La Granja de Oro

Written by on August 7, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(granjadeoro.com) – Falls Church, Virginia

How I heard of this place: The Washington Post‘s article “Top 40 Dishes Every Washingtonian Must Try“.

Type of cuisine: In this restaurant, you will find the most extensive and varied selection of Peruvian food, which encompasses a wide variety of meat, fish, seafood and grilled chicken, along with a vast salad bar that is included with meals, and other delights. A chief requirement of a restaurant’s success is good food at the hands of those who prepare it; La Granja de Oro counts on the vast expertise of five master chefs of Peruvian cuisine.”

Ambiance: Approximately 18 years ago, the exquisite and succulent taste of Peruvian food was introduced to the city of Falls Church, where it has remained and become a favorite among all who have savored it. With an entrepreneurial vision, proven experience in successfully running restaurants, and the hard work that characterizes him, Don Oscar took charge of La Granja de Oro . Together with his wife, they worked side by side with a singular goal-that of offering the best quality in service and attention to the demanding public that entrusted them. A dining experience at la Granja de Oro, not only means rewarding your palette with exquisite specialties of the house, but also indulging in an ensemble of details that set this restaurant apart, such as a cozy and impeccable atmosphere, good service and reasonably priced menu.” As we made our way beyond the neon palm trees in front of the neighboring Lebanese restaurant, and parked in the La Granja lot, we we were welcomed with charming Peruvian folk music, bold colors and a grand, unassuming space. Windows on all sides (not including the hidden kitchen), looking out onto the parking lot, were nearly unnoticable against the colorfully striped, traditional Peruvian fabric lining each glass-topped table. We made our way through the small foyer, beyond the beautifully painted moutainside mural along the right wall, past the long bar, and into the large, Christmas-light lit room. Circular plaques lined the space immediately below the ceiling, throughout. Tiled floors allow for ease of clean-up at the end of a wild night of dancing and music in this uber-family-friendly establishment. Groups of families and friends, even on a Tuesday night, flocked to La Granja de Oro, taking their seats near the instrument-laden stage, celebrating birthdays, family, friends and good food. Our little seating nook was perfect – a windowed escape, greenhouse-like, at the edge of the restaurant, separated by thick, wooden pillars and a matching half-wall. Television sets found around the space showed highlights from the London Olympics, as more patrons trickled through the doors to take their seats, ready to eat.

What I ordered: After three months of attempts at making it to Falls Churck to sample La Granja de Oro’s Saltado, we finally made it, and I wasn’t about to peruse the extensive menu in search of something else. Delighted by the hand-written (in pencil and black ink) index card at the front of the menu, listing daily specials, I immediately knew I would choose either the Lomo (beef) Soltado ($15.95) or the Pollo Soltado ($15.95) and decided on the latter.

Pollo Saltado

In our mini dining group of four, we had two orders for the Pollo Soltado (fresh, boneless chicken sauteed in olive oil, red onions, tomatoes, French fries and served with rice), one for the Lomo Soltado (beef prepared the same way)

Beef Soltado

and, Chris – the odd man out – selected the Rotisserie Charcoal Broiled Half Chicken Dinner ($8.95), served with fries.

Half Chicken

But, I get ahead of myself. To start, we wanted to sample a couple of the appetizers, one special of the day: Causa Rellena ($6.95), spiced mashed potatoes rolled into a ball, stuffed with a chicken salad, served over lettuce with a side of vinegar-based (dressing) marinated red onion rings, tomato wedges and a halved hard-boiled egg.

Chicken Stuffed Potato

The second, Palta a la Reina ($6.95) for the same chicken salad piled high into a ripe, half avocado.

Chicken Stuffed Avocado

Our meals each came with a dinner roll, to-die-for spicy green sauce and an all-you-can eat salad bar (with lettuce, cucumber, green bell pepper, cole slaw, blanched broccoli and cauliflower, shredded carrots, garbanzo beans, corn, beets, red onion rings, and three dresings: Thousand Island, Ranch, Blue Cheese).

Salad Buffet

We ended, as we are apt to do, with a selection of desserts, including the Tiramisu ($3.95),

Tiramisu

Arroz con Leche ($2.25) – with a taste of Christmas time –

Arroz con Leche

and Alfajores ($1.95) – a caramel stuffed shortbread sandwich.

Cookie Sandwich

One mug of decaf “American” coffee ($1.75) and we were set. Now…if only there were live music and dancing on a Tuesday night…

What I loved: The gooey fries in our Saltado! And the fresh, vibrant green peas.

Why I loved it: The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, a break from the typical American chain establishment found aplenty in Arlington, the staff are sweet and friendly, the food delicious and the music charming.

Cost: Low to average ($8.95-$15.95 per dinner entree)

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