Super Chicken. The name tells you just about everything you need to know about this local Peruvian-style eatery. They serve super chicken: charcoal broiled on a rotisserie, juicy, covered in spices, fatty in flavor – it requires more than a few napkins to get through, even for the daintiest of eaters.
There are typically a few of the chickens at the ready in a display case at the counter, awaiting an order. A quarter chicken, dark meat? Chop. A quarter chicken, white meat? Chop. A half chicken? A clean chop down the middle of the bronzed bird.
The sound of that cleaver hitting the cutting board, time and again, adds to the noisy bustle of the tiny Peruvian chicken spot. Diners form an assembly line starting at the cutting board, shuffling their cafeteria tray along the way. There’s the occasional “excuse me” as patrons navigate the narrow space between the line at the counter and the soda coolers with trays or bags of take-away eats. There’s the laugh track from the Spanish-language sitcom playing on a TV in the little dining space right inside the front door. And there’s the loud discussion of side dishes over the noise of the kitchen.
It’s tricky to navigate, but the rewards are great when you find a table and dig in. The presentation is frill-free – disposable plates, plastic forks that struggle to nab big pieces of chicken breast, styrofoam cups of side dishes – leaving the focus entirely on that beautiful bird.
The menu offers plenty of ways to combine chicken and sides to make a meal, from $7.59 for a quarter of a chicken (dark meat) and two sides and a soda, to a $38.49 family special boasting two whole chickens and a bevy of sides.
For $10.99, diners can get the ½ Chicken Platter, which offers a good amount of white and dark meat, but also three sides and a can of soda – the sweet Peruvian soft drink Inca Kola is in ample stock here. There are plenty of sides to choose from, served in big portions that make for a mighty platter for the cost. The beans have a nice smoky quality, in a sauce that’s thicker than soupy. The big chunks of fried yucca are crispy on the outside and soft and dense on the inside. The plantains are a sweet delight, cut thick and blackened at the edges (the proverbial and literal sweet spot of these soft fried treats). There’s white rice dotted with a few vegetables, but also fried rice with scrambled egg bits and shreds of the tender house chicken. Salad, French fries, tortillas, and coleslaw round out the available side dishes. And as though the chicken weren’t flavorful enough – and it really is – each order comes with little cups of sauce, one with a clean, bright heat and another to impart a tangy flavor.
Chicken isn’t all this eatery serves. On the menu are subs and burgers, and salads and desserts. There are also a handful of Peruvian specialty dishes served here, like the Lomo Saltado ($10.89). The dish offers strips of beef in a thin, salty sauce that drenches big slices of red onion and tomato and is soaked up by thick-cut French fries. But the reverberating chop at the cutting board confirms that chicken is the popular order here, and it’s deserving of the restaurant’s “super” name.
Super Chicken is located at 422 S. Washington St., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-538-5550. Restaurant hours are Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9:50 p.m. and Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.