Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: La Granja de Oro

It’s a diet I imagine could aid one in crossing the Andes, rejuvenating a body worn out by the low oxygen levels. The hearty Peruvian cuisine of La Granja de Oro brings that thought to mind, along with some powerfully tangy treats for the taste buds. rs

It’s a diet I imagine could aid one in crossing the Andes, rejuvenating a body worn out by the low oxygen levels. The hearty Peruvian cuisine of La Granja de Oro brings that thought to mind, along with some powerfully tangy treats for the taste buds.

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La Granja de Oro (Photo: News-Press)

La Granja’s dining space is large and open, accommodating plenty of guests for robust live music on Saturday evenings. On this particular Monday, the atmosphere was more subdued; there was a smattering of guests for a quiet dinner.

The menu requires some perusal – it proved nearly impossible to locate a vegetarian dish, that is, one more substantial than a house salad or La Granja’s salad bar. The salad bar seemed typical of an American style restaurant: you have a selection of cold pasta, beans, broccoli, some melon, and then some dressings.

Dinner began with a serving of warm dinner rolls served with butter and a vessel of delicious, hot green chili sauce. The sauce is addicting; all told, the sauce found itself on much of the evening’s meal as a perfect complement to the overwhelmingly starchy and meaty flavors of the entrees.

The Camarones al Ajillo ($14.95 lunch, $15.95 dinner) combined some sautéed, succulent shrimp with a zesty garlic butter sauce, and some broiled potatoes and rice on the side. The dish balancedthe filling potatoes and rice and the portion of plump shrimp. Again, the green chili lent a sizable boost to the dish’s flavors.

For meatarians, the options abound, particularly the pollo a la brasa, a rotisserie charcoal broiled chicken – ample portions of juicy, crispy chicken meat, with a side of the salad bar and French fries or yuca. The portions come in quarter ($5.95), half ($7.95) or a full chicken ($14.95). At dinnertime, tack on another dollar price-wise, but the servings are just as ample.

The presence of some form of potato – be it in fried or broiled form, cubed or sliced thin – is inescapable, unless some fried yuca accompanied the main dish. Yuca is another starchy tubular, albeit a slightly sweeter, crunchier cousin to the potato.

Diners can pair their entrees with one of La Granja’s libations, including Peruvian regulars such as Inca Cola, the Peruvian alternative to Coca-Cola (though, in a twist of irony, the American soda giant purchased Inca Cola). La Granja also offers an extensive array of juices; Chicha morada is a traditional juice, a pleasant citrus beverage made of purple maize, pineapple juice and other fruits.

Beer goes very well with the heaviness of the cuisine, so a selection of a Peruvian brew may be in order: the light-bodied Cusqueña or Pilsen Callao. La Granja’s deepest brew is a Mexican import, Negra Modelo, which jibed with the camarones al ajillo.

To close the meal, savor some traditional desserts such as the alfajores ($1.95), petite sweet layered biscuits, or Peru’s renowned picarones ($3.95), a donut-like confection of squash and sweet potato.

Come by on Friday or Saturday night when La Granja keeps doors open till 2 a.m. for the live music.

La Granja de Oro

2920 Annandale Rd., Falls Church

703-534-5511 • granjadeoro.com

Hours:

Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Friday & Saturday, 11 – 2 a.m.

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