Late Summer at Pollo Tropical

It seems more and more families are looking for healthier options when dinning out while traveling or after a late day of sports. I know when we chose to dine out I really research healthier options because that is super important to my own family!

Fortunately we live in an area where several healthier options are available, including the inconspicuous Pollo Tropical; an upscale fast food option.

Last week I was invited to try a few new menu options as well as taste some of their original eats from this unique brand.

What makes Pollo Tropical different from other fast food restaurants?

** How about no freezers in the restaurant?! Everything is brought in fresh; prepped and prepared fresh in house daily.

**Pollo Tropical serves chicken that is natural; in other words, no hormones or antibiotics have been injected into their chicken as it was raised.

**The chicken is marinated in their special citrus marinade overnight and grilled fresh (never frozen) & right where you can watch.

** Recipes are traditional made with fresh ingredients daily, including the sauces on the sauce bar.

**Pollo Tropical prides itself in not using trans fats in their foods, and because everything is prepared fresh in-house there are a lot less unnatural preservatives in your food!

While known for their citrus marinated grilled chicken, Pollo Tropical has added Pollo Bites; fresh marinated chicken, dipped and battered in-house then fried in canola oil. These for perfect for those kiddos that love their chicken nuggets!

Also new to the menu are a couple of different chicken sandwiches. The chicken BLT with spicy chipotle ranch is so delicious!

For lighter fare, the bacon-shrimp salad served with dressing hits the spot. The shrimp is also marinated in the citrus marinade and then boiled.

The pulled pork sandwich with guava bbq sauce is such a treat. And I learned that in the Miami area this sandwich is served with a Cuban bbq sauce.

Originally founded in 1988 the Pollo Tropical chain has grown to 140 restaurants throughout Florida and up into the metro Atlanta area. This makes it really convenient for my southeastern friends when they hit the road for vacation!!

Check it out!

Pollo Tropical Reveals New Menu Items

Last night I was invited to Pollo Tropical in Snellville for a tasting of new menu items that are hitting stores now!

If you’re unfamiliar with Pollo Tropical, it is what I call “upscale fast food” with a Caribbean flare.

Bradley described it even better when he said “that’s the place all the guys take their dates because it’s nicer than a burger place and still affordable on our budget.”

Pollo-Tropical-Pollo-Bites | Fiddle Dee Dee

Pollo Tropical is known for it’s marinated, grilled chicken (it’s really grilled) and their crispy pollo bites, but they are expanding their menu this spring with four new citrus marinated shrimp dishes.

Introducing:

The Shrimp Quesadilla Salad features crispy romaine lettuce, black bean & corn salad, multi-colored tortilla chips and shredded cheddar jack cheese, topped off with a 6-inch, hot-pressed cheese quesadilla and served with Chipotle Ranch dressing on the side.

The Shrimp Quesadilla Wrap consists of melted cheddar jack cheese, freshly chopped tomatoes and a tangy Chipotle Ranch dressing.

The Shrimp Caesar Salad with chopped crisp romaine lettuce, croutons and shredded Parmesan cheese tossed in Pollo Tropical’s Caesar dressing.

And the Shrimp Tropichop Bowl featuring the citrus marinated shrimp over yellow rice and vegetables served also topped with onions, peppers and diced tomatoes.

These were so flavorful and filling and quite the change from fried everything.

Pollo Tropical is known for using fresh ingredients and makes all their sauces and marinades in-house.

One of the most tasty dishes side dishes is balsamic marinated tomatoes. The marinade is made and allowed to sit for flavors to mesh, then tomatoes and onions are added and marinated for several hours for a truly flavorful treat!

Other delicious side dishes include green beans, sweet potato casserole, fries, corn casserole (y’all, fresh out of the oven this is sooo good!), Mac & cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy; that’s just a few of their many options.

Fried plantains are the perfect finish to any meal!

Pollo Tropical can be found throughout the Atlanta area and Florida which makes it an ideal stop as you hit the road to the beach for spring break and summer vacations! Check out these delicious options and others on the menu as well!

If you want to check out the menu in advance you can at pollotropical.com.

A Few Minutes with Shaq & National Oreo Day

Despite a time change, a very rainy and windy Atlanta on Tuesday, National Oreo Day with retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal went off quite nicely!

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Shaquille O’Neal was in Atlanta with a pop-up “Snack Shaq” giving away the new Oreo candy bar with mint while celebrating both Oreo’s 106th birthday and his own 46th! There were several media and social media influencers on site as well as many Atlantans out in the heavy drizzle and wind waiting for a candy bar from Shaq!

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I was given a few minutes to talk with him and I asked about his partnership with Oreo as he has long been a spokesman for this yummy snack.

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Like so many of us, Shaq said he was introduced to Oreo as a kid by his momma with old fashioned cookies and milk, so this iconic snack has been a favorite his entire life!  He has actually been in a “fabulous relationship” with Oreo for the last 10 years and tries to stay involved with them on many levels.  Shaq mentioned that it was “important to him to be involved and have a personal connection with a product that he was familiar.”  Over the years Oreo has expanded from the original cookie, lemon and birthday cake being two of his favorites, as well as ventured out into candy bars.

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I had intended to ask about upcoming March Madness, as my own university (Lipscomb U) has made the dance for the first time EVER, and am I ever the fan of an undrdog! But, someone beat me to it.  Shaq said he wasn’t really keeping up with it, so I left that on the table!

{Maybe we’ll have the opportunity to talk basketball another day.}

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I have always heard stories about how kind Shaquille O’Neal is and y’all he was so sweet despite this inexperienced interviewer asking questions.  I had let Bradley skip school to go with me as my photographer and upon introducing them Shaq asked what his plans were.  With the mention of boot camp and the Marine Corp, his whole professional demeanor changed and he thanked Bradley and told him to stay safe.  He was very kindhearted and so sincere.  It totally explains why he has such a loyal fanbase!

During our interview Shaq was talking about all of the candy bars they were giving away and said, “If you’re having a party, I’ll send you a hundred!”

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Well, he sent two boxes of bars to my Madeline’s Point University Lacrosse team which they were able to enjoy and celebrate National Oreo Day after a victory over Berry College in Rome that afternoon!

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For National Oreo Day,  Shaquille O’Neal was giving out over 1,000,000 Oreo candy bars both in person and online through OreoBirthdayGiveaway.com .  You can register online for a coupon through March 12, or until all of the coupons are given away.

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National Oreo Day

Tomorrow, March 6 is National Oreo Day as Oreo celebrates their 106th birthday!

{Now this is a day to celebrate!}

Oreo has several great things planned for the celebration including a giveaway beginning at 6:00 am est where 1,000,000 Oreo lovers can snag a coupon for a free Oreo candy bar!

Log into oreobirthdaygiveaway.com to be one of the first to grab your free bar!

Not only is tomorrow National Oreo Day, it is also former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal’s Birthday!

To celebrate, Shaq is setting up a pop-up “Snack Shaq” at Atlantic Station where he will be giving away Oreo Candy Bars as well!

Originally scheduled for Tuesday morning Shaq will now be at Atlantic Station beginning at 1:00PM until around 2:30 doing one of this Random Acts of Shaqness by giving out free delicious OREO Chocolate Candy Bars to local fans.

I’ll be there to share the experience & fun on my social media and hope to see you as well!