1/2 Not too long ago I was craving South American pollo a la brasa of any type. I ended up at one of the numerous Marios because it was on the later side and they were open. But slightly preferring Peruvian over Colombian, my original intention was nearby La Casa del Pollo. Now, I’ve had a chance to try both.
What I didn’t know was that this bustling restaurant was nearly half-Chinese. Sure, rotisserie chicken meals with rice and beans sit at the top of the oversized paper menu, but if you look at the combo options pork fried rice appears. Then, as you skim downward, chop suey, lo mein and sweet and sour pork appear too.
At least I was able to finally try lomo saltado, a true fusion dish of stir-fried beef, onions and tomatoes that I’m pretty sure contains soy sauce. It’s the neither Peruvian nor Chinese addition of french fries that’s kind of strange and compelling (I’m fascinated by non-American recipes, or heck American ones too, that call for fries. Maltese Bacon has a Vietnamese rendition that actually sounds edible).
Cheap and simple, Casa del Pollo is totally the kind of thing lacking in my immediate neighborhood. As much as people think Smith St. is the shit (culinarily speaking), that’s not really true and doesn’t help those in the hinterlands. I would gladly take roast chicken and soy sauced french fries over bad Chinese and mediocre pizza.