Panka Peruvian opening second Iowa location near Drake
Mariela Maya, the owner of Panka Peruvian Restaurant along Ingersoll Ave., is opening her second location this October, "Panka Rotisserie Chicken."
Driving the news: Rotisserie chicken is so big in Peru, the country's signature dish, "pollo a la brasa," even has its own holiday.
- Maya wants to bring the juicy, crisp-skinned dish to Des Moines in a casual restaurant setting.
State of play: Panka's second location will open in the Drake neighborhood at 3018 Forest Ave., the former location of Fong's on Forest.
Details: The preparation is what makes this rotisserie chicken different from your grocery store variety. It's spiced with Peruvian yellow pepper and marinated for 24-48 hours.
- Maya then cooks it over charcoal in an oven she brought from Peru.
She also plans on serving "pan con chicharrón" — a pork belly sandwich with fried sweet potatoes and pickled onions, as well as "anticuchos" — a cow heart kabob.
- "People get a little afraid sometimes to try it, but it's really good," Maya said. "It's very tender."
The big picture: Maya opened Panka Peruvian Restaurant in Des Moines just one year before the pandemic hit and vowed, "never again in my life."
- But following the challenges —and successes — of her first restaurant, she said she's excited to broaden into another venture and show, "girls can do this too."
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