Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My newfound love ...

cusquena negra
Originally uploaded by burumun

The Cusquena Negra/ Cusquena Malta beer is my perfect beer.
I first tried this in Ayacucho, Peru.
It's like the handsome dark man, slightly sweet, and absolutely smooth.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sopas and More

It was our last night in Ayacucho, and we were all super tired. We were planning to go out and have dinner and hit the town, but it ended up not happening. So we all decided to just eat at our hotel instead. We've actually never really done this except for the daily morning breakfast buffet. But I was actually quite looking forward to it! (Since we pretty much hit all the good places in town anyway?Maybe, maybe ...)

I saw someone eating the Sopa Criolla before, and I just had to order it this time:It is glass noodles in the 'creole' soup (which was like a yellow curry), topped with ... a slice of bread and a fried egg!! By the end about half of the table ordered this :)
It was really flavorful and delish~. I didn't dig the bread that much, but that egg really made the dish in my opinion! Mmm .. now I'm craving it, wonder where in LA I can get this :/

They also serve up some delicious plaintains. This was pretty much our dessert ;)
Someone got these potato slices with cheese, and some type of creamy sauce (?) on top:
I didn't get to try this, but according to this family, it was just amazing.

As far as vegetarian options go, they also have the vegetable tortila:
It really looks more like an omelette in my opinion ... but don't those fries look good?

Now that we know how good the hotel food really is, if/when we come back for the mission trip in Ayacucho, we'll probably end up eating here more often :) Convenience factor is a plus, too.

Santa Rosa Hotel
Jr. Lima No. 166
Ayacucho, Peru

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gimme that Alpaca!

To get to Machu Picchu, you have to fly to Cuzco and then take a train to Aguas Calientes, so we stayed a night at Cuzco and took a city tour. Before I left I went on Chowhound to find recs on where to eat in Cuzco and decided to try out Pachapapa in Plaza San Blas, and chowhound rarely steers you wrong :)

We started with some ceviche.

The ceviche was pretty good, the onion flavor was a bit strong, though. In my mind I can sitll taste the one from La Mar in Lima, which just blows this one away ... But still, not bad.

We also got some alpaca anticucho, since I've been curious about alpaca meat.

This was probably my favorite dish during ALL OF MY TRIP!! This particular alpaca meat was otherworldly! Very tender, and marinated just right. Too bad we were sharing these 2 skewers with 6 people ... I could've eaten 6 of them on my own. And now that I'm writing this I'm having a ba~d craving *drool*

For our entree, half of the table got the ever-favorite, lomo saltado.
I got to try a bite, and it was delicious. Again, the meat was tender, and the sauce is just right- not too salty.

Some other people got the other 'lomo' dish, some type of stew.
It was a pretty good stew, but the meat is not as tender, or flavorful, as the lomo saltado.

I myself, had to go for the other 'alpaca' dish. It was also some sort of stew.Unfortunately though there was not much alpaca meat in it. It was actually "alpaca jerky" so they were little slivers of meat. While it was still good, you can't really taste the meat with such small pieces. The stew itself, however, was delicious. It was a very familiar flavor that I can't quite put my finger on.
Oh, and the plaintains were amazing and sweet.

We ordered the flan for dessert. I don't remember what it was called - I believe flans are called "leche asada" in Peru?A delicious flan that seems to be in accordance with the other flans I've had in Peru - an extremely rich and milky one compared to the ones I'm used to in the US.

I desperately want to go back to Pachapa, if only for that alpaca anticucho, but all in all everything we had was very good and enjoyable, and I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who's passing through Cuzco!

Plazoleta San Blas 120
Cusco, Peru

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Pizza heaven in Peru?

It was our first night in Ayacucho, Peru and we all were trying to figure out where to eat. The people who've been there before seem to be avidly recommending Antonino, a pizza place by the Plaza.

Pizza? In Peru? I wasn't sure about this idea, but when you're in a group you do as the group does, so pizza it is. As it turned out, I was in for a pleasant surprise.

When we got there they weren't even open. They opened the gate halfway for us and we bent down and crawled inside. At first it seemed like going into a secret place - maybe a mafia hiding place, but it turned out they were just not open yet. Because of this it also took them a while to serve us and we were starving by the time the food was served - which may make this review completely biased :)

We ordered the Antonino special pizza which has ham, chorizo sausage, mushrooms etc.The cheese was still melty and stretchy. It could barely hold up the slice of pizza but on the other hand I love this type of cheese on my pizza! It makes it very "cheesy" if you know what I mean ...
The chorizo also goes with the pizza really well. All in all I really, really liked it.

We also ordered the hawaiian pizza, which has ham, pineapples, AND peach. I'm not really sure how the peaches tie into the hawaiian theme but hey, whatever. I love peach.
This dinner was apparently the beginning of a series of pizza meals in Peru since it seems like everyone serves pizza ... especially in Aguas Calientes (the town by Machu Picchu). None of the other ones can beat Antonino but I have definitely changed my view of eating pizza in Peru!

Jr. Cuzco NÂș 144
Ayacucho, Peru
Telf.: (0051) (066) 31-57-38

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


What is "chifa"? Chifa is the typical Chinese cuisine found in Peru, and uses Peruvian ingredients.

We went to a place in Ayacucho called Chifa Samsi - a place that actually seems to be run by Peruvians.
Some of the dishes seem pretty standard. We had some fried rice, which in Peru is called "Chaufa"
It tastes like regular fried rice, except of course the rice used is different and it's also cooked firmer/dryer than the Chinese style. Over this trip I've grown to like the Peruvian rice ...

Someone recommended the 'wonton soup', which turned out to be waay more than your regular wonton soup.
Aside from the huge portion, this wonton soup contained some duck, chicken, vegetables, etc, and was THE best wonton soup ever!

Apparently they really like fried wontons, since they garnish every dish with them ... and drizzle them with some sort of sweet and sour sauce.
None of their dishes was particular spicy, even their curry dish. Most of the sauces was also on the sweeter side.
Overall it's a pretty good rendition of Chinese and we all enjoyed our meal. I'd go back for the wonton soup ... :)

Chifa Samsi
JR. 9 de diciembre 212
Ayacucho, Peru