Cary, N.C. — Seasoned, fall-off-the-bone roasted chicken, sweet, crispy plantains and other tempting delights await at Marco Pollo, a new Peruvian restaurant in Cary.
The cozy space looks like an ordinary stop-in restaurant in a strip mall on Lake Pine Drive, near Apex, but inside, Marco Pollo co-owners André and Jorge are confident that they serve the tastiest, most authentic Peruvian chicken in the area.
The chicken, which marinates for 24 hours before it is slow roasted in a 500 degree oven, is a staple in Peru. "This is a very simple concept," said André, who practiced as a lawyer in Peru for years before moving to the United States to pursue his passion for cooking.
"In Peru, the rotisserie chicken, or pollo a la brasa, is extremely popular. There is a restaurant every two blocks, and the people love it."
The chicken at Marco Pollo is seasoned with at least 14 different spices, including cumin, garlic, pepper, salt and several Peruvian spices that make the flavor very specific.
According to André, it's the cooking process that makes the chicken so moist and delicious.
"The oven seals the skin so all the flavors and aromas get trapped inside the chicken," he said. "The fat drains down, but the flavor remains."
Both men moved to the United States from Peru years ago, but they didn't meet until they worked together in the hotel and restaurant industry. Their passions for quality cuisine, management and authentic Peruvian dishes were a perfect match, and Marco Pollo became a reality.
"We are very particular with our product," said André. "In order to get the best oven, we had to look everywhere. The oven in Marco Pollo actually comes from Canada. We had to bring it all the way to Cary to get the authentic, quality product we wanted."
Although rotisserie chicken is the star of the menu, the sides are also not to be missed -- options include yucca fries, sautéed vegetables, black beans, seasoned rice, fried plantains and more. Customers can enjoy chicken by the platter or on Marco Pollo's salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Marco Pollo can be both a quick lunch spot or a sit-down dining experience in the colorful restaurant or on the patio. André and Jorge said it's word of mouth that has brought them success.
"Once the people taste the food, they get it," said André.