what: Chaufa de Pollo
where: Locos 4 Chicken, 2361-A Augusta Hwy., Lexington
hours: Tue-Sat noon-8 p.m.; Sun noon-3 p.m.
Lexington now has a little bit of Lima in its diet with the opening of Locos 4 Chicken. This Peruvian rotisserie palace of pollo slow-roasts birds over a wood charcoal open flame, giving the meat a ton of flavor.
I was stoked when I heard this joint was coming to town because I’ve been getting my charcoal oven chicken fix on road trips to Charlotte at Viva Chicken, a chain launched in the Queen City that now has 10 locations nationwide.
To experience pure poultry perfection, order a quarter- or a half-chicken. But sometimes just a taste is all you’re hankering for, and Chaufa de Pollo, the Peruvian take on Chinese fried rice, fits that bill. Hunks of delectable shredded chicken are complimented by diced sweet red peppers, green onions and scrambled eggs; you’ll also detect subtle notes of soy sauce flavoring the rice in each forkful. The dish is also commonly known as Arroz Chaufa.
Much of Peruvian fare is cross-cultural, with a multitude of international influences stirring its culinary pot. In addition to Chinese traditions, cooking inspirations are also derived from Spanish, Japanese, Italian and West African cuisines.
Other menu items on my “try next” list include aguadito soup, a hearty soul-warming broth brimming with rice, veggies and potatoes; the spicy cream chicken filled empanadas; and the tres leches sponge cake.