Image: Carton of Goodness
Last Updated: October 2023
The heart of the menu at District Rico is pollo a la brasa, Peruvian-style chicken cooked on a rotisserie. It is so imbued with flavor that sauces are not necessary and may distract. Tim Carman provides this backstory on the chicken’s preparation in a 2022 review last year in the Post: “The chickens are dry-brined for 24 hours in the walk-in, with a seasoning mixture that includes fragrant amounts of sweet, earthy cumin. From there, the whole birds are skewered and placed into rotisserie ovens that smolder with natural wood charcoal, generating enough heat to cook the poultry in about an hour.” It is an insanely good bite of chicken with the seasoning found deep into the meat.
There are multiple sides to choose from and they are not restrained in servings. The cole slaw is creamy and rich. The yuca are dense with starch with rough edges amenable to dipping in sauce. Rice and beans, Brussels sprouts with carrots and a bit of a glaze, plantains, and other options are available. Other mains are also available, including lomo saltado (done a little soupy, but with thick steak fries that hold up) and various ways of using the chicken in other preparations: fried rice, burrito, salad, sandwich. Drink options are limited.
The family behind District Rico has been doing Peruvian chicken in the region since 1999, and the families roots in the business go back another generation to Peru. It is one of quirks of the larger metropolitan area that for a region so deep in certain cuisines, some are underrepresented within the actual district lines, Vietnamese and Korean being the most glaring. Peruvian chicken spots are another. District Rico bridges the divide. Lucky us.
Other Guidance: Both locations are located at street level with no steps. It is a meat focused spot, so GF can do well, but vegetarians will have slim pickings.
Cuisine: South American (Peruvian)
Washingtonian: No coverage