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Friday, March 11, 2011

Food: A Peruvian Feast

When you visit Machu Picchu, the restaurant at 3974 W. Hillsborough Avenue, not the Inca city in Peru, you would be well advised to pack a healthy appetite for the trip. The food portions at Machu Picchu are huge.

My trophy bride and I made the trek north of SOG City (South Of Gandy) on a mission to explore the menu at this jewel of a Peruvian restaurant located in a nondescript mall off of Hillsborough. The interior of Machu Picchu was clean and bright with table and chair seating. A hallway led to the back and what appeared to be an additional dining area. We were greeted by a very charming young lady who invited us to sit wherever we pleased. Since we arrived fairly early there was plenty of available seating. That didn't last too long as several families made their appearance. Even for a Tuesday, this seems to be a very popular dining spot.

We began our Machu Picchu experience with a couple of bottles of El Oro de los Incas. That would be two Cusqueña beers, exceptional malt lagers from Cusco, Peru. While sipping our Peruvian suds we perused the menu. One of the appetizers caught our attention - Salchipapa is a seasoned fried hot dog with French fries. After exchanging a few snide remarks about hot dogs and fries as a delicacy, we wound up splitting an order between the two of us. The fries were simply fries while the hot dogs were more akin to sliced kielbasa. This appetizer provided a tasty nibble while our entrées were being prepared.

My dining partner was intrigued by the Tacu Tacu con Lomo, a fried rice and beans omelet accompanied by a stir fry of beef, onions, and tomatoes. The tacu tacu was topped with two sunny-side up fried eggs. This dish could easily have fed two people and did require a take-home box. I will probably have this tasty delight for lunch today.

I love ceviche and Machu Picchu has several styles to chose from. I went with the Ceviche Mixto, a combination of fish, shrimp, and octopus. This very satisfying dish was served with a side of cancha, large kernel corn that is tossed with oil and then roasted. The flavor was unexpected, but pleasing to the palate. Also on the plate was a serving of yuca and a large slice of sweet potato.

If this is the way the Peruvian people eat every day they should be as big as houses. There was a lot of food on our table - all of it good. Another plus - this diet-busting dinner was a mere $60 dollars and some change and included a 20% gratuity and our four beers.

Es muy bueno, y'all.

Machu Picchu on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Machu Picchu Restaurant is the best Peruvian food in the Tampa Bay area! I love going there.