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Inka Heritage

In a word: Idinnerod Once you've actually gotten your order, it's great.

The specs: #0263
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at the Other Side of the Ocean, Yelp, Isthmus, Chilimuffin's, Fearful Symmetries, the Culinary Adventures of Jahboh & Tossy, Cap Times, Empty Nest Expat, Ruppert Food Blog, Eating the World, Favorite Places to Eat in Madison, official web site, Inka Heritage on Urbanspoon

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JM ate the pollo saltado with a Mountain Dew.
Jim ate the aji de pollo with a Pepsi.
Kyle ate the pescado a lo macho with a chicha morada.
Monnie ate the lomito Inka Heritage.
Nichole ate the arroz chaufa de camarrones with a chicha morada.
The bill was about $80, or $16/person, plus tip.
Jim gave Inka Heritage an A; JM, Kyle and Monnie gave Inka Heritage an A-; Nichole gave Inka Heritage a B+ (see our grading rubric).

So this is chicha morada, made from purple corn and pineapple:

Chicha morada

...and almost everyone at Inka Heritage was drinking it. It was served cool, which is not to say cold. It was thinner and less creamy than expected (a good thing). The cinnamon and cloves were an interesting contrast to the fruity lime and pineapple, and the sweet corn base was not unfamiliar to anyone who's ever had a soft drink. It left Nichole and Kyle looking like they'd just picked up some lipstick at Hot Topic.

It can't go without mentioning that the service is still in need of practice, and it hurts a little to pay $2 for a can of soda and a glass of ice, but we won't belabor that and will instead go on to the food.

Lomito Inka HeritageMonnie's lomito Inka Heritage was described as a popular Peruvian dish. Its meat, egg, rice and beans certainly provided a whole day's worth of protein. Each element was good in itself, and fit together in an interesting way.

Pollo saltado

The chicken in JM's pollo saltado had a rich, smoky quality to it that was complemented by the onion and tomato. However, the dish could have used another vegetable to add a little moisture to the meat. Coming from JM, that says a lot.  Speaking of dampness, the fries which were somewhere between all right and Ore*Ida, got soaked by the end of the meal.  But it was quite, quite good.

Aji de Pollo

Jim's aji de pollo was a bit lacking on the pollo but he still couldn't complain: it was excellent.

Pescado a lo Macho

Kyle was also pretty happy with the pescado a lo macho, a seafood dish in which the Japanese influence on Peruvian food was clear. The seafood was all done quite well, from the lightly fried fish on up through the shrimp, calamari, mussels and crab. The white wine sauce was buttery but mild, and could have been better.

Arroz chaufa de camarrones

Nichole wished she'd done more homework when she realized that she'd basically ordered shrimp fried rice. The arroz chaufa was pretty much exactly that, done well, natch, but not worth getting again when there are more unique things on offer. Including several menu items cryptically listed as "aphrodisiac" that she was too shy to ask about, let alone try.

Dinner ended most appropriately with Andes* mints all around.

We hope Inka Heritage finds its service feet, because overall the dishes they offer are an asset to the Madison dining scene.

*'Cause the Andes are in Peru!

Comments

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Any real vegetarian options on the menu? As in more than just one or two dishes they can "make" vegetarian? I've heard that "Red and White" in Sun Prairie is pretty good, so hurry up and get to the R's so we can have a comparison. ;-)

Inka Heritage has a website that just recently expanded from a very slim "under construction" one-sheet. There's still no detailed info, but it looks like they've got a good web designer. It's kind of a fun page.

I seem to recall a section of vegetarian dishes on the menu, but without a menu in front of me, I can't be sure.

I'm really glad I got to tag along on this one! It was fun.

I went a while ago and was hoping the service had improved. Another annoying thing was the acoustics of the place. When I was there, I could hear everything in the whole dining room. They need to put some tapestries on the wall or something.

There are chifas (Chinese restaurants) all over the Andes. I spent some time in Ecuador and there was a chifa on almost every block. Chinese food is very popular there. It's interesting that they chose to include a dish on the menu.

Kyle, thanks for the link to their web site! Added to the specs.

I'm glad that you've covered Inka Heritage. I agree -- I think it's a great addition to Madison. Looking at Park St., I think if you had a really hungry group of fellow chowhounds, you could get snacks at Taqueria Guadalajara/Morelos, a full meal and fun drinks at Inka, and ice cream at the Chocolate Shoppe. You'd have to haul your belly home in a wheelbarrow, but wouldn't it be worth it? :)

Thanks for the link to the website, but there's not a menu available yet. Do they have Cuy (guinea pig)? Perhaps that's too unusual... my husband and I just returned from Peru and he was all set to eat that classic dish but his bowels wouldn't cooperate. I'm a vegetarian and had to eat mainly veggie tacu tacu and chaufas; in a few places they had incredible quinoa dishes, and I'm hoping they serve it here. I also hope they have pisco sours -- we certainly missed those!

No, no cuy. Way too small of a market to pull that off.

Just went here the other night for the first time -- service was attentive and great, server walked us through her faves on the menu. Meals were delicious, will definitely go back.

The website has vanished like a certain South American empire.

Website: http://inkaheritagerestaurant.com/principal.php

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