Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Peru!! Restaurant Reviews and a whole lotta ocean!

Today I wanted to share with you photos and restaurant reviews from our recent trip to Lima, Peru!

My husband and I, his mom, a single friend and another couple all went together. We had the BEST time! I definitely would go back, and if you ever get the chance to go to Lima--take it! We literally ate our way through Lima (it probably took me a week to recover from all the food), and it was delicious.

We arrived Thursday night (really late), and after checking into Hotel Estelar and having Pisco Sours (because that's what you drink in Lima, obviously!), we all retired to our rooms, ready to check out the city in the morning.

Friday: The hotel breakfast was great, as was the view! Also, don't get too close to the window; there are no screens. Anywhere. And no bugs actually, which made the lack of screens ok. 

That's right friends: no screens on the 21st floor.

For Friday's lunch we went to a cute little neighborhood place called Mama Olla after we explored the Miraflores neighborhood a bit. We walked from our hotel all the way down to view the ocean at an upscale shopping mall. I bought a cute set of fake pearl earrings, because I felt naked as I had left all of my real jewelry at home (you can never be too careful while traveling, but I felt really safe in Miraflores).  After all that walking, Mama Olla was great. The food was yummy and the server, Angel, was super sweet and helpful.  Sure he tried to sway us to order the most expensive items on the menu, but with the exchange rate, even those weren't that pricey. 

Friday night we went to the amazing restaurant Astrid y Gaston. For a 30 course tasting menu. Which changes every 6 months, including the paint colors and decor. It was amazing. Seriously. There were only a few items that I didn't like, and I really didn't feel like it was too much food either. It does take a really long time to eat that many courses, but it's an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

One of the amazing, crazy dishes at Astrid y Gaston. It's actually orange cake with a sugar candy that looks like a cracked egg! 
The kitchen, where the magic happens.
Above the kitchen: We are free, and may we always be.

Saturday, we walked off some of that food from the night before at the Indian Market. The weather was perfect the entire time we were there, 70 degrees and pleasant. The word is that it doesn't rain much at all in Lima. We bought a couple of touristy souvenirs at the Indian Market, like an alpaca blanket, Peruvian nativity set, bracelets and bags for the girls, and of course, some paintings. I also took my photo in front of a fake Machu Picchu, because hey, faking it is a lot easier than hiking it. Lol

Saturday afternoon we booked a cooking class with a local guide, which turned out to the be most memorable part of our vacation. The guide, Paula, was so friendly! 

We first went to the local spice market, where she showed us some of the local fruits and where the locals shop for food.  If they sold cherimoya here in the US, I would buy it everyday. It's better than ice cream. Seriously. So. Good. 

After that we rode the bus back to her house.  The bus was super crowded (and surprisingly not stinky at all!). At one point I wasn't even holding on. I was so squished that I just let the crowd of people hold me up while riding along. And I have to admit, I was giggling to myself the whole time. It's pretty funny to be the foreigner on a Peruvian bus, something about the absurdity of being squished into a bunch of strangers on a fast-moving bus made me laugh. 

At Paula's house, we met her mother, an inviting women that was so sweet, even though she didn't speak English. She taught us to make causa (a cold potato appetizer) and ceviche. They were both so good! Paula showed us the secret to making a great Pisco Sour: the order in which you add the ingredients is important and don't let your ice cubes melt.  This is the site where we booked the tour, if you ever get to Lima and want to do it. 

Causa y Ceviche

Sunday a few of us went exploring and walked all the way from our hotel to the beach. The beach in Lima is basically a bit of dirt and a whole lot of rocks.  It's super beautiful, as you can see:

I could have spent hours just staring at the ocean, but there really isn't any place to sit, except on the rocks.
We walked down a huge hill cliff to get there:
Lima is up on a cliff, overlooking the ocean. We walked down the entire cliff on a path, it actually wasn't that bad.
We also passed a surfing competition (which inspired me to want to try surfing-more on that later), so we ended up walking the beach and then getting some snacks at La Rosa Nautica. It's on a cute boardwalk, with a few shops, and has a great view of the ocean.  The shops, oddly enough, were pricing everything in US dollars (apparently it's a tourist destination), but the food was good and the view was better. The waves are just so pretty! 

Me, after lunch at La Rosa Nautica.
And the walk back up. Easier after a few pisco sours.
That night we had dinner at Huaca Pucllana, a name we could never quite pronounce, but somehow everyone knew what we were saying. We tried a bunch of different foods, and it was all really good!  I was really stuffed from the late afternoon snacks, so I didn't really enjoy it, but I sampled a few things here and there and liked it.  We sat outside on their patio, next to the ruins, which date from 200 AD to 700 AD.  We got to view them a little that night, but the tours were already closed. We actually tried to come back on Tuesday to visit, but that's the one day that they are closed. (Can't say we didn't try to sneak in a little history on our foodie trip, lol.)

Want to see more of our fabulous trip?  Stay tuned! I'm going to save the rest of the restaurant reviews (Central, Rafael and Cala) for another post, coming soon!  And sorry if everything is sounding so yummy, it was!!


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1 comment:

  1. That's awesome Patricia! Sounds like a perfect place to visit :)