Round Rock restaurant serving Peruvian dishes with a healthy twist
Quinoa Grill owner Christian Mariategui brought inspiration from his home, Peru, to his Round Rock restaurant. nnSteak Anticuchos ($14.99)nThis classic Peruvian dish features three skewers of marinated steak served with corn, Yukon gold potatoes and aji rocoto.
“I was sure that the people who live around here would appreciate having something different,” Mariategui said.
Mariategui said he attended culinary school in Peru and then cooked in a variety of hotels. He went on to travel to several countries and learned to cook an assortment of dishes, but he always had Peruvian cuisine on his mind.
Mariategui said he made quinoa the namesake and a staple ingredient of the restaurant because the grain originated in the Peruvian Andes between Peru and Bolivia. The area is the only natural source of quinoa, Mariategui said, although it is now grown in other places.
One of the vegetarian items on Mariategui’s menu—the quinoa burger—is made from his mother’s recipe and uses quinoa in place of a hamburger patty.
The southeast Round Rock restaurant serves not only Peruvian dishes, but recipes inspired by South American cuisine as well. One such dish—tequenos—is popular in Venezuela, but is made with an original twist in the Quinoa Grill kitchen. The appetizer features queso fresco and oregano inside of a fried wonton and is served with a side of avocado ranch.
“We don’t prepare anything in advance, so when you order something, we make it just for you. We don’t buy anything frozen because nobody makes what we are making,” Mariategui said. “It’s something new that we are bringing to the game.”
The menu also features more contemporary items, such as the quinoa bowl, which includes steamed quinoa, jasmine rice, red onions and red bell peppers served with a side of homemade red bell pepper aioli.
Mariategui said the menu and atmosphere at Quinoa Grill offers locals a dining experience that is unique to the area.
“We want everybody to come and have a good time around the table, because that’s what we do in Peru,” Mariategui said. “That’s really important.”
2051 Gattis School Road, Ste. 630, Round Rock
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.