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El Pulgarcito del Callao, Wheaton


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(301) 942-5395

11335 Elkin St

Wheaton, MD 20902

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. There are photos of the chef's best on the wall of the entry vestibule. 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 Plugarcito 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!I could sit and down about a dozen of the tamales. I could barely finish the carb filled Lomo.

$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!

And while the Karaoke was a little loud, it was quieter than being in the parking lot of Irene's when they ahve their music cranked up to the painful levels of a typical Friday or Saturday night.

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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.

You may be talking about Cusqueña, a malty lager that I've become fond of at La Canela (click), despite it's relationship to MillerCoors. I would love to find some well-stored versions of this to purchase for home consumption.

Cheers, Dean, and thanks for the report,

Don

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You may be talking about Cusqueña, a malty lager that I've become fond of at La Canela (click), despite it's relationship to MillerCoors. I would love to find some well-stored versions of this to purchase for home consumption.

Cheers, Dean, and thanks for the report,

Don

I think that was it. After two bottles of it on a night where I was very tired, I just know that it was in a bottle and good.
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2 beers, a massive plate of good grilled meat, chorizo & shrimp, good rice of the kitchen dinner variety (rice boiled with frozen veggies & goya seasoning) and ungodly good beans, along with two damn good papusas is not only coma inducing, but cheaper than a parking ticket from forgetting to feed the meter. Nothing world beating here, just good grub served by nice folk. Must sleep!

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