Let's give Sardi's Pollo a la Brasa credit.
For the first Philadelphia location, the Beltway-based Peruvian chicken quick-serve chose a storefront not 60 feet from the busy Boston Market on City Avenue, across from Bala Shopping Center (4510 City Ave., 215-307-3658).
Sardi's delivers a tasty, juicy chicken. It's marinated in such ingredients as olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and spices and then broiled over charcoal over a spit.
Peruvian chicken is a big deal in the D.C. area but only a minor specialty in these parts. (Barbacoa in Ardmore, Inka Wall in Upper Darby, and El Balconcito's locations in Olney and Rhawnhurt come to mind.)
Sardi's - the name is a contraction of the surname of cousins "Big Phil" Sardelis and Phil Sardelis Jr., who are partnered with Louis Yiallouros - has seven locations ringing D.C. in Maryland and Virginia, as well as a more upmarket Peruvian restaurant called Picca in Germantown, Md., the Greek restaurant Yia Yia's Kitchen in Beltsville, Md., and a catering division.
Yiallouros said a second Philly-area location will open in 2016 in a new building across from Tony Luke's on Oregon Avenue, off I-95, in South Philadelphia.
Though chicken is the calling card (and a whole bird a la carte is $12), the menu includes steak, ceviche, short ribs, and the Peruvian street-food dish called salchipapas - which here are sliced, pan-fried hot dogs mixed with fries and served with ketchup, mayo, and mustard. The owners' Greek heritage comes through in souvlaki and gyros.
Sides include a bevy of starches including fries, fried yuca, fried plantains, fried rice (arroz chaufa), and the curiously large-kerneled Peruvian corn. Wash it all down with a Fanta or Inca Kola.
Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, till 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.