Puka Rumi Restaurant (Ollantaytambo, Peru)

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Since Ollantaytambo is a small town, there aren't too many food options.  Puka Rumi is located right outside the ruins before the square.  Its known for their steaks and burritos.  Since I had a day of climbing planned I chose to pass on the burrito and go for something a little lighter.

This beef steak was stuffed with garlic and carrots and cooked in a red wine sauce and served with a side of mashed potatoes.  No knife needed!  This steak was so tender the beef practically melted in your mouth.

An amazingly fresh and delicious chicken soup with vegetables and quinoa.  More homey and comforting than any chicken soup I have ever tasted.

Address:                   Puka Rumi
                                          located right before the square near the ruins

Type:                          Peruvian, casual

Chomp worthy:  steaks and the chicken soup


Anticuchos in Ollantaytambo

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I am a big fan of street food, especially in other countries.  This anticuchos cart in Ollantaytambo was the first one I encountered on my Peru trip.  Anticuchos is Quechua (the language spoken in the Sacred Valley) for cut grilled skewered meat.  Popular types of anticuchos are chicken and beef heart.  The meat i susually marinated in vinegar and spices such as cumin, aji pepper, and garlic.  A small potato is usually stuck on the end of the skewer.

These skewers were routinely brushed with a dressing.  I think it had garlic, onion, cilantro, vinegar, and lemon juice.  It had a very mild tangy flavor, not spicy.  

I chose the grilled chicken (pollo). Delicious!  The potato didn't have much seasoning, but it was a nice starchy compliment to my protein.  And no, I didnt get sick from eating street food.  I think street food is relatively safe when you see high turnover.

Address:                    on the streets of Ollantaytambo
Type:                            Peruvian, street food

Chomp worthy:    anticuchos


El Albergue (Ollantaytambo, Peru)

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After catching an early flight from Lima to Cuzco and some sightseeing at Moray, I finally reached my home for the next couple days in the Sacred Valley.  I opted to acclimate in Ollantaytambo hoping I would avoid the altitude sickness with the gradual altitude (Ollantaytambo = approx. 2,700 meters above sea level; Machu Picchu = 2,430 meters; Cuzco = 3,400 meters).  Thank goodness I never experienced much altitude sickness the whole trip besides a faint shortness of breath at times.  I chose the El Albergue in Ollantaytambo at my central point for this leg of my trip.  I HIGHLY recommend this bed & breakfast/hostel.

A refreshing lemonade made with fresh squeezed lemons and a bottle of sparking water.

El Albergue is home to a small family of friendly cats. A couple of them decided to invite themselves to lunch.

A popular Peruvian dish called chicharron de pollo served with "mote", potatoes and an onion and mint salad.

Alpaca, which is similar to a llama, was something I had to eat in Peru.  It is a popular dish served in the Sacred Valley.  El Albergue's preparation was a steak cut with an elderberry sauce and Huacatay potato puree.  Alpaca had a beef and lamb taste and texture.  The meat was tender and juicy, but not gamey at all. 

 Address:                       El Albergue
                                              Ollantaytambo train station
                                              Ollantaytambo, Peru

Type:                                Peruvian

Chomp worthy:      Everything is delicious here!  Alpaca is a must try since it is indigenous to the area.  The
                                              lamb here is also some of the best lamb I've ever had.


McRib comeback

Pin It Now! McDonalds has decided to release the cult following McRib sandwich again this year through November 14, 2011.  Check it out HERE.


Pisco Sours

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I wasn't able to plan out a trip to Pisco during this trip to Peru, but I was able to taste some Pisco Sours.  Pisco sours are made with pisco (grape brandy), lime juice, simple syrup, egg whites, and bitters.  These drinks do pack quite a punch for being a cocktail, but are refreshing at the same time.   

Type:                                 Peruvian, cocktails
Chomp worthy:          Pisco Sour


Norky's (Ica, Peru)

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Peru is the first country I have visited that I didn't see a Starbucks or McDonalds.  Although some locals told me that both chains are making their way through the country. 


While us Americans gravitate towards hamburgers at fast food chains, Peruvians prefer chicken (pollo a la brasa) at their own fast food chains.  Some popular ones seen in Peru are Norky's and Pardo's Chicken.  Believe it or not, but Google maps doesn't even recognize this area so its quite impossible to map out anything to eat!

The set up is similar to McDonalds right down to the indoor playground.  You can either walk up to the counter and order to go or sit down at a table where you will be given a menu. 

I decided to try the chicha morada here.  Chicha morada is a popular Peruvian  non-alcoholic drink made with black maize (corn).  I was a little hesitant to drink this based on the appearance and not knowing what to expect.  The taste is actually quite good with a sweet taste and a herbal aftertaste.     

I ordered a half piece chicken meal which came with a green salad and a side of fries.  After reading so many food must eats about Peru and pollo a la brasa, I was really excited to try this chicken.  Supposedly, this was THE chicken to eat when visiting Peru.  I must have expected too much because this chicken, although cooked well, didn't have much flavor for me.  The fries also had a softer texture than what I'm used to eating in the States.

Overall, this place wasn't the IT place for me like I've read about.( I still think Costco's rotisserie chicken is the best!)  Possibly Pardo's is better?  Although I spoke to a Peruvian that had a McDonald's hamburger and she couldn't see what the fuss was about.

Address:                       Norky's
                                             Ica, Peru

Type:                               Peruvian

Chomp worthy:        pollo a la brasa not chompworthy,  but still worth a taste to experience Peru


Lunch in Huacachina

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My second day in Peru consisted of a 4 hour bus ride leaving at 6a from Lima to Ica and a 10 minute cab ride to Huacachina.  A couple hours of sandboarding and sandduning in a buggy in a sandy oasis left me hungry and thirsty.  Huacachina is pretty small and the food options are quite limited.

A hot sun with views of an oasis in the middle of a dessert provided the perfect setting for Cusquena, a popular Peruvian beer.

A common item on the drink menus in Peru are blended fresh fruit drinks.  The mango one was thick and sweet, although not exactly thirst quenching.

Peru has a huge Chinese influence in their food.  The most popular is lomo saltado.  A stir fry of beef, tomatoes, onions, and french fries served with a side of white rice.  This dish tastes exactly what it sounds like:  a stir fry with french fries.   

Peru is home to a large variety of potatoes.  Fried potatoes is a popular item.  This one is served with cheese and chives.   

Address:                   Huacachina, Peru
Type:                        Peruvian, casual


Manolo's (Lima, Peru)

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An emergency landing in Mexico City caused a domino effect to my plans and forced me to cancel out on my much anticipated dinner at Astrid y Gaston.  A five hour delayed departure set me in Lima at around 11p searching around Miraflores for something to eat.

Manolo's is a popular late night spot in Miraflores that serves everythigng from cerviche to desserts.

One of Manolo's specialties are churros which they proudly display in the front.  They serve filled churros as well as the traditional churros con chocolate.  The filled churro options are chocolate, dulce de leche, and vanilla.

If you don't want to sit down, you are able to walk up to the front counter and order some to go.

Sandwiches and other food options are displayed in the cases.  I wanted to order this sandwich just because it looked so crazy, but jetlag put my hunger pains at a confused state.

Chocolate filled churros.  A nice crispy exterior with a gooey chocolate center.  I prefer the texture and sweetness of these churros over the ones I had in Madrid at (Chocolate San Gines in Madrid, Spain)

One of the foods Peru is known for is their chicken.  I opted for a chicken sandwich which came open faced with melted cheese and tomatoes.  When it arrived, it didn't strike me as very appealing, but the chicken was so tender, juicy, and satisfying.

Address:                  Manolo's
                                       Avenida Larco 608
                                       Lima (Miraflores)

Type:                          Peruvian, cafe

Chomp worthy:  churros


Peru photo diary September 2011

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Some photos of my recent Peru trip.  Along with chomping my way around Peru, I was able to enjoy some amazing sites.  Traveled through Lima, hiked to Machu Picchu, sandboarded in Huacachina, climbed up part of the Andes, and  camped in the Amazon rainforest.


Citizen Cake

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Citizen Cake

After a much anticipated opening, Elizabeth Faulkner has finally opened her Citizen Cake on Fillmore in San Francisco.  In addition to her famous desserts, she has added an ice cream parlor.
dessert case
 Upon walking into the cafe, you are greeted with a large showcase of her playful desserts.

German chocolate cookie
 There are glass jars of cookies on top of her dessert display cases.  I tested out the German chocolate cookie.  A standard cookie, but probably nothing to awe over.  Anthony's cookies is still the best!  Check out my Anthony's cookie post HERE

To me, cheesecake is one of those dessert standards.  Sometimes you just need a properly made cheesecake.  This cheesecake had a good density to it and it probably would have had a good flavor to it had it not been overrun with ginger.  I'm not sure if there was ginger noted on the sign because I'm pretty sure I would never have ordered it.  Not only does the cheesecake have candied ginger on top, but its ginger flavored.  I'm not a huge fan of ginger so it was a one hitter quitter for me here.

Chocwork orange

It was really hard to choose another dessert.  All of them look interesting flavor wise and are beautifully presented.  A chocwork orange is made of two layers of crisp meringue, bourbon soaked chocolate flourless sponge cake, and bergamont whipped cream.  This dessert is quite pretty to look at.  BUT the flavor is just odd.  Everytime I took a bite it was a different flavor profile.  It was bitter and nutty, chewy and crunchy.  One of the most strangest flavor combinations I've ever tasted in a dessert.  

I was thoroughly dissapointed with Citizen Cake.  0/3 on the desserts I had tasted,  There was nothing I could recommend nor would I order again.  There are still a lot of other amazing looking dessert options that I would still come back and taste just not those three.  One thing I will definitely be back for is to try the sourdough bread ice cream!  Intriguing! TBD...   

Address:                              Citizen Cake
                                                    2125 Fillmore St.
                                                    San Francisco, CA 94115

Type:                                      dessert, cafe

Chompworthy:            nothing on this visit - be back for an ice cream tasting...



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Suzu is a Japanese noodle house that serves both ramen, soba, and udon.  Their combination platters allow you to choose a noodle soup and a don dish (rice bowl) when you can't decide if you feel like soup or rice.

A menu map complete with arrows helps you to choose your options.

The crispy, freshly fried croquettes are always a great way to start off your meal at Suzu.
The ramen here is probably one of the better ramen options in San Francisco Japantown.  The ramen is a shoyu broth with a slightly chewier noodle. 

chicken curry don

Majority of Japanese restaurants make curry straight from the prepackaged boxes!  This one is no different.  The curry here is a little on the bland side.  Also, the fukujin-zuke (pickle) lacks the essential crunch.  The positive thing about this dish is the curry to rice ratio is perfect.  I never have plain rice left over in my bowl.

The udon here comes in a slightly sweeter broth.  The noodles are chewy and soft which equals good texture for udon.

tonkatsu don

Tonkatsu don consists of fried pork cutlets on top of a bowl of rice.  Suzu gives you a pretty generous portion of tonkatsu considering this is only supposed to be a combo.

Suzu isn't the best ramen or noodle house, but it is consistent in the quality.  Also the variety of combo options cover all the bases.
Address:                            Suzu
                                                 1825 Post St.
                                                  San Francisco, Ca
Type:                                    Japanese, ramen