Thursday, August 12, 2010

Red Robin, The New CEO, and Food Stamps.

When looking at the background of the new CEO of Red Robin, I found one thing particularly interesting on the El Pollo Loco site... They somehow are able to accept EBT (or, food stamps). This is somewhat shocking to me, as, in Kentucky, we are generally kind of strict as to the types of food that people can buy with EBT. Furthermore, I would imagine that people here would have a conniption if welfare recipients could use said welfare to buy fast food with.

Regardless, this got me thinking; what kind of food does this place offer? Is it at the top of the chain like Red Robin or closer to Taco Bell? It is really top notch as the website describes? Please, readers, let me know.


PlanMaestro said...

I could tell you about El Pollo Loco in Mexico, very large-cheap-downscale. Are they related?

Jake Taylor said...

I'm not sure about Kentucky, but in California, it's a matter of whether the food is "prepared" or not. That preparedness line seems to be drawn by temperature. For instance, you can buy a take-and-bake pizza with food stamps, but not a hot pizza. You can buy a sandwich at Subway, but not a burger from Burger King.

Anonymous said...

I visited an El Pollo Loco in the Phoenix area late in 2009.

In my view they are trying to be a better quality / higher end restaurant than Taco Bell for sure but are roughly equivelent to Chiplolte in food quality. They have a more diverse menu than Chiplote, and as I recall, you order at the counter and they bring out the food to your table after it prepared.

One of the things I look for in any ethnic restaurant is does the ethnic population that makes this type of food at home eat at this restaraunt. This was the case in the Pollo Loco I visited, however, that might be tempered by the fact I was in the midst a large hispanic population and they would be the predominant customer at McDonald's as well.

As far as the food / visit / experience it did not rank high on my list of "must go again places."

Decor is slighty nicer than the typical Taco bell, Qudoba, Baha Fresh, and done in the same tile floor, stucco wall, formica table top format as those cahins. To my eye it is not nearly as distincitive as Chiplolte, but then I am partial to that "industrial" look more than the commercial version of the "southwest hacianeda" style.

Food quality is a a "meh" to me but my dining partner loved the citrus fruit based marinade for the chicken.

For full disclsoure, I will say I am usually predisposed frequent to non-chain restaraunts, BUT , as a 100% full time domestic business traveler, I visit PLENTY of chain restautrants, all over the country.