In Peru, you can surf some of the gnarliest waves on the seemingly never ending coastline, go dune surfing in the desert, hike through the snowy peaks of the Andes, or paddle down the Amazon rainforest. It’s no surprise then that Peru’s cuisine is as diverse as its landscapes. Although you won’t be able to enjoy Peruvian delicacies like alpaca and guinea pig in the United States, there are plenty of other delicious dishes that will leave you ready to book the first flight down to South America. Potatoes are a Peruvian staple with over 3800 varieties across the country, and they take a prominent role in many of their dishes.
Located in the heart of East Boston, this hidden gem is serving up not only some of the best Peruvian food around, but also some of Boston’s best food in general. Rincon Limeño is as authentic as it gets. Ceviche is a Peruvian delicacy (check out our post on “ceviche 101”) consisting of seafood that is cooked in lemon and lime. The ceviche mixto offers a refreshing mix of all the delish ceviche Rincon has to offer including shrimp, squid, and large chunks of fish. The end result is a ultra-fresh mix of seafood that is paired with potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Peruvian corn, which is the “ying” to the citrusy seafood’s “yang.”
Moving away from the coast, another Peruvian classic is lomo saltado. This dish consists of steak tips on french fries with grilled tomato quarters and onions. We don’t know what they marinate the steak in, but what we do know is that it’s pure umami flavor. This explosion of flavor drips off the tips and gets soaked up by the crispy fries.
High quality cocktails for under $10?! In Boston that is ALMOST impossible. Rincon Limeño has all of your favorite cocktails using pisco. This is a typical Peruvian liquor that goes well in pretty much any drink. The classic is a pisco sour, which is essentially pisco with fresh lime juice, bitters, and egg whites. This goes perfectly with the citrus of the ceviche. Don’t sleep on the pisco margs. We may even like them more than the classic margs with tequila. The passionfruit pisco marg is bursting with sweetness, and with almost no bite, they will sneak up on you.
This next spot is just south of Boston, located in Providence, RI. Los Andes is well worth the trip and offers the best from both Peru and Bolivia (as Providence has one of the largest Bolivian populations in the U.S.). From the outside, Los Andes is very unassuming, but don’t let that fool you. On the inside, Los Andes is all class. With beautiful fish tanks, multi bars, and wood from floor to ceiling, you get transported out of Providence into a different world. In the middle of the restaurant is a large patio, which features igloos in the winter, and in the summer offers the perfect spot to cool down with a cocktail. Los Andes has all of the great Peruvian food and drinks that Rincon Limeño has (and they do it at just as high of a level) but they are also bringing the heat while representing Bolivia.
If you are conflicted with all of the choices, there is one Bolivian dish which has the SomethingNearU must-try stamp of approval: lechon al horno. Lechon al horno is slow-roasted pork shank with roasted potatoes, carrots, and fried sweet plantains.The end result is a fall-off-the-bone tender pork roast. The fried sweet plantains are like having a dessert during your dinner, as they are warm, sweet, and gooey.
Do yourself a favor and take a trip down here, but be sure to make reservations, because this place is bumping on the weekends.