Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Darn Good Chicken

By:  Hannah Mellman

Open for just over a year, Pollo Peru is an authentic Peruvian charbroiled chicken restaurant in the heart of Reston, Virginia. Started by Enrique Lenz and his daughter Amy Gedrich, their passion for cooking and authentic Peruvian food led them to open their first restaurant. Worth the drive for those DC'ers, Pollo Peru offers causal, budget-friendly dining and take-out that will satisfy even the biggest of appetites.

This chicken everything you want in rotisserie — juicy, tender and well-seasoned, with deep brown crispy skin. To make it, Enrique and Amy explained how they marinate whole chickens for 24 hours in 20 different herbs and spices, spices so secret we couldn't even enter the 'secret spice room' on our tour of the kitchen. 

After the chicken soaks up the flavors for a day, they are cooked for an hour in large revolving charcoal rotisserie ovens. Just smelling them cook, it’s easy to see why Peruvian chicken has grown so popular.

The chicken however, is not to be outdone by the sides and dipping sauces. Our favorites were the yucca and fried plantains. The yucca is a great alternative to french fries, and was especially good with the Peruvian spicy herb mayo. The fried plantains were delicious, soft, sweet, and nicely caramelized on the outside. 

In keeping with the theme, we drank Inca Kola, a Peruvian soda flavored with lemon verbena. Don't be intimidated by its shocking yellow color, the soda is sweet and fruity and smells like bubblegum.

Finally, if you go to Pollo Peru, leave room for the incredible homemade desserts. We tried the flan, tres leches cake, and an alfajor, a Peruvian cookie sandwich made of shortbread cookies with a dulce de leche filling. 
 Just don't wear black when you eat these, they're covered in powdered sugar and hard to put down.

Pollo Peru on Urbanspoon

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