Dirt Cheap Eats 2008: Chicken Rey Cafe

Chicken Rey Cafe (11238 Georgia Ave., Wheaton; 301-933-8989). A menu full of Peruvian specialties—ceviche ($10.95), skewered cow hearts ($6.95)—is a promising chance to try this South American cuisine. On two visits, the three-month-old 12-seater was out of almost everything—a shortcoming we forgave as soon as we tried the rotisserie chicken. A mixture of cinnamon, cumin, and nutmeg balanced by red and white vinegars permeated the meat and glazed the crispy skin.

A quarter bird ($5.25) is a satisfying meal for one with its two free sides: We recommend the thick French fries, black beans, and fried plantains. Alfajores ($1.75)—two crumbly cookies sandwiching a schmear of dulce de leche—are a sweet end to the meal. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.