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Dining – Chicken war near Newark; City Restaurant Week

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Dining – Chicken war near Newark; City Restaurant Week
A chicken dish at Perchos
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A chicken dish at Perchos
A chicken dish at Perchos

A  chicken war is breaking  out on the outskirts of Newark.

It pits The Chicken House, which has  been around  for a number of years against an upstart, Peruchos. Both are in strip  centers of  Capitol Trail east of the city. Both  specialize in Peruvian chicken, pollo a la brasa,  a tasty dish that has become increasingly popular in the region.

The chicken comes with a blend of spices  cooked rotisserie-style over charcoal. It is not spicy. If you  want more of a kick, a couple of  sauces  are available. Accompanying the chicken  is a choice of french fries, rice or a salad. Skip the sauces, discard the skin, eat the salad and you have a healthy dish.

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Both spots are a good option for a quick business lunch. For about $6,  you can munch on a quarter chicken, rice and another side. A drink will only add another buck or so.

I have been to the Chicken House a number of times over the years and never been disappointed. Dining in is the best option, since the chicken comes out juicy and  hot. The fries are also much tastier minus the travel time. During a recent to Peruchos, I ordered a quarter-chicken and opted for rice rather than the fries and salad.  The mound of rice more than made up for the small quarter-chicken. The  spicier sauce that was served on the side was a delight.

The Chicken House offers a green and a yellow sauce. Both have a subtle kick and can be also used as salad dressing. Peruchos does offer a chicken to go option for those looking for quick carryout.

But Peruvian cuisine goes far beyond barbecue chicken.

A major influence on Peru are  Chinese immigrants.  The influences resulted in a fusion  of flavors  that feature stir fried rice and other options with chicken, pork and beef.

The blend of cultures has sent many foodies to Peru and led to  high-end restaurants offering tricked out versions of these dishes. One example in Philadelphia is Chifa, owned by Iron Chef Jose Garces, who is of  Ecuadorian descent. The Newark  establishments offer dishes with these influences, containing  rice, chicken, pork, beef, soy sauce  and even spaghetti.

For those wishing to try these dishes or have an inexpensive night out, The Chicken House features a larger menu and a  more comfortable dining area. It has a liquor license and even offers Peruvian wine and the national drink, The Pisco Sour.

Both offer friendly service and one wonders  about the two establishments being the equivalent of the four  gas stations on a street corner. But the 100,000 or so lucky souls who live within a short drive of either spot have a chance to get a fine  meal at a reasonable price.

Restaurant Week coming this month

After a host of charitable dining events, City  Restaurant Week will be held in Wilmington from April 22 to 27th.

The event follows the format of other restaurant weeks, with a $15 lunch and a $35 dinner at top dining spots like the Green Room at the Hotel duPont and Domaine Hudson.

The specials offer a bargain for diners and a challenge for restaurants. If not at the top of their game, negative reviews will pop up on Yelp, TripAdvisor and elsewhere. On the plus side, the event can also add to the list of regulars that keep a restaurant in business.  – Doug Rainey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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