If you’ve never spent much time eating on the North or West sides of Columbus, I highly recommend you venture out to do so the next time you’re craving something deliciously different. These sections of town are home to some of the most underated and under-appreciated ethnic restaurants and food trucks in the city. They’re usually not fancy places, some not much bigger than a couple of tables in the back of a corner market, but they’re most often serving up the most authentic and unusual “Alt Eats” in town. And if there’s anything that Bethia and Andy from Columbus Food Adventures has taught me, it’s to always be on the lookout for new and unfamiliar foods. So when I had the opportunity to stop at El Pollo Perucho for my first ever taste of Peruvian cuisine, I jumped at the chance.
El Pollo Perucho is located on Georgesville Rd, on the West side outskirts of the city. It’s perched in a small, newer shopping center just up the street from the Hollywood Casino, and in the same vicinity as many delicious taco trucks and other inconspicuous culinary gold mines are located. The space inside is bright and roomy, with the dining area consisting of 8-10 tables with seating for approximately 30-40 people. The owners were very friendly and welcomed me as I found a seat.
Upon arriving, I quickly pulled up some info about the restaurant on Alt.Eats.Columbus, and learned that the thing to eat here is the Pollo a la Brasa, or Peruvian charcoal-grilled rotisserie chicken. The chicken is slow-turned in a huge indoor charcoal barbecue after being marinated in Peruvian spices and seasonings. They offer their delightful meals in three sizes: 1/4 chicken, 1/2 chicken and whole chicken. I ordered the 1/4 de Pollo meal ($6.00), which came with an order of french fries (which were fried fresh for my order and were actually pretty darn tasty) and a salad topped with cucumber, tomato, and radishes.
The chicken was absolutely delicious. The skin was crispy and the seasoning had just a bit of a kick, but wasn’t overwhelming. The meat was moist and tender, and honestly I probably could have eaten another 1/4 pollo. The owner brought me a really tasty Peruvian yellow chili sauce called aji amarillo, that added some really good flavor. Again, it wasn’t as spicy as I was expecting, so I went ahead and just doused my whole portion of tasty yardbird with it.
The rest of the menu features a handful of other authentic dishes like Ceviche (fresh fish marinated with limes, onions, spicy peppers and cilantro) or a Lomo Saltado (sliced beef grilled with onions, tomatoes and french fries) and more. They also sell wings, fried chicken, and a few other Peruvian sides.
I also ordered a Porcion de pinto beans ($2.99), which was listed as a side order. It came as a big bowl of hot, fresh beans that were nicely seasoned with onion and cilantro. Given the fact that I had the chicken combo to consume as well, I only finished about half the bowl – it really was that much food.
El Pollo Perucho also offers ice cream and other frozen desserts for after your meal, and also has a few shelves of ethnic groceries that you can buy and take home to cook for you and your family.
I whole-heartedly enjoyed my first taste of Peruvian food. The Pollo a la Brasa was seriously some of the best rotisserie chicken I have ever eaten (in fact, just writing this post has me craving it right now!). The rest of the food was good, too, and the owners are very friendly and are willing to answer any questions you might have.
I love supporting these small, ethnic eateries in our city. It’s awesome to know that great spots like this are available around Columbus – sometimes it just takes a little bit of extra looking to find the hidden gems.
El Pollo Perucho is located at 727 Georgesville Rd., Columbus, OH 43228 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Thursday, from 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Friday – Saturday, 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM, and Sunday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For more info, check out their Facebook page HERE or Trip Advisor profile HERE.