Location: Library Mall
Upon approaching the Peruvian food stand, Surco (which, thank you to Google translator, means “groove”), I’ll admit I was a bit intimidated to try the new type of food for the first time. Looking at the menu, I was impressed to see that they had their options written in both Spanish and English. They only had four entree options, and I settled on the arroz con pollo – simple ingredients and lighter for lunch, not much they could do to chicken and rice, right?
But before I get to the food, I have to tell you about the service. There were two patrons ahead of me, and I couldn’t help but listen in as the young woman in the cart explained the various dishes to the first gentleman. As his food was being prepared, she pointed out their three specialty sauces, explained their ingredients, the spiciness of each of them, the different peppers they were made from and encouraged him to try all of them before deciding. The next patron only spoke Spanish and I listened to the woman speak to her to her in perfect, beautiful Spanish explaining the dishes. I was excited I even understood her!!
When it was my turn to order, I too was greeted with a smile, ordered my food, paid $6 and waited less than two minutes before it was in my hand! The gentleman who ordered before me enjoyed the different sauces so much, he ended up putting all three on his dish! Silly me, I was so distracted and excited to try my food, I forgot to add any to my own! (next time I guess!) I met up with Stephanie (check out her Thai Riffic review), we found a spot on Bascom Hill and dove in.
I opened my to-go container and was a little bit disappointed with the chicken-to-rice ratio. There was just a small piece of chicken and a ton of rice… but also a large pile of colorful, seasoned and cooked vegetables (carrots, zucchini, broccoli, etc). After the first bite, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. I grabbed a little of each part of the dish – chicken, vegetable and rice – and WOW was I impressed with all the flavor that the single bite had. The vegetables were perfectly cooked, the rice had it’s own seasoning, and the chicken wasn’t at all dry. I ended up finishing it way to fast it was so yummy! It was the perfect amount of chicken to compliment the assortment of vegetables, though I did have quite a bit of rice leftover.
Can’t do much with chicken and rice? Wrong. Surco did it. After eating this dish, which I thought would be simple and a safe bet to try for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised and am anxious to taste their other dishes! (Side note: they use all natural, organic ingredients. Bonus!)
Deliciousness: 5/5 plates
Price: 3/5 plates
Speed: 4/5 plates
Authenticity/Originality: 4/5 plates
OVERALL: 4/5 plates