Sunday, August 30, 2015

Peru: Mercado San Camilo

Fortunately, AG was much recovered by our second day in Arequipa, so we all went out to explore.  The real touristy thing to do was probably to do a day trip to Colca Canyon, but food was a higher priority for us, so that's what we did instead.

We dropped by Mercado San Camilo first because we can't seem to get enough of markets whenever we travel:


















But how could anyone?  Especially when there's so much to see:


















Fruit in foreign countries are always interesting to me.  Probably because they're usually much better than the apples and bananas that we typically find in the States.  Like this, for example:


















Most of the fruit vendors wanted us to buy by the kilo.  Luckily, we found one nice man who was willing to sell us just one fruit at a time.  He explained that this particular fruit is called chirimoya, then went a step further by cutting it up into slices for us:


















It was very custardy inside, with seed.  The look, texture, and taste were very much like a smooth sugar apple, which I'm much more familiar with.  That shouldn't be surprise because apparently the sugar apple and the chirimoya come from the same fruit family.

We also tried this melon, called pepino:























It looked pretty:


















But was kind of bland.

Apparently there are around 5000 types of potatoes in Peru.  I didn't even know 5000 types of potatoes existed.  That's rather frightening:


















The best aisle at the market was the fruit juice aisle.  Just a long stretch of ladies selling juice as far as the eye can see.

We got a strawberry, mango, passionfruit, and orange juice with maca powder (which is apparently some kind of superfood) and a chirimoya juice:


















What's great about juice stalls in Peruvian markets is that you basically get two juices for the price of one.  After the juice lady blends your juice of choice, she saves the leftover and tops off your glass after you finish the first glassful.  Both juices were delightful, but the chirimoya was amazing.

We decided to be adventurous and also order the especial completo or full special:























It included cerveza (beer), milk, egg, honey, maca powder, algarrobina (a type of syrupy sweetener), and fruit.  Super intense and definitely not for me.  Worth the S/.15 or $5?  I'm not sure...

AG couldn't stop eyeing the chicharron stall, so we had to make a stop:


















Good thing we did because that chicharron was so freakin' good:


















So much food for only S/.10 or around $3.

There was a lot of other dishes that we would've loved to try, but we wanted to save space for our next stop, the uni ceviche.  That's right.  Uni.  Ceviche.

Stay tuned for that.


Mercado San Camilo
418 Calle Pierola, Arequipa, Peru

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Peru: Panificadora Moretti

AG was feeling a bit under the weather after lunch at La Nueva Palomino, so we left him at home to hopefully sleep it off while the rest of us explored the city.  We felt a little bit bad for ditching him, so instead of eating out, we decided to bring back dinner...and pills.

Our Airbnb hosts were incredibly friendly and had sent me a long message with all the great eats in the neighborhood.  One of which was Panificadora Moretti:


















Moretti is known for its empanadas.  Our hostess was adamant that we must try the arabe one.  But when we tried to order it, they were fresh out.  Drat.

Instead we randomly got a bunch of other goodies:


















We got the lomo saltado or beef empanada:


















The hot dog was too cute to pass up:


















The cheese one was interesting:


















The caramel center of the alfajore was subtly sweet, but the cookie was a bit too crumbly for our tastes:


















We were really determined to try the arabe, so we went back to Moretti the next day as well.  Luckily, they had some:


















It.  Was.  Magic:


















AG described it best.  It tasted like larb in an empanada.  For those of you who have never tried larb, it's basically minced meat with lots and lots of lime.  Magical, magical lime.

We also got a date pastry:


















But never mind that.  Let's go back to the arabe.

We loved it so much that on our last day in Arequipa, we went and bought seven.  That's right.  Seven.  We were obsessed.


Panificadora Moretti
Calle Alfonso Ugarte 507, Yanahuara, Arequipa, Lima
10294838002

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Peru: La Nueva Palomino

We arrived in Arequipa in the morning and after thoroughly exploring our AirBnb apartment with its magnificent views of the nearby mountain range, our first official outing in the city was to grab lunch at La Nueva Palomino, which just happened to be a short walk away:























La Nueva Palomino is a picanteria, a traditional Arequipan eatery.  Apparently there aren't many left in the city as most have given way to new, modern establishments, but La Nueva Palomino has held on.

Held on and thrived, in fact.

The restaurant looks rather normal in size at first, but then you see the outdoor seating areas and realize that the place is freakin' gigantic:


















We kept being led deeper and deeper into the restaurant as the hostess asked us repeatedly, "Would you rather sit here...or here....or here...?"  Finally we couldn't take it anymore and just randomly pointed at a table.

While perusing the menu, we nibbled on corn:























AG sipped on his beer and CK on her mineral water, whereas my sister and I went the juice route.  I ordered pineapple juice (S/.4.50 or around $1.50) and my sister, papaya (S/.7 or around $2):


















Our server recommended we try the appetizer sampler (S/.25 or around $8):























It included fried mashed potato balls:


















Fried cheese curds:


















And some kind of fried veggie patty:


















Fried, fried, fried.

She also recommended the panceta de lechon (S/.42 or around $14):


















The thick, juicy slabs of pork came with a side of pastel de papas (think potato cassarole).

Rocoto relleno (S/.23 or around $8) is an Arequipan classic:


















The rocoto pepper is stuffed with ground meat and smothered in melted cheese.  It is usually paired with some kind of potato, which is pretty much the norm for everything in Peru.

The chupe camarones (S/.52 or around $17) came highly recommended as an Arequipa must eat according to travel forums:


















For good reason.  The shrimp chowder was a big hit with all of us.

Our server was a bit surprised when we didn't order one entree per person, so we were a little worried that there wouldn't be enough food.  But it was our turn to be surprised when we saw how massive the portion sizes were.

We were even more stunned when we spied a woman at the table to one side of us demolishing a giant platter of fried shrimp and a elderly woman at the table to the other side of us killing a chupe all by herself.  Damn.  Peruvians sure can eat.

The fare at La Nueva Palomino was very good, but definitely not on the cheap side.  Maybe a bit touristy, but it's still a bit of a distance from the city center, so it's not overly so.  Certainly a good place to get an introduction to Arequipan cuisine.


La Nueva Palomino
Leoncio Prado 122, Yanahuara, Arequipa, Peru
+51 54 252393
https://www.facebook.com/LaNuevaPalomino

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Peru: Cruz del Sur

We took multiple bus rides while in Peru, all with the same bus company, Cruz del Sur.  The tickets were not the cheapest option available, but I thought it was worth it for comfortable seating, a safe driver, not bad movie selection (minus the horror stuff), the MOST AMAZING BLANKET EVER, and surprise, surprise, pretty decent food.

Actually, the food was better than decent on our ride from Lima to Arequipa.  After taking the first bite, I was compelled to look up and make eye contact with CK across the aisle to verify that yes, I was not hallucinating and that yes, this was actually quite tasty.

When I booked the bus tickets online, I was able to choose between carne, pollo, and vegetarian for the meal.  Vegetarian?  Hah.  I went with pollo since my sister wanted carne.

The full meal looked like one you would get on a flight:


















But that's where the similarities ended.

My chicken was tender and well seasoned.  And the rice!  The rice was so fluffy and flavorful!  Even the pasta salad with ham was delicious.  I tried my sister's carne and it was just as good.  The only thing I didn't like so much was the banana crepe.

We were offered a beverage of our choice along with the meal.  I was curious about Inca Kola since it was everywhere, but had never been brave enough to buy a full bottle of it because of it's toxic-looking yellow color.  My cheap Chinese self felt that getting a complimentary cup was the best way to test it out:


















Thank god it was free.  Oh my gawd.  Ugh.  It was super sweet and didn't taste like anyting naturally found on this earth.  Ack...just thinking about it makes me cry a little inside.  No offense, people of Peru.

The journey to Arequipa was our longest bus ride and as such, it also came with breakfast:


















The ham sandwich wasn't anything fancy, but it wasn't bad either.  And the cupcake/muffin was just sweet enough and pretty darn good.

Good food on a bus.  Who knew?

Maybe we were just so starved by the time we boarded the bus then that everything tasted good.  Or maybe our expectations were so low that we were taken off guard by decent food.  Whatever the reason, good job, Cruz del Sur.  Good job.


Cruz del Sur
http://www.cruzdelsur.com.pe/

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Peru: Bembos

We had quite a bit of time to kill before our overnight bus to Arequipa, so we took a nice stroll through Miraflores to the coastline where we walked around until we digested enough to fit in another meal.

Yea.  That's how we roll.

My sister had been told to check out Bembos while in Peru.  Apparently it's equivalent to McDonald's in the States.  So when we saw one on the way to the coast, we made a note to stop by on the way back:


















The decor was fun and colorful and felt like your average fast food joint:


















After much deliberation, we ordered three burgers.  For a classic experience, we ordered the queso tocino (S/.8.90) off the "clasiqueras" menu:


Can't go wrong with thick cut bacon, tomato, lettuce, and mayo.

Then, for the Peruvian flair, we got the a lo pobre (S/.12.90) off the "Peruanas" menu:


















It came with fried egg, white onion, tomato, and mayo.  I guess what made it "Peruvian" was the addition of fried plantain.

The huachana (S./12.90) also came off the "Peruanas" menu:


















The burger was topped with shoestring fries, egg, huacho sausage, mayo, and lettuce.

We ordered two of the burgers as combos so that we could get drinks and fries:


















Besides the usual ketchup, Bembos also offers mayo and aji sauce:


















In the end, we all concluded that Bembos was just alright.  The burgers were decent, but not all that memorable.  Sorry, Bembos.  Between La Lucha and Bembos, we would go with La Lucha all day err day.


Bembos
Av. Malecón Balta 626, Miraflores 15074, Peru
+51 1 7174817
http://www.bembos.com.pe/

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Peru: La Lucha Sangucheria

Before arriving in Lima, I knew that I couldn't leave without trying a chicharron sandwich.  According to my online research, there are a few contenders for best chicharron sandwich in the city.  Our taxi driver recommended La Lucha, so that's where we went our second day in Lima:


















The young lady at the front counter was super patient with us as we struggled to figure out the menu.  After painfully placing our order in jumbled Spanish, we headed inside for a table:


















The four of us split two sandwiches.  First was the chicharron sandwich (S/.14.50 or about $5):


















It came with thick juicy slices of pork and sweet potato:


















Ugh.  So good.

We also got the La Lucha (S/.17.90 or around $6), since the young lady behind the counter said it was very popular:


















It came with thin slices of beef, melted cheese, and sauteed white onions:


















Also incredibly delicious.

To round out our order, we got some fries (S/.6 or $2), which we loved because they tasted double fried:


















When CK was asked what sauce we wanted, she simply said one of each:


















Besides the usual ketchup, there was a mayo, an aji sauce, some kind of olive aioli.

We couldn't resist the allure of the fresh fruit juices, so we also got an orange, pineapple, and a strawberry juice (S/.8.90 or about $3 each):


















We loved the sandwiches at La Lucha.  Looking back now, they weren't exactly cheap.  Definitely on par with American prices.  But would I go if a La Lucha opened up in California?  Without a doubt.  That shit is good.


La Lucha Sangucheria
Mariscal Oscar R. Benavides 308, Miraflores 15074, Peru
http://www.lalucha.com.pe/
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...