A little rain can't keep chowhounds from East Boston ceviche!
So, last time the hounds went on the taco-crawl in Eastie, it poured. This time, it was mostly a light drizzle (and one downpour perfectly timed for galleygirl and Michael B's entrance) but nothing could keep the intrepid hounds from their mission -- once and for all experiencing the mountain o' seafood.
Arriving at Rincon Limeno, 9Lives and I were greeted casually by the waitress and the other few customers hunched over their steaming bowls of soup. (*Note -- the soups looked good and at $5 for a decent sized bowl, would be worth exploring.) A table for "ocho" was quickly assembled and the other hounds trickled in. C. Fox and husband, Zeb and Mrs. Zeb, and finally gg and michael B rounded out the gang. By the time the last guests arrived, so had the Ensalada de pulpo (octopus salad) and some fried yuca. The octopus was as described in previous RL posts -- delicious! Slices of octopus marinated in lime juice, with cilantro, tomato, peppers and onions were garnished with deep fried corn kernels -- think CornNuts. The fried yuca was perfectly starchy and toothsome with the special hot-sauce offered by our waitress. (*Hot sauce note -- we kept ordering more. And more. And asked what kind of chiles were used. Finally our kind waitress brought over the can of Rocoto peppers that are the base of the sauce. We all admired the can, and it remained on the table for the rest of the evening, as our centerpiece and talisman.)
Zeb encouraged us to try some peruvian potato dishes -- papa a la huancaina (potato with cheese and milk sauce) and the lovely ocopa a la ariquepana (boiled potato with mint cream sauce). The mint sauce was a revelation -- delicate, creamy, and a gorgeous shade of green. Paired with the boiled potatoes and garnished with a hard-boiled egg, this version definitely won. The cheese version was a little gloopier, and I couldn't identify what type of cheese might have been used. Something stinky. Both little dishes were quite tasty and easy to share among the 8 of us.
Next came the main courses:
More ceviche, this time ceviche mixto -- which was a combination of firm-fleshed white fish, shrimp and octopus. I liked the octopus better, but this wasn't bad. I wouldn't kick it out of bed.
The infamous "mountain o' fried seafood" arrived and the hounds actually cheered. The Jalea consisted of calamari, shrimp and fish and was heaped on a large plate and garnished with red onion. They can FRY at Rincon Limeno -- everything was light, not greasy, and (to my palate) perfectly cooked. When I say "mountain" I really mean it -- there must have been a few pounds of seafood there and all the hounds had seconds of the perfectly crunchy morsels.
A huge plate of Pescado frito gave us a chance to sample the rice and beans, although we couldn't determine the type of fish. The piece I got was thin and a little tough, but I noticed Zeb digging into his portion which looked more succulent. It may have depended on the cut, as it all seemed to be the same type of low-end white fish. I really loved the beans -- the soupy blandness was really comforting after the other dishes. Nothing special to report about the rice, but it did all get eaten.
At this point, we had a decision to make -- we had obviously left out any meat dishes, and the peruvian chicken was given consideration. We also tossed around the idea of heading to Santarpios for a pizza. But instead, we settled on a sweet dessert -- crema volteada -- which was like the ubiquitous flan but perhaps more maple-flavored. The texture didn't knock my socks off, and no one swooned, but all of it was eaten.
The total for the mountain of food we ate was about $17 a head for those who had peruvian beer (strong) and $15 for the rest. It was a bargain and most hounds agreed this place is worth going back to again -- if only to try the meaty and chickeny dishes and the soups. Yum. Yum.