SAN ANTONIO — Eduardo Gil-Najarro and his wife Angela have been building a successful restaurant one Peruvian plate at a time.
"We always wanted to eat Peruvian food because it's so rich. So tasty,“ He said.
She brought the restaurant experience to the table. He brought tons of economic knowledge and a hankering for his native Peru to the table.
The 47-year-old restaurant owner has been in Texas since 2015. He has three masters’ degrees. In 2015, he and wife opened Brasa Chicken at 8523 Blanco Rd.
“The idea was to create something new here in San Antonio,” He said. “Something that we never had before.”
That something is Peruvian rotisserie chicken. It’s cooked with the heat of embers at a temperature of 150 degrees for an hour in an oven imported from Peru. Hence the name ‘Brasa’ which translates as ember.
Gil-Najarro said his chicken is marinade in 15 herbs and spices. He said one of those secret seasonings in the marinade is cinnamon.
The Peruvian rotisserie chicken is definitely the centerpiece of Brasa chicken’s menu but there’s more Peruvian food to eat.
Neighborhood Eats was provided a sampler from Brasa Chicken that took up two tables. Their fresh salad is pretty good sized. And, if you mess up salad you shouldn’t be a restaurant. Good thing Brasa can handle a lettuce leaf.
Next, the Lomo saltaldo especial. Neighborhood Eats had a stove-side view as the Peruvian stir fry was cooked. Sirloin steak cuts, onions, Peruvian soy sauce, ginger, rice and French fried which are cooked separately.
“Peruvian cuisine is a mix of different cultures,” Gil-Najarro said.
Clearly, the Lomo saltaldo had an Asian influence. So you are supposed to put the stir fry atop of the fries and mix the rice in. This is a tasty dish!
The Aji De Gallina leans more towards an Italian influence. In fact, this dish feels very Italian with its shredded chicken, creamy yellow pepper Peruvian sauce and Parmesan cheese topped with olives. It served over rice. Oh so good!
Neighborhood Eats should mention nearly every dish comes with two Peruvian sauces. The Huacatay sauce is cilantro and mint based sauce. They called it green sauce. Then, there’s the spicy rocoto sauce.
The signature house drink is a chichi morada. It is made from purple corn, pineapple, spices, and sugar. Yes, it is good!
There are also vegan options on the menu as well. Neighborhood Eats came for the Peruvian rotisserie chicken. ¡Qué Rico!
Dessert was pretty fantastic too with Tres Leches cake with caramel, pionono con Dulce de Leche (A caramel cake roll) and a chocolate cake with fudge.
Overall: Brasa Chicken is yummy and affordable. The slowly cooked chicken is juicy and seasoned just right. The other Peruvian dishes are truly a reflection of other cuisines with a Peruvian twist. I know how some grocery store dwellers love that chicken in plastic sitting under a heat lamp. For a few more dollars your taste buds will take flight with a quality bird.