Restaurant Review: Sardi’s vs Crisp & Juicy


Mia Egerman, Editor in Chief

This week, I entered the world of charbroiled chicken, determined to find out which local restaurant is the best of the best. As multicultural as Frederick is, it’s valid there would be plenty of unbeatable recipes for the Peruvian-style dish, but which is the best? I decided on a head to head challenge between Sardi’s and Crisp & Juicy, both located near downtown. Both have their own spin on the classic rotisserie chicken, both have homemade sauces- yet they differ in the final product.

Walking into Crisp & Juicy, I immediately got a family cookout vibe. Although you walk in and place your order at the counter, seating yourself is normal, the traditional Spanish music makes for a fun, vibrant experience. However, the menu is minimal. It offers their specialty charbroiled chicken, or pollos a la brasa, and a selection of sides. The chicken comes in a range of sizes, from a quarter piece to the whole chicken, as well as platter, sandwich and salad options. The dark meat is phenomenal and pairs well with both the hot and mild sauces. I recommend their specialty hot sauce because they use natural Rocoto peppers from Peru. The sides, maintaining the classic Latin American flavors, provide customers with many options. Anything from the classic side salad, to fried yucas or fried plantains are offered to decorate your plate- but as far as the main dish goes, the options are limited.


Sardi’s, on the other hand, serves their own plethora of dishes. Their charbroiled chicken isn’t the only infamous item on the menu, so although it may be a Peruvian restaurant, the cultural influence doesn’t stop there. Greek tastes are represented in Sardis’ “World Famous Souvlaki” and “Gyro De Sardi’s”. Offering sandwiches, salads, and sides, as well as signature entrees like grilled salmon skewers, Sardi’s makes the decision process a difficult time for each customer. Its cafeteria style and lively atmosphere make for a dine-in experience as gratifying as the comfort of your own home. Personally, I like the fried plantains. They’re cooked to perfection, just enough so it’s juicy without being mushy. So although getting to route 40 may not be the most convenient trip, it is definitely worth the drive.

Overall, I would recommend Sardi’s for either lunch or dinner. Both restaurants seem to have perfected their chicken recipes, but taking all factors into consideration, Sardi’s is the better option. Conveniently, Crisp & Juicy has ten locations throughout the DMV. Sardi’s mostly has Maryland locations, with only one in Philadelphia, but that aspect alone wouldn’t sway my opinion considering we live in Maryland. With that being said, their prices are a bit higher, but nothing noteworthy. The quarter dark meat chicken is $8.95, while Crisp & Juicy’s is only $8.15. A half chicken is $11.50 at Sardi’s, but only $10.89 at Crisp & Juicy (all offer two sides). If you’re looking for somewhere new to try and have already been to Sardi’s, I wouldn’t recommend Crisp & Juicy since the menu features only the basics of Sardis’ menu. However, if you are more decisive than I am and aren’t feeling ribs or lamb chops (also featured on Sardi’s menu), Crisp & Juicy’s chicken is up to par and their sauces even better [than Sardi’s]. As you can see, both restaurants have their perks, so I’ll leave it up to you to heed my advice. Just remember to keep an open mind and expand your palate to the tastes of different cultures- you may surprise yourself.