By Bryan Yalta, NewsCastic
Succulent and juicy, Peruvian cuisine offers some of the finest flavors a tongue can savor. Enriched with an abundance of potato, rice, fish, and poultry, the country has produced creative food combinations with these resources alone. Meals like Pollo a la Brasa–otherwise known as rotisserie chicken–Ceviche, and Lomo Saltado serve as prime examples of Peru’s exotic menu. If you ever want to explore the tastes galore of its provincial plates, or if you just want to try something new, you’ll find an authentic sample of Peru’s best dishes in these Dallas restaurants.
Disclaimer: Several Peruvian foods will be mentioned in their Spanish names. Some will be explained, others will just be listed for the sake of brevity. It is recommended to visit one of these restaurants to find out how they look and taste. Or just Google.
Located in Addison, this restaurant serves practically every classic Peruvian dish from Papa Rellena to Arroz con Pollo to Tallarines Verdes and Aji de Gallina.
If you’re looking to satisfy your taste buds, Chicho (owner, part-cook, and part-musician) is the man to see. The atmosphere in enlivened by Peruvian t-shirts or llama rugs hung on the walls, salsa music, mute soccer games or music videos on their TVs, and the occasional musical performers; Peru in a nutshell.
Spacious enough to have a dance floor, which is used for special events and musical performances, Cuzco serves all the traditional plates from Peru and gives you a taste of what the restaurant is named after: the eponymous city.
The place is decorated on the inside with Peruvian ornaments, which gets rid of the rough, pub-like locale while you’re there. However, even though the place may not be that fancy, the food surely seems like it. From their Papa a la Huancaina to their Tacu Tacu, their plates taste as similar as how they serve it in Peru. Have it with some Inca-Kola (Peru’s bubblegum-flavored, yellow soda) and you’ve got an authentic meal.
Notwithstanding prior restaurants, Peru is not all about its entrees; it has its special desserts as well.
Tineo works as half restaurant, half bakery and produces some of the warmest, soft bread ever handmade by the owner. This is one of the very few places in Dallas you can find lucuma-flavored ice cream; lucuma is a fruit produced in Peru and tastes refreshingly sweet. So, after having plates like Cau Cau or Pollo Saltado, one can order treats like Alfajores, Milhojas, or Crema Volteada to finish off the course meal.
El Tesoro del Inca
Embellished with many Peruvian decors and memorabilia, El Tesoro offers its authentic Peruvian meals in big portions for such a small place.
It has a hole-in-the-wall ambiance, meaning anything you order will taste delicious. Besides having the main Peruvian menu items like Ceviche, Anticuchos, and Jalea as few examples, the restaurant also sells many Peruvian candy and treats like Turron, Cua Cua and Sublime. This is another of the few places you can get lucuma-flavored ice cream, which is recommended.
The waiters even give you free chicha-flavored candy (chicha is a sweet, Peruvian drink made from purple corn) after every meal, so you leave wanting more every time.
For a more formal take on Peruvian cuisine, you can check out this restaurant. With dim lights and salsa music, this is the place to go for its intimate mood.
They also make meals that cater to vegetarians, which is something not all Peruvian restaurants have on their menus. That being said, the things they do offer that most Peruvian restaurants also offer, like Milanesa de Pollo, for example, are made with exquisite taste. Although it can be a bit pricey, you’ll leave out of there with a satisfied stomach.
Gran Machu Picchu
Named after one of the seven wonders of the world, Gran Machu Picchu brings Peru’s best culinary creations to Dallas. The restaurant presents a simple look that highlights Peruvian culture with festive decorations and photos of the country, including a huge picture of the mountains of Machu Picchu.
They have some of the juiciest Pollo a la Brasa in Dallas, so if anything, that is highly recommended to order; in fact, anything from their menu is recommended to order. This place is also one of the few places that have lucuma, so hurry to all these restaurants that keep this fruit’s spirit alive.
This isn’t really a secret menu; more like a secret place. Don’t be fooled by the sign that reads ‘Donuts’ …it’s anything but. Opened only on weekends from 1pm-8pm, the cooks here specialize in Pollo a la Braza. Their menu does offer appetizer dishes like Anticuchos and Pancita, but their main plate is the rotisserie chicken. So, in case you just want a whole rotisserie chicken to-go, they’ll have it out for you within five to ten minutes. Think of it as a fast-food Peruvian chicken restaurant.
First Chinese BBQ
Peru is also known for its fusion foods, mixing Asian and Peruvian cooking together to make plates like Arroz Chaufa, for example. Ask for the Peruvian menu once you get inside the restaurant and before you know it, the option to order Chancho con Tamarindo will become available to you. There is a chef working there that used to work in a restaurant in Peru. He brought the recipes he learned over there here with him to share Peru’s cuisine with this restaurant’s customers–well, those who know the menu is there. And now you do.