ATLReview

photo credit: Amy Sinclair

Tio Lucho’s image
8.1

Tio Lucho’s

PeruvianSeafood

Poncey-Highland

$$$$Perfect For:Outdoor/Patio SituationCasual Weeknight DinnerDate NightBirthdaysLunch
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Never underestimate the power of a sandwich to open doors. In this case, the heavy glass doors of Tio Lucho’s, which started as a tiny pop-up serving a single hit item, the Pollo Anticuchero Sanguche. The popularity of that juicy chicken thigh sandwich led to this first brick-and-mortar location in Poncey Highland, and it’s now served up alongside brilliant takes on Peruvian classics and other tasty regional dishes we never knew we needed. 

When you walk into Tio Lucho’s, take heed of the giant, colorful mural that says “En Atlanta Come Se Rico” (Atlanta eats rich). With Atlanta’s ever-evolving food scene that statement seems spot on, but it’s especially true at Tio Lucho’s, where the flavors are as bold as the vibrant setting. If you’re there during the day, when natural light streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows, the obsessive house plant enthusiast in you will appreciate the greenery that sits atop or drapes over every conceivable surface. It’s possible that the harmonious interior, complete with wooden panels on the ceiling that mimic ocean waves, will leave you in a relaxed state of zen that you’ve only ever heard about from your yogi ex. 

Tio Lucho’s image

photo credit: Amy Sinclair

We aren’t the only ones who love the colorful, casual space as there’s always a crowd inside—everyone from suits grabbing lunch to multigen groups intensely bickering over what to order based on which dishes will be the most photogenic to share for a Sunday brunch post. You’ll feel at home here, as if you actually were lucky enough to have an uncle named Lucho, and he was cooking up a bomb-ass meal after a day at the beach. 

Since the menu is inspired by the chef’s childhood in coastal Peru, you’ll tear into full-flavor seafood-based dishes like Tiradito, Pulpo Anticuchero, and ceviche. And if you get caught up in the moment, you might even feel a sea breeze on your face. The seafood isn’t the only standout (we’re talking about you, juicy Pork Belly Majada De Yuca) as every meal should be capped off with the stickiest, sweetest picarones we’ve had lately. Then, of course, there’s the sandwich that started it all. For a quick lunch, order the still-outstanding Pollo Anticuchero Sanguche, and say thanks for bringing a bit of Peru to the A. 

Food Rundown

Tio Lucho’s image

photo credit: Amy Sinclair

Lomo Saltado

This is our favorite thing on the menu. By far. Tender chunks of beef sit atop fries and onions, which helps to balance out the saltiness of the beefy brown sauce.
Tio Lucho’s image

photo credit: Amy Sinclair

Ceviche de Pescado

A staple of Peruvian cuisine, the ceviche de pescado is one of our favorite ways to eat raw fish. Doused in citrus juices and served with chunks of sweet potato, you won’t find anything fresher unless you take a trip to the coast (or maybe just across the street to Fishmonger).
Tio Lucho’s image

photo credit: Amy Sinclair

Pisco Sour

When eating Peruvian, why would you not order a pisco sour? The small goblet comes topped with a foam (yes, made with actual egg white) in the colors of the Peruvian flag, which is a fun aesthetic. But it also happens to be deliciously tart.
Tio Lucho’s image

photo credit: Brittany Hinson

Jalea

Celebrating coastal Peruvian cuisine, there are plenty of seafood dishes to pull you, but these lightly battered fish and shrimp bites stand out from the pack. The charred sweet potatoes and thinly sliced onions soaked in lime juice add flavors and textures to a simple entree item that we'd normally write off as a fried seafood platter.
Tio Lucho’s image

photo credit: Brittany Hinson

Crab Hushpuppies

We hear you. Hushpuppies are decidedly not Peruvian. In case you think it's some sort of Southern sin to put fish in the normally meatless fried dough balls, may these puppies absolve the kitchen of their transgressions. The creamy crab on the inside mixes so well with the perfectly crunchy outside, it makes us wish that all hushpuppies came with a hearty interior packed with protein. Take it to the next level and utilize the pepper jelly and salsa tartar sauce to give them an extra kick of flavor.
Tio Lucho’s image

photo credit: Brittany Hinson

Pork Belly Majado De Yuca

Fully embracing our generational privileges, we tend to avoid tough situations like driving manual cars and eating improperly cooked pork belly. But the only tough thing about this dish is whether to share it with your table or scarf it all down yourself. The chunky mash of yuca is infused with juices from the perfectly-cooked meat (which sits on top), giving it bonus flavors that we loved. Shaved plantains and corn nuts add a crunch if mushy foods freak you out.
Tio Lucho’s image

photo credit: Brittany Hinson

Causas

We love a good carb, especially when it’s a yukon potato whipped into a frenzy. But you’re dead wrong if you're thinking mashed potatoes. It reminds us of a creamy egg salad, but there are no eggs in the dish (except maybe in the creamy, spicy sauce that resembled a Hollandaise). The causas is served cold and topped with your choice of chicken, tuna, or veggies.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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