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Washington DC & Baltimore Wheaton

El Plugarcito: Elkins south of University in Wheaton

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El Plugarcito: Elkins south of University in Wheaton

deangold | Sep 26, 2009 08:29 PM

When walking to my car after my last meal at the outstanding New Kam Fong, I spotted El Plugarcito which I have never noticed before. I recall reading about it on the board and decided to check out the menu which was posted in the window. The owner spied me and came out to talk, telling me that the real specialty of the house was the Peruvian cooking. He also mentioned it got noisy on Saturdays with Karaoke.

Tonight on my way home, I was planning to go to NKF again but a drive past El Plugarcity showed it to be only half full and with a happy glow. I walked in and was greeted by a customer who had possibly tippled one or 6 too many miller lights. Another was singing Karaoke. The first waitress could not decipher my request for Peruvian beer and the second steered me to Cuzataco or something like that. Very nice, malty with a slight hop finish. Reminded me of Michelob back when it was a semi real beer with semi real flavors.

I ordered a Peruvian chicken tamale and Lomo Saltado. The tamale was moist and a little mushy but the good kind of mushy, with huge flavorful chunks of chicken. The Lomo was very homey with red and white onions cut in largish slivers pan fried with tomatoes that had a fair degree of tomato flavor and long shreds of beef, with a huge order of french fries tossed into the mix. I came with a totally unnecessary inverted bowl of rice.. It was good as if a friends Peruvian mom slapped it together for you!

$25 including a 20% tip plus many warm smiles from the entirely male, entirely having had a little too much beer crowd who will probably be there singing next week and in the same condition. I may be back to try the Cevice, the Parillada (sausage, steak & shrimp) and maybe a Pupusa or two (the owner is Salvadoran and the restaurant was a stereo typical DC Mexican place when he bought it). The Peruvian chef has been around about three years and "is doing very good!"

Yes indeed, very good!

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