Earlier this week AMC cleverly teamed up with a parking lot company named Citizens Parking to bring us Breaking Bad fans the (now) famous Los Pollos Hermanos Pop Up Restaurant to New York City. The shop was here to promote the upcoming season 3 premiere of the Breaking Bad spin-off series Better Call Saul. The first episode premiered on April 10th @ 10pm EST. You can watch the first episode for free on AMC’s site.
If you’ve ever watched (or plan on watching) the television series Breaking Bad then you know (or will know) how significant this restaurant is within the series. *Slight Spoiler Alert Ahead* Los Pollos Hermanos was founded by Gus Fring (played by the talented Giancarlo Esposito) and was the store-front used to hide money made off of meth sales. It’s an amazingly well written television series. It’s now considered a cult classic in some circles. If you haven’t watched this series yet stop reading this now, get on Netflix, and start binge watching.
The pop up restaurant was originally opened at this years SXSW festival and was a huge success (from what I heard around the internet) so AMC took the pop up restaurant on the road and brought it to LA in March and then NYC in April. When I saw an article announcing the pop up hours, I immediately marked my calendar because this type of event is my jam! It seemed perfect! A mix of two things that are near and dear to my heart: scripted television and food. I immediately sent an all-caps text to one of my foodie friends to let her know that WE MUST GO on Sunday and get there early because we are New Yorkers and New Yorkers show up and show out when it comes to food events/trends/festivals.
The pop up restaurant/parking lot was located downtown Manhattan at 243 Pearl Street and the hours were: 4/9 11am-8pm and 4/10 10am-8pm. My friend and I arrived somewhere between 930 and 10am. Even at that time people were already on line ahead of us which means they must have gotten there at either 7 or 8am (see what I mean by New Yorkers showing up and showing out).
While waiting to get in everyone took photos with the staff members, the infamous man in a chicken costume, and we watched the official trailer a few times. In the trailer I noticed Gus says “come in and try our curly fries”. I didn’t think anything of it until one of the staff members announced there was no chicken being sold nor given out. My heart sunk. 💔
I want to mention that I ALWAYS research every restaurant, event, pop up shop, grand opening, etc I attend. I search the internet for details and because of my “need to know” personality I always like to be prepared and know what to expect. But this time, because I saw so many tweets about it being so “cool” at SXSW I did not dive into finding out what to expect and wanted to be surprised. With that said, I was unaware that chicken would not actually get served at the pop up restaurant.
The one time I do not research a pop up event this happens. I would not have gotten there so early if I knew this.
On a positive note, they did however provide us with curly fries (and the fries were actually tasty). For free.
I will say this was more of a pop up museum of the Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant rather than a standard pop up restaurant. I can’t front, I’m sad I did not get to try some chicken but it was kinda astounding seeing the replica of the set. It was like we were actually in the southwest and in this extremely nice and wholesome chicken joint that was really a front for drug money. It was pretty freaking awesome to have experienced it.