This trip we haven’t had any issues with jetlag but with too little time to sleep. It’s the first time we’re visiting together, meaning more people to visit. In addition, traffic in Lima is more chaotic than ever. We had had 2 or 3 hours of sleep when we got on a plane to Cusco. Fourth time for me, first for Alvaro.
We ate some sweet potato chips and roasted fava beans that I bought in a shop nearby and took a nap.
Sweet potato chips, roasted fava beans
We woke up just in time for lunch. We walked past expensive touristic restaurants, as well as pizza and sandwich shops. We were running out of time and Alvaro was cranky, so we turned around and headed back to the hostel. I don’t know why but I stopped at a small restaurant called Mamma Mia announcing vegetarian food. I asked the lady in charge if they had any soup and/or meat dishes and she said she could make some for us.
While we waited for our meals we grabbed some veggies from the small salad bar.
We shared a lomo saltado, which had tough meat but was perfect in taste, and a chicken soup with lots of veggies. Good stuff.
Lomo saltado (S/. 17, $7.19)
Chicken soup (S/. 9, $3.80)
Then we went to the city tour, which included the cathedral, Coricancha (sun temple), and Pisaq (the Inca city and the town market).
Later, we went to meditate in the Cusco Buddhist centre (i.e. our friend Angel’s house) and went with him to grab some dinner afterward. We went to Marcelo Batata, an Andean fusion restaurant that had been recommended by our travel agent. As a bonus, the menu indicated gluten-free options (as well as nut-free and vegetarian).
We were offered complimentary papas nativas (native potato chips) with uchucuta, a sauce similar to ocopa, made with a herb called huacatay. It is also made with crackers (so not GF).
We had a hummus de tarwi, made with a legume called tarwi, huacatay, Andean cheese, roasted Brazil nut paste, paprika and tahini, served on zucchini and eggplant and drizzled with sacha inchi oil. The grilled Lebanese bread was served on the side as requested. Great entreé.
Hummus de tarwi (S/. 23, $9.72)
The next entreé was jamon ahumado de cuy, guinea pig smoked ham, marinated with red wine vinegar, passionfruit, pepper and lime, served with pickled carrots, cauliflower, onion, green beans and peas. Alvaro and I liked the ham a lot.
Jamón ahumado de cuy (S/. 25, $10.57)
The first main was lomo fino de alpaca a la parrilla, grilled alpaca tenderloin served with mash, quinotto (risotto made with quinoa), and a chutney made with mango, ají limo (a small spicy chilli), and ginger marinated in pisco. Alpaca is lean, so the meat was a bit drier than what I would like but the dish in general had great flavours and was massive.
Lomo de alpaca a la parrilla (S/. 47, $19.87)
Our last dish was seco de cordero (one of my favourite Peruvian dishes), lamb ribs slow cooked with chicha (a fermented corn drink), dark beer, coriander, onion, garlic, peas, carrots and garlic, and served with fried cassava, rice, ají limo salad, and refried beans with bacon. Awesome flavour, massive serve.
Seco de cordero (S/. 44, $18.60)
After dinner we went across the road to Cholos Craft Beers.
Last time I had a gluten-containing beer was 2011 but I decided it was worth trying a local dark beer, a Zenith Porter. Angel had a Cumbres Maracumanto (maracuyá -passionfruit- and aguaymanto) and Alvaro had a Flori Framboise. My beer was worth the next day’s mild reflux. Alvaro’s tasted like raspberry jelly.
Cumbres Maracumanto (S/. 16, $6.76), Zenith Porter (S/. 15, $6.34), Flori Framboise (S/. 26, $10.99)
Calle Recoleta Angosta 555
984 358 054 / 994 644 597
Calle Palacio 121
Cholos Craft Beers
Calle Palacio 110
974 793 401