I was driving around for lunch and decided to give La Granja restaurant a quick review. They seem to be popping up all over South Florida recently and this one is located in Deerfield Beach on US1. I’ve been to a few other locations and they all look very similar inside – plastic molded seats with red and yellow colors with not a lot of décor going on. I also find the lighting to be a bit dim. Its’ not the most attractive place to dine, but this is food for when you are on the go for a reasonable price. I guess La Granja falls in the middle of fast food and ‘fast-causal’ food restaurant options. You order at the counter and they usually have your food ready by the time you finish paying and you take it to your seat…similar to Boston Market.
The menu is Peruvian based and you can get anything from rotisserie chicken to stir fry to pork, steak and seafood. It’s actually a large menu that will take some time to review if it’s your first time. The menu is posted with pictures next to the ordering area and behind the counter. I chose the ‘lunch special’ which is a quarter chicken (I chose white meat) with black beans and yellow rice. I added on two arepas (fried corn cakes with melted cheese in between) as well and a soda. The guy taking the orders and giving the food was really quick and very impressive, even at this busier lunch rush time. My chicken plate was done immediately and the drinks are given in cans and bottles (so no refills). He told me that he would let me know when the arepas were done.
I took my tray and got my silverware and passed by a small area with ‘sauces’. I’m not a fan of the sauces here as they seem to need a punch of flavor and appear to be mayo based so I just kept going. I took my seat and just as I started to dig in, my arepas were ready.
The arepas were heavy and I realized I should have just ordered one. They looked really good, golden and a little crunchy on the outside I started pulling pieces off to try. The outer portion was great. Hot and slightly crisp with some crispy cheese that had melted outside. As I got closer to the middle…it seemed like it wasn’t cooked evenly. These should be grilled, but I bet these were deep fried. The farther you got from the edges, the harder the corncake got and the more ‘dry’ it seemed. I picked up the piece I was eating and saw a pool of grease between them. Yep…deep fried. I probably wouldn’t order these again here.
The chicken was a nice sized portion for $4.99 (it’s their special lunch price). I tried the wing first and realized that I should have stuck to the dark meat. The wing was too overcooked and inedible. It was a small wing and probably no way to cook it evenly with the rest of the breast…but the breast was also very dry. The flavor was spot on, but just so dang dry. Now I realized why they had those sauces. I ate about ½ of the breast and gave up. I probably would try them again…but would get the dark meat next time. The rice was outstanding…not overcooked, fluffy and had nice flavor. The black beans were mostly liquid, but did have a lot of flavor as well and I enjoyed them a lot.
While the service was good and quick, I would probably try one of the meats or seafood on the next visit and on second thought, wouldn’t try the dark meat chicken. To me, this isn’t one of the best places in the area for Peruvian food, but I would try them again to see how their steaks are since the price point is reasonable. La Granja is located at 535 S Federal Hwy Deerfield Beach, FL.