This is the one year anniversary of the first culinary-passport blog entry so there is a giveaway to celebrate and a return trip to the first country’s cuisine. Details on the giveaway are at the end of the post.
To represent Peru this time I went for the Machu Pichu restaurant in Pineville, NC. With that name they’re kind of in your face with Peru so I thought I’d see what they brought to the table, literally.
The restaurant is in a well established shopping center on S Polk St, named after the presidential Polks. They weren’t that busy so when I wasn’t greeted and seated right away I hoped that wasn’t an omen of how the visit would go and fortunately it was not. After I got seated the server brought over their equivalent to chips & salsa, popcorn or peanuts at some other places and that was choclo.
At first I thought it was peanuts (it was dim in there) but when I picked one out of the bowl it was lighter than a peanut would have been. Turns out it is a giant kernel of Peruvian corn that was roasted and salted. The outside was crunchy and chewy and the inside was starchy and you better have something to drink as the starch will dry your mouth out in a hurry. It’s definitely not sweet corn but it turned out to be a nice snack to munch on while waiting for the main course. For a drink I tried one from the chirimoya fruit which they make to order judging by the length of time it took to get to me.
I have to say I liked it quite a bit. It was a little sweet and had a very subtle flavor that is hard to describe. It was a bit like a melon and apple cross and very refreshing. It paired well with my entrée, Tiridito en Tres Salsas.
I’m going to quote from the menu here so you understand what I was working with when I ordered. “Thinly sliced fish marinated lightly in lime & covered with Peruvian yellow pepper cream, rocoto peppers cream & a classic white cream; served with sweet potatoes & corn.” All of that was very true but I was surprised as I went for the first bite and the dish was cold and oh so uncooked. I got over the surprise and just went with it because the sauces were all very tasty. They were each tangy so the sweet potato went nicely and chirimoya was a great contrast. And as you can see from the photo they work to present a plate that’s appealing to the eye as well. So in spite of the surprise that I got the Peruvian version of sashimi the meal was enjoyable and the portions were not too much.
I had a good chuckle when the young lady who was acting as hostess came over and asked me how I liked the dish and when I said I like it she said “Really?” in a surprised tone and made a little face, “I don’t like it. I don’t like raw fish.” I would definitely recommend this place and will try them again. Having said that I have two caveats for anyone going. First, they are moderately priced, not a cheap meal but not overly priced either. Second they are very friendly but not fast so if you are in a hurry head to the BK just down the road but if you want a leisurely meal it’s a good place. In fact even though I was clearly through and she had bussed the table the server didn’t bring the check until I caught her eye and asked for it. It wasn’t because she forgot either because she checked on me to see if I needed more water or drink, she just wasn’t going to rush me out. A win on the blogaversary.
The rules are pretty simple. The contest is open from Jan 28th, 2017 through Feb 3rd, 2017 and open to anyone who can legally receive the prize. I know, blah blah blah, “What can we win?” The prize is a $25 Amazon gift card to a single winner (’cause I ain’t rich). “Well how can I get in on this amazing prize” you ask? In the spirit of bloggery and the pretext that the audiences should be expanded you will get an entry for each Like, Comment, Share, Retweet, etc. and I’ll use random.org’s random number generator to find the winner. Each type of action on a single social platform will get an entry so for example if you comment multiple times on FB it’s a single entry but a like on FB and Instagram and Twitter would be 3 entries. Winner will be announced in next blog post. Thanks for reading this far.