Archive for the 'Latino' Category

El Nayar

6790 Business Parkway
Suite 102
Elkridge, MD 21075

Pros: Affordable prices, close to authentic cuisine

Cons: Not likely to be all that healthy for you

First, I need to thank for leading us to El Nayar. As someone who grew up primarily in California, I have often mourned that moving to the Baltimore/DC area has also meant the loss of good Mexican cuisine.  Trust me…my wife has urged us to try many a Mexican restaurant that has left me less than thrilled. I had pretty much given up on the idea of finding a place with good Mexican food and accepted the notion that while I’m here, I will merely have mediocre Mexican food at best. My wife never really gave up on the search, though and finally we may have found a restaurant that delivers on the cuisine that I have been longing for such a long time.

Of course, Mexican food that tastes good and authentic likely means that it is a lot less than healthy. El Nayar’s food hits your stomach like a brick, but such is the price for good-tasting Mexican. We enjoyed El Nayar’s Chile Rilleno and Fish Taco Platter. Part of what makes this food taste so good, is that it looks as if it’s someone’s grandmother back in the kitchen. And who is a better cook than Grandma?

UPDATE 19-Jul-2012: Unfortunately, it seems business has not been kind to El Nayar, and they are now closing their doors. Why is it that whenever I find some place that renews my faith in decent Mexican food in the DC/Baltimore area, it ends up closing?

Grille Chick’n Pollo

6470 Freetown Road
Columbia, MD 21044

Pros: Affordable, large portions

Cons: relatively small menu

There are a couple different Peruvian Chicken places around Columbia, MD, but this one is clearly our favorite. In case you don’t know what Peruvian Chicken is, think rotisserie chicken with a ton of different spices. De Chick’n Pollo is clearly a family-owned restaurant that not only offers Peruvian chicken dishes, but also a few pan-Asian plates.

De Chick’n Pollo allows you to order your chicken in terms of quarters…namely how much of the whole chicken you want. And the chicken explodes with flavor. It is also served with a range of different side dishes. Our favorites are the rice and beans and the fried plantains. Although rice and beans sounds like such a simple side, this restaurant does it exquisitely.

Another one of my personal favorites are the Thai Fusion Burritos. These dishes are probably 180 degrees from the Peruvian chicken, but are so intensely satisfying nonetheless. Back on the West Coast, I used to frequent places that tended to combine different countries’ cuisines into a wrap (or simply a large burrito). The Thai Fusion Burritos remind me of my old West Coast haunts. Be warned, as these are LARGE burritos.

Aside from these dishes, the restaurant has recently started instituting a daily specials menu that we have not yet gotten a chance to try, but if the rest of the dishes are any indication, they should also be more than satisfying.

UPDATE (4/15/2012): Sadly, Chick’n Pollo has closed its doors. Although there are plenty of places in the Baltimore/DC area to get some fine Peruvian Chicken, I will definitely be mourning the loss of the Thai Fusion Burritos. If any one knows of any places where I can get a comparable burrito, please let me know!

UPDATE (11/10/2013): Fortunately, the restaurant re-opened its doors quite a few months ago (with a very subtle name change from de Check’n Pollo to Grille Chick’n Pollo), and of course, my wife and I have resumed our regular dinings there!

August 2020