Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Family-run storefront serving pollo a la brasa (i.e., rotisserie chicken) and other Peruvian specialties.
Peru is preeminent among Latin American countries when it comes to pollo a la brasa, rotisserie chicken, but until recently this was the only Peruvian polleria in Chicago. But that's not all there is on offer from the father-son team of Luis Garcia Jr. and Sr., who also feature lomo saltado, beef marinated, sauteed, and served over rice, and ceviche topped with red onions lightly pickled in lime juice, widely regarded as the Peruvian national dish. Whats striking about many of the dishes is their vividness. Peruvian riffs on fried rice—beef, seafood, or chicken, with brilliant chunks of red and green pepper, crispy scrambled egg, and green onions—are Technicolor to the black-and-white of your average greasy cardboard-container takeout. Chicha morada is a winey-purple sweet drink made from boiling ears of purple corn with cinnamon and clove. And the chupe de camarones is a deep bowl of milky red soup highlighted by deep red sprinklings of ancho chile and loaded with shrimp, poached eggs, blobs of chewy melted cheese, peas, carrots, and rice—it looks like the surface of Jupiter. The tallarin verde con bistec is a slab of beef atop a mound of bright green spinach-basil pesto; aguadito, a brilliant-green chicken soup the Garcias serve on weekends, gets its color from cilantro and spinach pureed into the broth. And then there is the aji, the most distinctive accompaniment to Peruvian pollo a la brasa—a creamy pastel yellow mayo-and-mustard-based salsa, cool and tangy, with a hint of heat from the aji amarillo chile and an herbal note from huacatay, Peruvian black mint. A spicier version, pale green in color, is made with jalapeños and served with the restaurants other dishes. Its particularly good with the anticuchos, marinated, skewered veal heart, which anyone thinking about dabbling in offal for the first time should consider as a gateway organ.
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