Peru: Zig Zag

We managed to squeeze a bunch of stuff into one afternoon in Arequipa.  We strolled through a market, nibbled on uni ceviche, froze our butts off to see Juanita the mummy, toured the Santa Catalina Monastery, and took a nap.

We ended the day at Zig Zag, which was recommended to us by the couple we'd sat next to at Chez Wong back in Lima:


The restaurant has two stories.  We were seated on the upper level:


While we were waiting at the bar for our table, CK ordered a glass of chicha morada (S/.6 or $2) to try:


Chichas are beverages typically found in South and Central America that are made from corn.  Chicha morada in particular is a Peruvian drink made from purple corn.  According to my coworker, chichas are traditionally made by women chewing corn and spitting it into water, which is then left to ferment.  Somehow I doubt the chicha we tried was made in that manner.  Zig Zag is a bit too fancy of an establishment for spit drinks.

Our meal started with some complimentary bread:


The bread itself wasn't too memorable:


But the herb butter?  Hot damn:


We saw beef hearts (S/.28 or around $9) on the menu and just couldn't resist:


I think we got a little sidetracked by the steaks that followed because we waited too long to get to the beef hearts.  By the time we remembered their existence, they had gotten cold and a tad overcooked on the hot stone.  What a shame.

The beef hearts came with a choice of side and a choice of veggie.  We elected the fries for our side:


And because we were feeling like fatties, we chose the fresh salad for our veggie:


All the entrees came with four types of dipping sauces.  Or more accurately, three sauces and one butter.  We quickly weeded out which ones were spicy and distributed them around the table accordingly.  It's no secret that I'm total weaksauce when it comes to spicy things, so the non-spicy options were place within easy reach for me.

Even though the sauces were good, I mostly saved them for the french fries.  When it comes to meat, I prefer it untainted.

Zig Zag is known for its steaks.  Alpaca steak in particular.  You can order your steaks in combos of three.  The "gourmet trilogy" comes with beef, alpaca, and the choice between lamb or duck.  We went with lamb:


The price depends on how big you want your steaks.  We got the 200g, which cost S/.54 or around $18 for the steaks, your choice of a side, and your choice of a veggie.  To mix things up, we went with the mashed yellow potatoes for our side.

You really only get two choices for the veggies.  It's either the fresh salad or the ratatouille.  We figured one salad was enough, so for both steak entrees, we got the ratatouille for our veggie:


The "classic trilogy" allows you to choose between pork or chicken to go with your beef and alpaca.  Chicken seemed like a waste of money, so we ordered the pork and picked the quinoa risotto as our side:


For the classic trilogy, we also decided to go with the 200g option, which cost S/.48 or around $16.

Here's a close up of the steaks with their cute little flags letting you know what you're eating:


I was expecting to be completely blown away by the alpaca, but though it was good...it just wasn't very distinctive in flavor or texture.  Honestly, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between beef and alpaca.  Out of all the steaks we had, I actually enjoyed the lamb the most.

The best thing in that entire meal was surprisingly the mashed potatoes, with the french fries coming in second.  That's kind of sad considering how steak was also on the table.

Would I try alpaca again?  Definitely.  Would I go back to Zig Zag?  Well...

Zig Zag is a good restaurant.  It is.  It's just a little on the pricey side, definitely geared toward tourists, and just a tad bit snobby.  Or maybe that was just our waitress.  She didn't seem happy when we didn't order one entree per person.  When she brought our food, she set down the platters hard enough that we all raised our eyebrows.

To sum everything up, while we enjoyed the food and had fun wearing the bibs, we just weren't all that impressed.  Sorry, Zig Zag.


Zig Zag
Calle Zela 210, Arequipa, Peru
+51 54 206020
http://www.zigzagrestaurant.com/

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