There used to be this Italian restaurant in Gaithersburg that I would visit…maybe once a month.  This place was never really crowded and the food wasn’t bad for an all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta, soup and salad joint.  There’s a saying in Spanish I like to use to describe places like that, no era ni el mejor, ni el peor, it wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst.  Well, after many months of not going, I finally decided to drop by – only to find it was no longer there, it had closed.  Instead I found a nice sign that read “Coming Soon, Sardi’s, Pollo a la Brasa”, so I left wondering what this Sardi’s was all about.  Pollo a la brasa restaurantes are pretty common and very numerous in the DC Metro area, so how different could this place be?  What could set it apart from the others? So a few months later I drove by and they were open, I went in and this restaurant was packed – on a Wednesday evening, a rare feat for a pollo a la brasa place – and on a weeknight!  That Italian restaurant it had replaced never ever got traffic like that, not even on a Saturday!  I ordered a ¼ chicken with two sides, the arroz chaufa, a rice dish similar to Chinese fried rice, and the fried plantain.  After one bite of their charcoal broiled chicken and I knew why this place had so much traffic- this was surely the best Peruvian-style chicken I have ever tried, el mejor, and quite addictive actually.  The marinate they use is delicioso, and the chicken was tender and juicy. It should also be known that Sardis’ catering service was selected as the premier caterer for one of President Barack Obama’s inaugural balls, the People’s Ball, which took place at the Wilson Building in Washington, DC in 2008.  I can see why this restaurante was chosen, it’s muy delicioso!  Sardi’s also offers some traditional Peruvian dishes like lomo saltado, ceviche, and carne asada, all of which I eventually plan to try, once I can stop ordering the pollo.  Sardi’s mission, as stated on their website, is pretty simple, to provide excellent service, the finest quality of food, tasty products, large portions, and reasonable prices.  All of which I have experienced on each of my many trips to this restaurante, I consider myself lucky to have Sardi’s near my house. Sardi’s has two other locations aside from the Gaithersburg location, they have one in Beltsville/College Park, MD and another in Frederick, MD.  But even if you don’t live near any of these locations, it’s worth the trip, trust me – you won’t regret it.

Visit Sardi’s Charcoal Broiled Chicken at 3 convenient locations in Beltsville, Gaithersburg, and Frederick MD.  For more details  including menu, pictures, and directions check out Sardi’s profile on

You can also find other pollo a la brasa places and latin restaurantes in the DC Metro on