I need a lesson on Peruvian food in Westchester!
So... I LOVE trying new foods, and i have covered a lot of ground! However, i realized there is so much more out there, and Peruvian food is something i have never tried! First, what are the best Peruvian eateries in Westchester. And second, what do i order?! Can you guys please describe what kinds of dishes are staples of Peruvian cuisine? Thanks so much! I can't wait for my next adventure!
CEVICHE! it's the pride of Peru and the original style of this dish. also pa pa con juan gaina (spelled wrong) it's cold boiled potatoes with a yellow chili sauce thickened with crackers. also anticuchos (grilled marinated beef hearts) trust me, cooked right they are addictive. my neighbors are Peruvian so I get to hang out and eat. portchester has a lot of restaurants. i'll talk to my neighbors and let you know the names.
inca and gaucho on westchester ave in p.chester............(right next door to tortilleria los gemellos) has the phatty ceviche.......last time i had it they did it up with tilapia......a lot of citrus.....lots of red onion........was fabulous..........washed it down with a couple of my favorite peruvian beers too (quillmes)
Don't forget about pollo a la brasa, their specially seasoned rotisserie chicken. Besides the ceviche, there is usually much other fish, my favorite being with a very garlicky sauce. Also various "saltados" (sometimes spelled "salteados"), a sort of stir-fry. One dish that seems popular among the Peruvians is salchipapas, hot dog slices and french fries -- I haven't been able to bring myself to order it. They also feature a gigantic fried fish and shellfish platter called "jalea", which comes with marinated onions. Several dishes feature soy sauce, apparently a result of much Asian immigration. Very popular, in addition, is Inca Cola to drink, which tastes like bubble gum and I personally find awful. My husband and I usually eat Peruvian food at three Port Chester restaurants: Misti, Chavin and Inca y Gaucho. There is also Miski in White Plains, which some Chow people have liked, but we had a poor experience there.
when I think of peruvian, there are a few things I think of (in addition to ceviche, which has already been mentioned). Here are some of my favorite dishes:
pollo a la brasa (roast rotisserie chicken). Probably the most common dish. It's pretty simple, but very good and standard in almost every peruvian restuarant I've ever been to.
Lomo saltado. Think of it kind of like the beef stir fry of peru. It can be very good.
Papas Huancaina. It's boiled potatoes, covered with a sauce made of aji amarillo chiles mixed with cheese, topped (usually) with olives or a sliced hard boiled egg.
Aji de gallina. thickly shredded or sliced chicken cooked with a thick aji sauce (as you can see, aji amarillos seem to be ubiquitous in peruvian food)
Papa rellena. Think of it like stuffed fried potato fritters. They are a great comfort food.
there's a lot more.
The thing I find with peruvian food is that it seems like it's really hard to find a peruvian restaurant that is any better than the next. I think one reason is that the foods are more subtle, than say, Mexican, so what distinguishes them from another is more subtle too.
In Westchester, I like Pollo A La Brasa Misti Restaurant in Port Chester. Inca Y Gaucho, as mentioned above can be pretty good. It's a split menu place. Half peruvian, half agentine (really uruguayan). I recently heard some great things about El Plebeyo, on Main in Port Chester. Apparently, they have very good lomo saltado. But I haven't tried it yet. Acuario is another that you hear about frequently. They have two locations, one on irving, and a new cevicheria on main. I've been to the irving location - I thought it was just OK. But I'm not sure if I just didn't order to their strengths. I can't recall if we've heard reports about the new Main St. location. I've added both below. El Chavin is another that I've heard good things about, but haven't gone... As you can see, Port Chester has a million of them. The list below isn't even half.
But, I'm not sure any of those places are great....
Pollo a La Brasa Misti Restaurant
110 N Main St, Port Chester, NY 10573
25 N Main St, Port Chester, NY 10573
137 Irving Ave, Port Chester, NY 10573
Inca & Gaucho Restaurant
173 Westchester Ave, Port Chester, NY 10573
16 N Main St, Port Chester, NY 10573
163 N Main St Ste 209, Port Chester, NY 10573
I'm sure that's true. That's my hunch about lomo saltado... that it has asian origins. But there's certainly a sizeable asian population in peru, particularly japanese, and has been for quite some time (a former president's last name was fujimori). there's also a large peruvian population in japan as well.
there are obviously better food anthropologists out there (I'm just a consumer of the food!) but I've always liked that ceviche and sushi have so much in common. Probably no relationship in origins, but who knows. I'm sure google could turn up something.
the only peruvian I've had in Stamford is Fiesta. There are two locations. One on Atlantic, and another on Shippan (just behind Royal Guard Fish & Chips).
It's just OK, I think. So when I want a peruvian fix, I usually go down to PC. There are others here in Stamford, I just haven't tried them all. If you take a drive all the way down main, from the greenwich side to the darien side, there are probably 10 latin restaurants that no one has ever mentioned on these boards. I hope to try them all in the next few months to find out if any are worth it. I'm sure one or two of them are peruvian, but I don't have anything to add right now, unfortunately.
Every time I head over to PC for Peruvian, I end up at Acuario. I say I want to try the other places but I keep thinking of how good Acuario is. adamclyde's post has finally pushed me over the line and I'm going to try Inca& Gaucho and El Plebeyo next time.
BTW thanks for adamclye's post about White Plains tacos... I've been to Sunshine Deli 3 times since.