Dining – Chicken Latino – Pittsburgh

Chicken Latino                                                                                                                      By:  Suz Pisano

Some things are simply worth venturing down a side street.  When you find yourself in the heart of the Strip District, 21st Street to be exact, take a stroll down to find authentic Peruvian Cuisine at Chicken Latino.  I’ve known about this little treasure for some time now, my son Josh worked there for a brief stint and I give him the credit for pointing out the succulent rotisserie chicken used to prepare most of the dishes.  Owner Shelbin Santos is proud to point out that Chicken Latino recently celebrated 5 years in her Strip District location.  Those of you who have eaten there- know how good the rotisserie chicken is, and on the weekends how the Ceviche or Peruvian Pork Roast can be seen at almost every table.

Nightwire recently had lunch with Shelbin to celebrate her success, dedication, and the hard work that it takes to maintain the quality of the slow cooked rotisserie chicken marinated every night in her signature Peruvian spices.  Appetizers include Plantains ($2.99) & Yuca Fries ($3.99) as well as Chips & Salsa ($2.99) & Jalapeño Poppers ($3.99).  The hands-down favorite is the Peruvian Style Rotisserie Chicken which is offered in quarters, halves or a even the whole chicken.  The prices are extremely reasonable, the menu easy to decipher and they even have aqua fresca!  Seasonal fruits made into the best slush with no additives.  The day we visited I had watermelon.  I seriously, have not been able to get it out of my mind.  We also had an Latino favorite, Inca Cola which for me was a new take on soda both in color & taste.  I definitely suggest sharing one to add to the authenticity of your meal.  It’s bright yellow & who wouldn’t be happy with a bright yellow exotic soda?  Count me in!

Feel free to eat the chicken with your hands, it’s definitely worth the bit of messy, but if you’d like to try the taste without getting your hands dirty- have the Quesadilla ($7.99) stuffed with rotisserie chicken, rice, black beans & cheese; or the Burrito ($3.99) much like the quesadilla but without the rice.  Vegetarian options are also offered.  Latino desserts include Sweet Spanish Rice Pudding ($3.50), Flan ($3.50), Tres Leches Cake ($4.50) or a side of Sweet Fried Plantains ($2.99).  We tried the Flan which I always enjoy; I can’t wait to go back for the Tres Leches cake!  And you will undoubtedly find plantains on my table, Chicken Latino’s are simply delicious!

Open every day- Sunday 11am to 5pm, Monday 11am-4pm, & Tuesday through Saturday 11am – 8pm.

Keep in mind- lunch is very busy (with a line out the door on most days), an alternative to fast food- this is fast good homemade food.  Give Chicken Latino a try for dinner instead of lunch & remember they close early.  Chicken Latino also provides their rotisserie chicken through their catering service but they only take one catering event per day.  Located at 155 21st Street in the heart of the Strip District- for full menu, specials & photos.

Congratulations Shelbin for providing delicious & authentic Peruvian cuisine to the burgh. Nightiwre wishes you continued success for many years to come!