It’s hard to drive by Mami Nora’s without doing a double take. This authentic Peruvian restaurant definitely makes a statement sitting on Wake Forest Road painted in bright yellow and red. I wanted to take my two CouchSurfers on a foodie adventure this weekend so we decided to try Mami Nora’s Peruvian style rotisserie chicken.

Ranbir, the owner of Mami Nora’s, let me take a peek inside the kitchen and explained that Peruvian chicken is marinated for 24 hours in a traditional 12-ingredient marinade. Ranbir is especially proud of the oven from Lima, Peru, where the chicken slowly roasts for about two hours over imported wooden charcoal. You’re immediately transplanted to the streets of Lima as soon as you walk into Mami Nora’s, the pleasant aroma of roasted chicken fills the restaurant.

We ordered a whole chicken combo, which comes with your choice of two traditional South American sides. We chose the yucca fries and fried green plantains. We also ordered sides of rice, black beans, and sweet plantains. Mami Nora’s menu is accommodating to parties of all sizes and I definitely liked the family-style option of ordering a whole chicken. While waiting on the food, I sipped on a glass of iced, creamy horchata with a wonderful cinnamon flavor. Once we heard our order number called it was time to chow down on the massive amount of food!

The rotisserie chicken is seriously unforgettable; it’s so tender that it falls off the bone and has an excellent smoky, charcoal flavor. Just thinking about the succulent chicken seasoned with the perfect combination of spices is making my mouth water! I didn’t even bother using sauces; the chicken is so good it can stand alone. The black beans were hardy and I enjoyed eating them served over a bed of fluffy white rice. I also liked the slight sweet taste, crisp outside and firm texture of the yucca fries. Yucca is a South American vegetable, which resembles the potato once peeled and cooked. My favorite savory side of all were the tostones, fried green plantains. I loved the crunch factor of these twice-fried plantain patties seasoned with a pinch of salt.

The best side dish of all was the planto maduros, sweet plantains. These warm, plantains were perfectly caramelized with crispy edges. I keep on dreaming about the sweet plantains from Mami Nora’s, I need more of these in my life. You have to try them!

To end the meal on an even sweeter note, I tried the alfajor. Alfajor is a buttery, light cookie made with goat milk. Between the two round cookies is a sweet, caramel filling. The cookie is dusted with powered sugar, which I proceeded to get all over the table after taking my first bite. Even though the cookie was messy, it was still delicious.

Mami Nora’s should start a rotisserie chicken eating contest because I’m sure I could win. Go taste the Peruvian chicken and you’ll see why it’s hard to stop eating! I hope you pay Mami Nora’s a visit soon.

Written by local Foodie, Kristen.