Walking into Che Inka Chicken Grill invokes a strong feeling of déjà vu. The decorations seem somewhat familiar, as does the strangely happy chicken mascot—even the menu itself has some favorites. As it happens, the feeling is justified as it’s a third-generation Peruvian restaurant. The first incarnation was Inka Si Señor on Maryland Parkway; the second was the similarly named Inka Restaurant on Buffalo. While we lamented those losses the first two times, we’re glad to see that Inka is back.
A favorite Peruvian dish of mine is aji de gallina ($10), and Che’s does not disappoint. Aji is a Peruvian pepper, which imparts a yellowish tinge to a creamy chicken-filled sauce but doesn’t make the dish particularly spicy. It’s best supplemented by the array of hot sauces brought to your table.
- Che Inka Chicken Grill
- 845 S. Rainbow Blvd., 731-0826.
- Daily, 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Window decals proudly exclaim “Whole Chicken!,” but you most certainly won’t need a whole one; the quarter rotisserie chicken that comes in the arroz con pollo ($11) is more than enough for a meal. The chicken’s skin is plenty crisp and coated in a medley of spices, while the cilantro rice accompanying the fowl is a meal unto itself. I typically shy away from restaurant chicken, but Che’s is a moist presentation not to be missed.
A twist at Che Inka that I don’t seem to remember from the previous incarnations is the selection of Argentinean specialties. The empanadas Argentinas ($2 each) are a tasty rendition of the deep-fried puff pastry found in worldwide cuisines—I particularly suggest the ham and cheese version. If you’re looking for an Argentinean sandwich, I’d suggest skipping over the pedestrian milanesa de pollo ($8)—lightly fried chicken breast—for either the choripan ($7)—Argentinean sausage with a vibrant chimmichurri sauce—or the barros luco ($10)—a thin filet smothered in melted mozzarella. Neither disappoint.
There are a number of interesting ethnic drinks available at Che Inka, including chicha morada ($2.50)—a sweet soft drink derived from purple corn with hints of cinnamon and pineapple—and Inka Cola ($2.50)—a vibrant yellow, bubble-gummy (yeah, it really is) cola that’s worth trying at least once. Trust me, the chicken would want you to.