Chicken + Whiskey: Peruvian Chicken by the Columbia Mall

When you hear the name Chicken + Whiskey, you’re not really sure what to expect. Is it a fried chicken place? A bar that also serves wings? The “whiskey” in the name kind of throws you off.

If you had three guesses, would one of them been that it’s a Peruvian chicken restaurant?

One of our favorites fast casual places is Sardi’s Peruvian Chicken but the closest location is a solid 17 minutes away in Laurel. 17 minutes isn’t all that far but we rarely head in that direction, so we only get it a couple times a year.

We are near the Columbia Mall all the time (one of our favorites places is Akira Ramen!) so discovering a Peruvian chicken restaurant nearby was a nice surprise.

They opened back in the spring of 2022 but we’ve only made it over today, at the start of 2024. The restaurant is part of the Star Restaurant Group, which runs The Walrus Oyster and Ale House right next door. They have a DC location in Logan Circle and one in Navy Yard – Ballpark.

We have never been before and it’s a fast casual restaurant with a similar layout to a Chipotle. You walk up to the counter, order, and walk along as they make what you ordered. There isn’t much customization because you’re just picking sides, so in that way it’s not like Chipotle.

They say they have 99 incredible whiskies but we were there for lunch so I didn’t investigate that part of it. It’s a bit casual for a date night but if you’re looking for a fun spot to hang out, say before a movie, it would fit the bill.

I ordered a half chicken with two sides – the Arroz Chaufa and the Yuca Fries.

Despite its darker color, the chicken was juicy and tender. Perfectly cooked.

The arroz chaufa was great, not oily like some places can make it (especially when it’s made in large quantities). The yuca fries were good too, crispy and warm and not chalky.

My wife got the half chicken dark with two sides – Roasted Corn + Tomato and the Seasonal Vegetables.

Everything had spice to it (it’s a Peruvian chicken joint after all!) but my wife found the spice level of the seasonal vegetables to be a bit much. The corn + tomato side was OK, didn’t actually have any tomatoes in it (luck of the draw I think), but not her favorite. It’s roasted corn and might have dried out a bit.

For fun, we also got Carne Mechada Arepa:

I’ve never had an arepa and have only heard of it because it’s mentioned in Encanto. The “pocket” is made of a baked and toasted ground maize dough and it’s jammed packed with a ton of stuff. It was almost too much stuff but it was delicious. The arepa was fantastic, crispy on the outside and held up against all the stuff inside.

It’s a fast casual place with plenty of seating and one really nice touch is that there’s a small washing station next to the trash bins. It’s chicken so you’ll probably use your hands and it’s nice they have a little sink there for you to wash up.




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5 months ago

Hi! Nice to see you again! I was just thinking about this blog the other day. We have yet to visit Chicken + Whiskey, but we love Peruvian chicken. Will have to check it out. Thanks!

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