Chick'n Pollo in Columbia.
The restaurant in the Hickory Ridge village center does most of its business in Peruvian roast chicken, and I'm a fan of the chicken, sweet plantains and yuca fries.
But the new find is another Peruvian speciality, the antichuchos. You get a plate with thin slices of marinated beef grilled on skewers. It's a slightly chewy texture, but a rich beef flavor, a bit salty from the marinade and perfectly paired with the spicy tomato salsa served on the side.
The skewers come with a boiled potato that Chick'n Pollo drops in the flyer when you order. The potato halves come out crisp, but not greasy. Ask for an extra little container of the green sauce that they serve with the chicken. That creamy, spicy sauce goes great with the potato.
That's it. Go try the antichuchos. You'll be happy.
If you want to know more, then you need to read more. But do you?
That's grilled heart, baby. Peruvian grilled heart on a skewer. Don't let the organ meat scare you off. Heart looks like cut-up steak. You get a strong beef flavor. You get a little more chew than you'd get from filet, but way more flavor. Chick'n Pollo puts a minor char on the meat.
The first time that I ate antichuchos was as a high school exchange student. My vocabulary didn't match my appetite. After my host father asked which appetizer I liked best, I said the beef. He asked if I knew what it was. I didn't. Everyone chuckled. He asked if I knew what "corazon" meant. I didn't. Everyone chuckled again. He tried a few more words. Then he finally put his fist on his chest and went "thump, thump, thump."
I got the point. I still ate the antichuchos. I'm not rushing out for tender or intestine, but heart somehow falls on the side of the line with tongue.
Thanks to Alberto Flores and his wife who suggested the antichuchos. They're the folks who first turned me onto R&R Taqueria. So figure that the Food Network will get to Chick'n Pollo in two years.