp from El Pollo Loco, a local Mexican grilled chicken chain, I had to give it a shot.

Everything all together

Everything all together

I decided to order the Shrimp and Chicken Bowl it cost $9.02, which seemed expensive. It did come with two flour or corn tortillas, and it was a lot of food, but an Original Pollo Bowl (basically the same thing minus the shrimp) is only $5. I think this was larger than the Original Pollo Bowl though, and I actually couldn’t finish. The bowl didn’t appear deep, but it was long and deceptively full of food.

There were only four shrimp in the bowl. They were at a lukewarm temperature, and they were small. I can excuse the temperature since this was 8:30PM on a Friday night (I swear I have a life!). I don’t imagine these things were selling like hotcakes at that hour.

Shrimp close up

Shrimp close up

El Pollo Loco says that the Baja Shrimp are “marinated in our authentic blend of herbs and spices.” I can attest that there was some spice there. They were good! Plus they didn’t smell or taste fishy, which was surprising. When eaten with the other things in the bowl (rice, chicken, beans and pico de gallo), the flavor held up and shone through.

This is a short review, because I really don’t think I need to review a Pollo Bowl. I’m all about the shrimp here. So is it worth it? I’d unfortunately say not. While they were good, the added price here is not worth it for 4 small shrimp. If you really want shrimp that badly, you’re better off going to Long John Silver’s or, you know, an actual fish restaurant. So while I’m impressed with El Pollo Loco’s ability to make a quality shrimp, unless they add more or lower prices, you’re better off sticking with their chicken selections.

I really couldn't finish this thing

I really couldn’t finish this thing

As a footnote, since I ate this, it appears the bowl is no longer available. A check on El Pollo Loco’s website shows that they’re still advertising Baja Shrimp, but right now they’re only in tacos. Maybe that would work better since they’d need to put more shrimp in there.

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