Good evening, ladies and gents!
I’m back to spill more memories onto the web from the delightful weekend I’ve had. But first I’d like to take a moment to thank those of you who have showed interest in my blog-firstly, because I feel like a superstar when I see that I’ve gotten 140 views in one day, which doesn’t happen
often ever (we’ll pretend that means you’re all actually reading, not just clicking a link and then running away as fast as you can) and secondly, because, well…even though I’m writing by and large so I don’t forget my time in Lima, kinda nice to know I’m not writing to nothingness out in cyberspace! 🙂
Anyway, I had a couple of small adventures this weekend with my language partner/new favorite person in all of Peru (he has answers to EVERYTHING and is amazingly patient with me/my terrible grammar/habit of taking 298980 photos). The first, as previous mentioned in my last food review, was to a district called Barranco, and today we just ventured to a park not too far from my neighborhood that goes by a couple of names-El Parque de la Reserva (or something like that) or El Circuito Mágico del Agua. I’ll write more about those later (primarily because I’m too lazy to edit all of the photos right now) but I’ll sum it up by saying it’s quite a lovely, pretty place to spend an afternoon/evening.
Which leads me to the grub-after not having eaten since my apple at breakfast, upon returning to Miraflores around 7, 7:30 I was feel rather peckish. So, even though I could’ve gone home and eaten for free, I decided to try out some more local fare. (I know it seems like I’m eating out a ton, especially after the last post, but I swear I’m really not. I almost always eat at home!) My first instinct was to try some pollo a la brasa–essentially, the primary fast-food for Peruvians. According to wordreference.com, “a la brasa” specifically means barbecue-style, but from what I understand pollo a la brasa here is more like what I would consider rotisserie chicken. And it’s a big deal. I’ve heard that Pardo’s Chicken is a fantastic & popular place to try the stuff, so I headed to the closest one I could remember seeing at Larcomar. However, once there, I decided I didn’t want to spend QUITE that much money, so I diverted my eyes instead to the mall branch of La Lucha Sanguchería Criolla.
This particular sandwich shop has a branch right next to El Parque Kennedy in Miraflores that I pass super-frequently, and there is ALWAYS a standing line outside of it. When meandering around with my Swedish friend during my first week (who in turn had been led to it by HIS language partner), he pointed it out to me and recommended that I try a sandwich called the Chicharrón, and the idea had been in my mind ever since.
Chicharrón is, essentially pork belly/what we might call pork rinds–in this case, turned into a sandwich. My sandwich was actually a huge roll with a crunchy casing, big chunks of pork, and a few thin slivers of…sweet potato. Before I get too into the food however, I’ll give you the La Lucha experience lowdown…or rather, tips I learned rather rapidly:
1) In the mall branch, at the very least, they don’t take credit cards. Cash only, kids.
2) Keep your receipt, they may want to see it to check your order/order # when giving you your food.
3) They will call you by name (probably not if you’re in the Parque Kennedy branch sitting at a table inside), so don’t go ambling off!
Now, that aside, I have to say I was a liiittle put out by the waiting for my sandwich-people who ordered food after me and people who ordered food for about a group of 6 all got their meals before me, when all I had was this one sandwich and a drink (more on that in a moment). However, when you think about it, cooking pork rinds probably takes more than the 20 seconds it takes to melt some cheese on top of turkey, so…patience, Becky, patience.
Now, onto the food! The cashier had asked me if I wanted any condiments on mine, and I said no. Because, generally, I don’t like condiments. Mayonaisse grosses me out. I rarely eat ketchup (can’t remember if that were an option) and even more rarely eat mustard. However, even though in my opinion NONE of those would’ve tasted good on the sandwich, I almost wished I had gotten SOMETHING on it, because that sandwich was, in a word, dry.
I think a lot of it had to do with the bun-I love bread. I seriously, LOVE bread. But I don’t like having to fight to eat it, and while crispy buns are great, this one was flat out a little tough to chew because the crust was so hard. Also, the sweet potato was, from a flavor perspective, a really tasty addition to the sandwich-it brightened it up a little with that sweetness-however, sweet potatoes are not necessarily the most moist of vegetables, amiright? The pork itself had a GREAT flavor-really pretty much spot on with a pulled pork sandwich (sans barbecue sauce), which is one of my favorite things ever, except it was a lot less moist/greasy. Frankly, it probably could’ve benefitted from a wiiiiddle more of that moisture, but it was still pretty good. If I could’ve changed the chicharrón, I would’ve either added some sort of barbecue sauce (pulled pork style), made the meat a little less dry, or, frankly, I would’ve chucked a whole lot of oozing, melty cheese on top. But then, maybe I’m just craving cheese-I was totally drooling over pictures of macaroni earlier.
Luckily, I had ordered a drink. Something I rarely do (or at least, other than water), because I am weirdly like a camel and am rarely thirsty/drink anything when I eat. But! As fortunes would have it, I had decided that tonight was the night to try Chicha Morada! Now, I mentioned Chicha Morada in my last food post, but since I’m not going to kid myself that you all read and memorized every word, I’ll re-explain it here. Chicha Morada is made from Peruvian Purple Corn, which gives it a very distinctive dark maroon/purple color. It is boiled with fruits (I think I read quince and pinapple?) and then flavored with cinnamon and cloves, and let me tell you something folks-it tastes amazing! Honestly, if it were something that were served hot I might even choose it over apple cider as the best fall beverage, which is saying a lot for me. The cloves really just make it sing of fall and chilly evenings and changing leaves–although I should mention, this is a beverage served cold and frankly, I don’t think Peru sees much of the fall I’m imagining in my mind. In any case, the drink is very, very sweet and flavorful, and I sincerely recommend it to anyone and everyone.
My overall experience at La Lucha Sanguchería Criolla was pretty tasty, and I will more than likely return to try some of their many other tasty-sounding sandwiches in the future. For a grand total of S/14.10 (about $5.38) I was able to have a more than filling dinner (sandwich was S/9.60 or about $3.66) and a sweet surprise to wash it all down.
So that’s all for this evening folks. I’ll post more about the weekend soon, and until then…I’ll keep cruising the streets for the best eats!