With my trip to Peru a couple weeks away, I have been anxious to try some Peruvian food. Peruvian food is world-renown and reflects the blending of traditional Inca dishes and ingredients with the immigrant influences of Spain and Asia. As soon as I booked my trip I started researching various restaurants and Peruvian delicacies to try upon my arrival. While I am not sure if I'm up for trying the local delicacy cuy (guinea pig!), I can't wait to sample other Peruvian favorites (Stay tuned to the blog to find out if I do suck it up and try cuy!)
Having South Florida as my base means that there is a large variety of Central and South American restaurants to try. While tacos and burritos are firm favorites here, there are lots of Cuban, Brazilian, and Peruvian restaurants to choose from. My neighbors have actually traveled to Peru, and were told by a Peruvian national to try out Victoria's Peruvian Restaurant in Lantana. So my parents and I set off to check it out.
Truthfully, I was a bit overwhelmed. I had been practicing Spanish and researching food online, but when I looked at the menu, I hardly recognized the words. It made me a little bit nervous for Peru! But I asked our waitress for her recommendations, which helped. The one thing that I was sure about was having to order some ceviche.
My father and I shared a very generous helping of ceviche. Ceviche is typically a dish that incorporates marinated raw fish or types of seafood. And man, is it delicious! It is usually served as an appetizer and there are many different variations of ceviche. We ordered the Ceviche De Camarones: shrimp cured in limejuice with red onions, hot peppers & cilantro, served with corn & sweet potato. Wow. It was delicious. The portion size was very generous and was more than enough for one person, and just the right amount for two (with a little bit sneaked away by my mom). The limejuice in the ceviche was beautiful and the textures of all the different ingredients were fantastic. We loved it.
Trying to select a main course was quite overwhelming. So many choices, but I decided I had already had seafood with the ceviche, so I opted for something different. Upon my waitress' recommendation I ordered the Tacu Tacu Con Bisteck A La Chorrilana, a crispy rice & beans dish with sautéed onions and tomatoes in our mild pepper sauce over a piece of skirt steak. I was not prepared for the different tastes in the dish. I wasn't the biggest fan of the rice and beans, but the steak and the sautéed onions and tomatoes were delicious. I truly have not tasted anything like it here in the States before - it made me very excited for my trip!
Because my foodie senses were thrilled, I insisted that we all sample each other’s meals. I usually always pick the dud meal when I go for dinner with my parents - they always select something that I think is much tastier than my own selection! This time the deliciousness was equally spread. My mom ordered the Camarones Al Ajo, shrimp scampi Peruvian style. The shrimp was marinated in a sauce that made the shrimp taste more like prawns (there is a difference ok). It was covered in garlic, my favorite. My mom and I actually swapped rice. She really enjoyed the crispy rice and beans. My dad ordered the Lomito Saltado, sautéed beef strips with red onions, tomatoes dash of soy sauce & red wine over shoestring fries. That was also pretty great. The sauce was incredible.
We had a fantastic meal at Victoria's, and it made me super excited about my trip. I'm sure that Peruvian food will be different here in the states compared to Peru, and that there may be some differences with ingredients, but I cannot wait to taste more!
What's your favorite restaurant you've been to? Do you try the cuisine before you go on a trip? Tell me in the comments below :)