El Norteno is a very small local chain, with locations in Tucker, Norcross, and Chamblee. The Chamblee location is just barely off of Buford Highway, on Chamblee-Tucker Road. I had heard too many good/bad/intriguing things about El Norteno to not bend the (mostly nonexistent) rules and go check it out. I mean, the building says Pollos Asados and Pollo Norteno larger than it says the name of the restaurant, haha. So it must be good.
The first thing I noticed, besides Corona de Lagrimas blasting throughout the restaurant, is the furniture. The tables and chairs all seem to be hand-carved (I couldn’t spot two that looked to be the same). They were bright and cheery and helped the atmosphere to be something it wouldn’t have been otherwise.
Adam and I were gifted with menus, and a fairly average basket of chips with salsa. We also grabbed some salsa de aguacate and another salsa/sauce I didn’t recognize from the salsa bar.
Based on a vague but naggingly familiar taste, and that sheen you see in the cellphone pic above, I am guessing that other salsa has thousand island dressing in it. It was still tasty though.
We went for a chorizo torta ($4.50) and a 1/4 roasted chicken plate (leg and thigh), that came with tortillas, lettuce, tomato, rice, and beans ($5.99).
The torta was not as good as at either Las Tortas Locas, or Taqueria Los Rayos, but it was also significantly cheaper. The roast chicken was good but I didn’t think it came anywhere near Pollo d’el Rey‘s chicken. I put it at solidly average, but Adam argues that the food is solid, if not as good as other places, the prices are crazy-cheap, and the nice atmosphere helps. 3.25 stars isn’t a thing we do here, so I guess I will have to grudgingly round up to 3.5 stars.
2501 Chamblee Tucker Rd.,
Atlanta, GA 30341