Pollo Tropical, Florida’s fast-casual concept, continues its Texas expansion with the opening of its first San Antonio location. It will share its grand opening celebration and adjacent pad site at 6819 N. Loop 1604 W. with the newest location of its sister restaurant, San Antonio’s Taco Cabana, which will debut its new prototype restaurant design.

Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana, both owned by Dallas-based Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc., will host a combined grand opening on September 20. Company and city officials will attend the ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Festivities will begin when the doors open at 10:30 a.m.

San Antonio–based Taco Cabana COO Todd Coerver and Miami-based Pollo Tropical COO Danny Meisenheimer will continue their friendly rivalry, born from the Spurs-Heat NBA Finals matchups, with a robosurfing contest on a simulated surfing machine. The winner gets bragging rights and will donate to Meals on Wheels of San Antonio. Guests at the grand opening celebration also can take a turn on the robosurfer and enter to win prizes including Free Chicken for a Year from Pollo Tropical, Free Taco Cabana for a Year, an iPad Mini, T-shirts, spin-and-win prizes, and more.

“We are really looking forward to bringing a taste of the islands to a new city, particularly our sister restaurant Taco Cabana’s hometown,” Meisenheimer says. “Pollo Tropical offers a uniquely tropical twist on fresh, healthy, hand-prepared foods, giving families the convenience and variety of meal choices they can feel good about eating every day.”

Pollo Tropical’s menu is a melting pot of culinary cultures, featuring the flavors of the Caribbean. Savory island spices, mixed herbs, and citrus are blended into rubs and marinades that enhance the flavors of vegetables, pork, beef, and signature chicken dishes. The company has built a loyal following for its bone-in chicken that is marinated in tropical fruit juices and spices and then flame-grilled to and served quartered or halved.

Guests can choose options that include platters, Create Your Own TropiChops, sandwiches, salads, wraps, kids’ meals, and family meals. In addition to its signature bone-in chicken, Pollo Tropical offers boneless, skinless grilled chicken breasts; Mojo Roast Pork; Calypso Beef; and Grilled Tropical Wings. Made-from-scratch sides include rice, beans, yuca with garlic sauce, sweet plantains, and more.

More familiar to San Antonians is the Taco Cabana next door, which will unveil the company’s new, contemporary restaurant prototype to the San Antonio market. An open kitchen will showcase Taco Cabana’s signature flame grill and tortilla-making station, along with a new look and feel. This location will also feature its chef-inspired, limited-time-only “Salsa Especial!” salsa program, including the current featured salsa, sweet and smoky Roasted Tomatillo.

“We look forward to sharing our new restaurant design with our hometown and having our sister restaurant at our side—folks are really in for something different and special,” Coerver says. “The dynamic growth happening in and around UTSA is generating excitement for new dining options, and local residents will have a lot of great meal choices at this address, from our authentic, handmade Mexican food they’ve loved for years, to the new, island-inspired flavors next door at Pollo Tropical.”

 The new Taco Cabana will be open 24 hours every day for dine-in and drive-thru service. Pollo Tropical, which will open a second San Antonio location at 838 Bitters Road later this year, will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to midnight.

Design, Fast Casual, Growth, Menu Innovations, News, Pollo Tropical, Taco Cabana