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Salchicha rellena,$5.95.

Image: Alice Levitt

There's more to a restaurant than the item in its name. At Pollos Asados La Silla, chicken might be on the marquis, but poultry is only a tiny segment of the bill of fare.  The restaurant serves all-American breakfasts that include fluffy pancakes or chilaquiles with steak. At lunch and dinner, there are oversized quesadillas, tostadas and baked potatoes, to name a few dishes. I was enticed by the ham-and-avocad0-topped burger and the mole-smothered chicken. But my dining partner was fascinated with the sausage.

Turns out, he was right. I had never tried Eckrich sausage, though I'd seen the Smithfield subsidiary's products in Mexican and Latin markets. I don't know why our neighbors to the south prefer this American brand, or why they tend to spell it Eckridge, as it is on La Silla's menu and in recipes I found online. What I do know is that the smoked sausages are similar to kielbasa, but made with turkey and beef as well as the traditional pork. I also now know that they are huge. Far larger than I would have imagined given the $5.95 price tag of the salchicha rellena.

The rest of what I learned was unique to La Silla, where apparently, that smoky, fatty sausage isn't enough. A wedge is cut into it, which is then filled with gooey white cheese. But that's not enough either. The cheese-filled sausage is wrapped in bacon, then deep-fried, leaving every micron of surface area crisp and oily. At first cut, the combined oils and fats begin to ooze, leaving a pool on the plate of everything your tongue wants but your heart doesn't.

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Parillada for one, $11.99.

Image: Alice Levitt

But there is more to La Silla than stunt food. I ordered the 1/4 parillada plate assuming it included chicken (it turns out one photo on the menu does, another doesn't), but I wasn't too disappointed not to try the star of the show once I tried the other meats. I mostly skipped the additional "Eckridge" sausage, but the fajita and and short ribs were both deeply marinated, changing from salty to tangy to intensely savory with each bite. I was especially fond of the fajita, which had just a touch of chew before yielding to my teeth. The rice was well-flavored, but the charro beans, which I usually dislike, were exceptionally well-made, with a nudge of heat and a body far thicker than the watery versions I'm used to seeing.

Now all that's left is for me to return for some chicken.

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Pollos Asados La Silla

$ Mexican/Tex-Mex 4617 Canal St.

The marinated and grilled chicken gets star billing, but it's far from the only reason to visit this cheerful Mexican restaurant. At breakfast, there are flu...

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