Wow, look how lucky you all are…2 posts in one day! (Clearly, I’ve nothing else to do.) (That’s a lie, I just don’t want to do it all.)
Anyway, this one will be much shorter…I’ve just decided I want to write “reviews” aka summaries of deliciousness for various restaurants and foods I have here (and if I can ever learn them, recipes, but since Jimena cooks when I’m not around…yeah.) incase anyone ever visits/I want to remember.
So far I’ve been eating at home, things like bananas sometimes with bread in the morning, with this AMAZING cinnamon/clove tea that tastes like fall in a cup when you sweeten it with brown sugar. Lunches have consisted of things like cream of lentils (like soup), various sautéed veggies with rice or bread, more lentil goodness with slightly runny eggs & rice, etc, and a delicious cake that *may* have been tres leches (never tried it, so dunno) that had the consistency of mousse but the flavor of cheescake. Awesome.
Anywho, that was all home-made goodness. (Or store purchased, in the case of the bananas/bread). Today I had my first ventures outside the house. Laura introduced me via phone to a Swedish student also in the area (for safer traveling purposes and/or cheaper cab fare, if we take those) and we met up last night to chat & walk around, and today to buy cell phones. (Yeah, I now have FOUR here, because my American one obviously doesn’t work here, my international one is strictly for calling family, and my Jordanian one apparently won’t work here even WITH a different sim card. Oy.)
Anyway, we had lunch at a restaurant in Miraflores called Haïti. (Well, Haiti, but I know that’s not how you spell it in Spanish…) While I would’ve preferred my first meal out be a bit more…well, Peruvian, we didn’t really think about asking for a menu beforehand and were already seated. Oh well. My Swedish friend (avoiding names for now) had heard it was tasty, and so it was.
The menu covered pretty much everything you could want…steak, fish chicken, salads, sandwiches, even including a “hamburguesa americana” which was served with fries and…hot-dogs. Yeah, you read that right. Anyway, I vouched for 1/4 of a chicken with a salad.
The salad was fantastically fresh…it had cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, beets, tomatoes, radish (which I studiously avoided) and some rather fantastic avocado. Everything was super light and yummy, and even though we were given like 23948 condiments to use, I just ate my salad plain, and was probably happier for that. As for the chicken, I picked the leg when given the choice between that and the breast, as I prefer darker/less dry meat. It reminded me very much of rotisserie chickens you can buy in the grocery store, although the flavor was obviously a little different. (FYI, I pretty much LOVE those rotisserie chickens, no matter how greasy and terrible for you they are.) With that crispy skin and tender meat…yeah, I was a happy camper.
Also a hungry camper, so it probably tasted that much better.
Pricewise, it wasn’t the cheapest place we could go, but not bad. Things ranged from usually 15-40 ($5.75-$15+) soles as far as entrées go (excluding some of the more expensive items like fish), and my chicken & salad cost around like $7 USD. The surprise was that my water cost another 5 soles, which I hadn’t thought about since usually in US restaurants it’s free. But since the water is bottled here (and apparently in a fancy glass bottle at this restaurant) it was a bit more. Still, all in all it was a mid-range restaurant, and definitely worth the price.
The other more well-known product I tried today was the legendary “Inca Kola” soda that several of my friends have told me about who visited Peru in the past. It’s actually made by the Coca-cola company, and is apparently pretty popular around here. It’s yellow in color and bizarrely sweet in flavor… not quite like cotton candy, more like…well..bubblegum flavored candy. I doubt I’ll make a habit of drinking it, since I try not to chug sodas anymore, but it was definitely something I had to try, and thought was tasty enough. 🙂