If you’ve never had Peruvian food, then you are missing out.
I had heard of Ceviche 105 from when they participated in Miami Spice last year, but never got around to making it over there. A recent glance at their web site showed that the owner had opened a Peruvian roast chicken restaurant next door called Pollos y Jarras. And, since I was going to be Downtown anyway, then why not?
If you’re a movie or anime fan, then you have probably seen the scenes in which a wealthy heir or heiress enters a lavish mansion to find countless attendants waiting to serve their every need. That is the impression that I got when, upon entering Pollos y Jarras, we were greeted with a small procession of smiling restaurant employees, warmly welcoming us into their establishment. The sharply dressed hostess escorted us to our table, which was a short elevator ride away on the restaurant’s second level.
The first thing that caught my eye was the Take Rico. “Mouthwatering chicken cracklings, prepared in that out-of-this world Peruvian style,” the menu said. Not sure what to expect, but liking the sound of crunchy chicken skins, I took the plunge. What came out was a small mountain of crispy, crunchy, oh-so-delicious chicken skins, topped with what I am going to assume is ceviche marinade. The lime was prevalent, but not overpowering. And, not a soggy crackling to be found! I may never try another appetizer on their menu. Plus, each table gets an assortment of Peruvian style sauces – a salsa, ranch sauce, spicy mustard, and mayo.
Since we were catching a show, we decided we didn’t want to risk leftovers. We split a dish called “Denny’s El Espectacular.” I’d call it “Lomo Salteado on Steroids.” Pieces of skirt steak, chicken, sausage, and bacon are stir fried with onions, mushrooms, and peppers in soy sauce on a bed of french fries. The fries end up absorbing much of the stir fry sauce, which gives them a savory goodness. The portion size fed two adult females with very healthy appetites (*cough*). On another day, I may have been able to take it on by myself (maybe). We were both completely full, but soldiered on due to the absolute deliciousness of it all. Each chunk of succulent meat was so tender, it melted in your mouth. The rice was perfectly cooked. Not too hard, not too mushy.
The verdict: If you’re ever Downtown, or even if you’re not, Pollos y Jarras is worth checking out. Service is kind of slow, so best not to go when you have a time constraint. Prices aren’t exactly easy on the wallet, but every dish was worth the money.