Sometimes restaurants in strip malls can surprise you, and this time around Don Churro Cafe in Chantilly, VA was really unexpectedly good. Kate and I solo-ed on this outing because we figured none of our friends would commute out to Chantilly for any reason– except to catch the last airplane from Dulles Airport during the zombie apocalypse. The 20 minute commute aside, Kate and I enjoyed the food, atmosphere, and friendly staff. The only unfortunate thing was we were only able to try two dishes and so did not get a full sampling of the diversity of cuisine in Ecuador.
We started our meal with some delicious cheese-filled arepas and an Incan cola. The arepas were amazing – especially with slices of perfectly ripened avocado. Arepas are traditionally from Venezuela and Columbia but are also eaten throughout the region. I am not a big cola drinker so the Incan cola to me was…eh. Additionally, Incan cola is from Peru but you can find it throughout Latin America.
I had the churaso which is a medium rare flank stake with a sunny side egg onto and roster plantains and salad on the side. It was delicious! I am not a big meat eater and can’t remember the last time I had a steak. Needless to say is was good tasting but also a little too much meat for me in one sitting. The plantains were also great. I am not sure if the egg adds much to the overall flavor, but it was kind of fun.
Kate went with the caldo de pollo, a very traditional Ecuadorian soup with a thick broth, vegetables, chicken, avocado, and cheese. The soup was definitely the winning dish of the night. It was so flavorful and rich you could almost die and go to heaven.
Of course we had to finish out meal with a churro – it’s in the name of the restaurant for heaven sakes! We shared a churro relleno dessert that included two churros – one stuffed with Nutella and the other with cajeta (goat milk caramel). They were amazing!