Pio Pio
1746 1st Avenue (90/91), NYC
6 other locations around the city

Pio Pio has been around at least eight years, but lately has expanded its locations to around Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. It is no surprise why its popularity has grown, it has a casual atmosphere, inexpensive food and drinks, and an interesting (but not intimidating) menu. The 1st Avenue location is long and narrow with cramped seating that no one seems to mind once the large plates of grub arrive.

We ordered the Matador Combo which consists of a whole chicken, and large plates of rice & beans, salchipapa (franks and fries – odd combo, but tasty), tostones, and avocado salad. It is enough for 3-4 people, which obviously isn’t quite enough for us, because we also had to have the yucca fries. Luckily, there were other couples with 7 plates covering their small table as well. Everything was tasty, although all the fried foods together were a little overwhelming for us. The chicken was juicy and flavorful, although it had a slight aromatic flavor which was not quite as appealing as some of my favorite chicken joints.

I will definitely return again and order more sensibly and get some of the good looking sangria. My co-corker, Aliyah, who is a regular, recommends a quarter chicken each (with awesome spicy green sauce) and sharing two sides. That sounds pretty good to me. While Pio Pio does not quite deserve a Golden Bozone, I do love my chicken-on-the-bone, and this is a great place to get it.