In the week that I lived in NoVA before my job started, I did almost as much gustatory exploring as I do now, I just wasn’t writing about it yet. One of my favorite discoveries in that week in early May was Pollos Inti in Sterling, which continues to serve only takeout. Though chicken is in the name, I’ve still yet to try any poultry at the restaurant. And I haven’t eaten my way through the vast menu of Peruvian and Salvadoran options, either. That’s because I fell in love at first bite with the yuca con chicharrón.
For $10 and change, the box of goodies feeds me for at least three meals. The centerpiece is crispy nuggets of tender pork. There are steak-fry-like wands of yuca, too, but when it comes to sides, I’m in it for the curtido. The cabbage and carrot slaw is just the way I like it, crunchy, tangy and dotted with jalapeños for a pleasant burn. Meals come with the sauces that accompany pollo a la brasa, so I dip my pork into the spicy aji verde for an extra kick.
But for Meaty Monday, I ordered something else, too, for the first time ever. I considered the Parillada Pollos Inti, which includes chicken, steak, a pork chop and sausage. But really, I was craving the comfort of tallarin verde.
I grew up in an area with lots of Peruvian restaurants, and I learned to love the Peruvian pesto pasta dish early. What sets it apart from Italian pesto? Evaporated milk, which gives it a creamy edge over the original in my mind. The steak that comes with it at Pollos Inti is thinner than I expected but it’s pounded out to a massive surface area, every part of it seasoned to perfection, though leaner areas were a bit dry.
This was evidence that I should try more of the menu at Pollos Inti, but I don’t think I’ll ever skip my beloved chicharrónes.// 47100 Community Plaza, Suite 122, Sterling
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