When you call the Peruvian-inspired Chévere Pollo A La Brasa in Freeport, which opened in early January, the phone will be answered in Spanish.
The language, much like the food, is a source of identity for owner Johanny Borbon, a first-generation Latina, who grew up eating most of her restaurant’s menu items.
“I fight with my kids in both English and Spanish,” Borbon laughs. “The fact that they are bilingual is very important to me.”
For her, it’s a subtle way of embracing her roots in hopes that her employees follow suit. (English-speaking customers will have no trouble; most employees are bilingual.)
Chévere Pollo a la Brasa takes over the vacant storefront that used to be Chévere Modern Latin Kitchen, the ambitious Dominican / pan-Latin restaurant that closed last year.
Borbon’s parents own two Millennium Chicken restaurants in Nassau (Elmont and Valley Stream) and, Chévere’s menu does not stray far from the fold: crispy whole rotisserie chicken with black beans and rice; bold ceviches that highlight Latin American flavors with flair; succulent mixes of fried seafood and calamari; and bistec encebollado, steak topped with onions and tomatoes; priced from $14 to $23.
The dishes speak for themselves.
Chevere Pollos A La Brasa, 77 W. Merrick Rd., 516-543-4450