Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
It’s been less than a month since I returned from my adventure in Peru and I still can’t get enough of the food. I even spent the last few weeks eating the diverse food again here in NYC for an article on Gothamist.
One of the uncovered Peruvian restaurants in the city sits in a suburban neighborhood of Staten Island. I had read about it and so just like all our travels in Peru, I decided to jump on a ferry and headed out to the most far-flung borough to visit Inca’s Grill.
We were immediately impressed with the homey ambiance and the warm greetings of the chef and owner. When we mentioned we had just returned from a trip to Peru, we got extra special treatment. His food was quite good – not as experimental or as flashy as some of the nuevo cevicherias in Manhattan, but rather simple and traditional with a few modern touches.
The ceviche was indeed fresh and tangy with nice textures from the crunchy corn kernels and sweet potato. I was also impressed with the tender octopus topping on the creamy and hearty causa – a firm mound of acovado and mashed potatoes.
But his rotisserie chicken (or pollo ala brasa) rivals the more famous one at Pio Pio out in Queens. This darkened half chicken had beautiful sweet and garlicky spices (perhaps even a bit of cinnamon?) that gave the exterior a juicy texture and a complex flavor. The meat itself was fantastic. Almost better than the fowl was the portion of handout french fries underneath. It was a great example of Peru’s most famous fast-casual dish.
I would normally direct people out to Jackson Heights, Queens for the most authentic Peruvian food in the city (and that would still be a good place to visit), but this true off-the-beaten path stop is much more quiet and modest and the food is just as good. Plus, you can pretend New York Harbor is Lake Titicaca. Squint and you might see the Andes. Price: $8-$18
|INCA’S GRILL PERUVIAN CUISINE|
|2110 Clove Road (between Crist Street and Giles Place),
Grasmere, Staten Island