Cuban bites add spicy flavor to healthier eats


With a menu of authentic Cuban entrees, Tropical Chicken Grille cooks high-quality cuisine for a low-price bill. Photos: Amanda Ross

The Tropical Chicken Grille, located at 215 Pelham Road in Greenville, less than two miles from campus, specializes in first-rate Cuban chicken dishes and sandwiches, but at an affordable price. “You’re paying fast-food prices for the best quality chicken available,” owner Lazaro Montoto said.

Montoto got his start at the age of 16 as the chef for a hotel and has always had a passion for quality, healthy cuisine. He and his wife came up with the idea of starting a fast, affordable Cuban restaurant one day while driving on Interstate 385, when they realized the Greater Greenville area was lacking anything of the sort. Montoto emphasized that what sets his restaurant apart is its low prices for the quality of food offered. “We use only the best, all-natural chicken. Because we’re so efficient, we’re able to keep our costs down and pass those savings on to customers.”

Tropical Chicken’s menu may not be the most diverse in the world, but the restaurant certainly delivers on its motto, “A Healthy Alternative.”

The venue’s most popular dish is the Cuban Chops, a bowl of Cuban-style black beans with white or brown rice and chopped chicken breast, which you can purchase for about $7. Healthy options include the Vegetarian and Chicken Veggie Chops, which substitute vegetarian black beans and fresh vegetables for rice.

As a result of its emphasis on healthy, affordable cuisine, Tropical Chicken is very popular with Greenville hospitals and doctors, with more than 150 catering deliveries to medical facilities per day.

So when you want to break free from the typical American menu, go for a healthier option. Go for the flavor of Cuba — el sabor de Cuba.

The Tropical Chicken Grille is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.