Hometown Eats: Inka Grill in Roanoke

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 9:43 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Inka Grill is one of the only Peruvian restaurants in our hometowns and has one right in the heart of downtown Roanoke.

This was WDBJ7′s Katey Roshetko’s first time ever trying Peruvian food and she had no idea what to expect.

“I would describe it as an infusion of Mediterranean, France, Italy and even Japan,” waitress Vicky Galvez said.

Dishes and flavors from around the world give Peru a unique culinary palate.

“There’s a lot to try that people might actually like,” she said.

As the head waitress, she took Roshekto inside the kitchen where co-owner and chef Eddy Moreno was getting ready to make some exquisite appetizers.

“Ready for show time?!” Moreno said.

“We’re going to be making ceviche,” Galvez said.

This combined ceviche takes fish and raw seafood and turns into a delicious cold broth with lots of lime.

“Actually the lime cooks the fish,” she explained as Roshetko took a bite.

“It’s very limey,” Roshetko said. “But it’s still very fresh.”

Along with the ceviche, Chef made a fried seafood medley called Jalea de Mariscos. It comes with a homemade tartar sauce, perfect for dipping.

“I think you can taste better with fingers,” Galvez laughed.

Roshetko dipped a piece of fried seafood into the tarter sauce and put in her mouth.

“I don’t know what I just ate, but it was good!” Roshetko said.

“That’s actually squid,” Galvez said.

“Oh! I’ve never had squid before!” Roshetko laughed. “I’m so glad you told me after I ate it.”

But squid wasn’t Roshetko’s only first at Inka Grill. She also tried yellow potatoes and and fully shelled shrimp.

Fried shrimp on a bed of yellow potatoes.
Fried shrimp on a bed of yellow potatoes.(WDBJ7)

“That is different,” Galvez said after Roshetko tried some of the potatoes.

“But different good,” Roshetko clarified and then tried the shrimp. “That’s really good. So you know what tempora shrimp tastes like, but you’ve never had it with this sauce which makes it unique.”

Now that I’d sampled the shrimp causa, it was time for an entree - Bistec a lo Pobre.

Chef fires up the grill and puts on a marinated steak. Then works on the taku taku. It’s a combination of rice and beans which are staples in Peru and served with a fried egg on top. Now if you haven’t noticed, besides delicious food, presentation is everything at Inka Grill.

Chef Eddy Moreno shows off a delicious entree with steak, taku taku with an egg on top and...
Chef Eddy Moreno shows off a delicious entree with steak, taku taku with an egg on top and fried plantains.(WDBJ7)

“That’s so Instagrammable,” Roshetko said as chef finished plating the entree.

Chef makes sure every dish looks as good as it tastes.

“Cut a big fat piece off,” Roshetko said as she dove into the steak. “Oh my goodness that is perfectly seared. // Wow!”

“It’s the flavor, I know,” Galvez agreed.

Flavor is definitely king and there’s nothing on this menu Roshetko wouldn’t order again.

“I’ve never really met anyone who lives here that doesn’t like Peruvian food so I would say just come here and try it for yourself,” Galvez said.

Not only is there there a location in downtown Roanoke, but just a few months ago they also opened a second location off of Brambleton

And in August, they’re opening a place in Charlottesville.

Galvez said you can really learn a lot about a culture through its food and encourages everyone to try Peruvian food at Inka Grill.

“I think it’s really important to focus on trying different things when it comes to food, but also to pay attention to whatever comes into the actual food, however it’s made, and the people from over there as well.”

To look at the menu, click here.

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