Tawachaki (Ollantaytambo, Peru)

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After spending 4 hours climbing a mountain, I figured I would conquer the next goal on my trip - to eat cuy (guinea pig).  Supposedly, cuy is a dish that is popular in the mountain regions of Peru, ie Sacred Valley.  Knowing this, I didn't look for a specific restaurant in Ollantaytambo that served the dish.

A special anniversary Cusquena beer to commemorate Machu Picchu's anniversary.

Avocados are plentiful in Peru.  Palta Rellena de Pollo (chicken filled avocado) was another commonly seen item on many Peruvian restaurants.  I love avocados so I had to order this.  One thing I did notice about avocados in Peru versus those in the States are the size.  Avocados are huge in Peru!  This dish was delicious and probably something easy for me to replicate when I got home.

After ordering cuy, 10 minutes later the waitress comes back to tell me that they were not serving cuy tonight because they did not have any.  I should have taken that as a hint to leave since there was no one in the restaurant and they were out of the one dish I had my heart set on that night.  Instead, I ordered the tacu tacu.  Tacu Tacu is a Afro-Peruvian dish.  The spices are derived from African spices supposedly from African slaves who used them to make this working man's meal.  Its usually served with a side of plantains and topped with a fried egg, which you can see this version does not come with - disappointing.  

Aji de Gallina is another traditional Peruvian dish.  Its made with a yellow Peruvian chile called aji amarillo (means yellow in Spanish) which gives the dish its yellow color and supposedly some heat, but this one was rather mild.  It consists of strips of chicken mixed in a creamy sauce, almost like a light curry with a side of rice and a boiled egg.  Since I eat a lot of Indian and Japanese curries, this dish wasn't very flavorful for me.

Address:           Tawachaki
                                 Square by the Ollantaytambo ruins
                                 Ollantaytambo, Peru

Type:                   Peruvian, casual

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