Big Chickie Pollo a la Brasa 

Concept Peruvian charcoal-roasted rotisserie chicken served in quarters, halves, or wholes, with choice of sides.

Named for Mom (nickname: Chickie) of Matt Stubbs, who launched the place with his wife, Sara, as homage to the Peruvian rotisseries all over his greater DC hometown.

The Chicken Hormone- and antibiotic-free, and utterly delectable: beautifully marinated, notes of citrus, moist clear through. 

Sauce Choices Yellow mayo sauce, green jalapeño-lime sauce, pickled onion salsa. 

Carb load Choose among steak fries, black beans, yellow rice, cheesy potatoes, corn salad, lime-glazed sweet potatoes, corn muffins, and plantain chips.

Best Side Soft cubes of savory-tart sweet potatoes, brisk with lime. Or maybe the wicked cheesy potatoes.

Yep, there’s kale salad A good crunchy slaw with carrots, cabbage, edamame, and golden raisins in a lemony dressing.

Bevs A few wines and local beers

Service Careful and sweet

Cluck for Your Buck $8 for a light eater (quarter chicken with two small sides); $16 for a half chicken with two large sides

Atmospheric bummer Technically all the seating is outdoors. Sheer plastic sheets in place of walls leave this tidy new structure on Rainier pretty exposed in winter, heaters notwithstanding. 

Dessert Full Tilt Ice Cream; killer chili-spiced brownies.

Overall verdict Hillman City’s wildest dream come true.


Nate's Wings and Waffles

Concept Fried chicken, by the half pound or strips, with waffles—a Southern classic. (What? No “Nate’s Nuggets”?) 

Named for Nate Robinson, local boy–gone–Denver Nuggets star, who owns the place with Darren McGill (Happy Grillmore) and another partner

The Chicken  Order either naked or breaded wings, the latter featuring crisp crust—appealingly mild—and moist, juicy meat. All the meat is hormone  and antibiotic free. 

Sauce Choices Chipotle BBQ, classic buffalo, coconut jalapeño lime, lemon pepper, garlic ginger, teriyaki

Carb load Sides include salt and pepper fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings, supercreamy (but bland) mac and cheese, potato rolls, and of course, waffles—savory, bacon, or plain.

Best Side The “Not So Plain” waffle—$4 of crunchy and tasty, with honey rosemary butter and maple syrup

Yep, there’s kale salad With cabbage and carrots in a sweet dressing—a deal for $3

Bevs Soft for now; liquor license pending

Service Cheerful and quick

Cluck for Your Buck Split a pound of wings with one sauce, two waffles, and one side for around $10 per person. 

Atmospheric bummer The former Lake Route Cafe, still tiny and a little doleful, is nobody’s dream destination—hoops posters notwithstanding.

Dessert Are you kidding? You just ate waffles. 

Overall verdict I’ve had fluffier waffles, but never in such a happy neighborhood hangout.

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