May 21, 2014

New in 2014. Peruvians moved to our area to be close to family after retirement. Unable to find any Peruvian restaurants in the entire state of Michigan, they drove to Chicago when they craved their favorite foods from their homeland. Now, they have blessed our corner of the state with El Inka a Peruvian Bistro in Kalamazoo. Nice comfortable space with native decorations on the walls. They had a rotisserie oven shipped from Peru so they could bring pollo a lo brasa to us. The whole chickens are marinated in Peruvian spices and cooked rotisserie style. This is now their signature dish. I had purple corn drink to start which was interesting. We tried aji de gallina which was a creamy yellow sauce over chicken and potatoes and topped with a slice of hard boiled egg. Also, try the ceviche which is raw fish marinated in citrus and chilis and is the most popular dish in Peru. We did try dessert as well which was rice pudding with a little cinnamon and warm fruit compote on top. Very good! I have never heard of most dishes offered here so this will be an adventure as we return to try many other dishes. They have applied for a license to sell alcohol in the future. Check out the guide for more details.

May 16, 2014

This place opened in 2013 in downtown Chelsea. The building for Smokehouse 52 BBQ is really neat with high tin ceilings, hardwood floors and exposed brick. It is the former location of a small grocery store. Inside this historic location is a true original BBQ joint offering real pit smoked BBQ like pulled pork, brisket, ribs, sausage, chicken and even pork chops. They offer a couple of unique soups like smoked chicken corn chowder or their chili made with their brisket. On the table are four different types of BBQ sauce. They offer a unique salad called the "piggy colada" which has pulled pork, pineapple, banana bread croutons and sliced almonds, then covered with house made coconut vinaigrette dressing! Since Chelsea is the home of "Jiffy Mix" the croutons and cornbread are all made from this local iconic company's mixes. Want more? Our grandson had the chicken and waffles. I tasted his fried chicken and would come back to make that my dinner. How about mac and cheese or even cajun mac and cheese? They do offer some fish like cedar plank salmon or bacon wrapped BBQ shrimp. They also have sandwiches and burgers. Kids menu and a bar round out this place for the whole family. Roomy and comfortable. Check out the guide for more details.