Juliana's Kitchen, Wilmington, DE
Has anyone been? Anything to report?
Okay! So I tried it over the weekend. It has the same family-run feel of The Dumpling House, which I like (and no renovations to the decor) -- that felt very familiar. (The chef's husband even came by at the end of the meal to see how we things were; anyone who's been a regular at the DH knows how this was par for the course there.) The menu is pretty extensive and very reasonably priced. Lots of really unique-sounding dishes, however my big caveat is that my partner and I are vegetarians and didn't really get to partake of much on it. I assumed this might be the case heading in, but I wanted to give it a shot anyways. I think omnivores looking to try something new would find a lot of interesting dishes to choose from -- several reminded us of El Serrano in Lancaster, for those Chowhounders who venture out that way.
We made a meal out of stuffed avocado salads and a number of sides (all good, but made for a pretty starchy meal on the whole) -- papas a la Huancaina (potatoes in a spicy cream sauce), yuca fritas served with some nice hot sauces, and a very simple but good dish off the children's menu (arroz a la cubana -- fried plantain and egg over rice). The chef's husband suggested a few things at the end of our meal that we could try next time -- all menu items sans meat (I'd rather see 2 or 3 'whole' entrees on the menu from which to choose, a la the Dumpling House. El Serrano has a 4 or 5-dish veg menu, so it's possible, right?).
The highlight for us was definitely the dessert -- we shared a slice of the tres leches cake, which was to-die-for (I can definitely see ordering a sheetcake to take away someday soon) -- super moist and delicious -- and the alfajores (cookies filled with caramel), which were very rich. There were also a handful of interesting Peruvian drinks on the menu, which our waitress let us try samples of -- our favorite was the chica morada (made from purple corn). It is BYO and we weren't charged a corkage fee, so bring a bottle of wine that can stand up to some good spicy food.
Thanks, spyturtle! It sounds like it's definitely worth a visit. I'm totally unfamiliar with Peruvian food, so it'll be an adventure. I'm wondering what kind of wine to bring along; I wish they'd post their menu online. I usually bring an Alsatian Reisling when I'm having spicy Asian food, but I don't know if that'd pair well with Peruvian. Ahhhh... a question for my friends at Moore Bros.
I too recently stopped to give them a shot. I certainly do hope they make it. I am no expert in Peruvian food but I'd say it leans toward old fashioned. They do say they serve traditional Peruvian cuisine. And like spyturtle008 found, the menu is heavy on the starches. Huge portions are served up here. Juliana heads up the kitchen and her husband (Edwin I think his name is) runs the front.
The best dish was the old Peruvian staple Cerviche de Pescado ($11.99) - raw fresh fish (with a couple of scallops) marinated in lime juice and onions.
Next up was the Causa a la Limena ($6.99). The menu says it is a stuffed yellow potato with chicken, avocado and peppers. What came was a type of mashed yellow potato "sandwich" in which, between two patties of the mashed yellow potatoes were cold shredded chicken in mayo with avocado slices and one hot pepper. Dollops of mayo were also placed on top. Just a bit too much mayo for my liking.
Last dish tried was the Adobode Cerdo con Pure de Pallares ($9.99) - seasoned roasted pork served with (mashed) lima beans. And a huge scoop of rice. The pork was great and well seasoned. Mashed lima beans were OK. Only quibble here was that proportionally, there was much more rice and mashed lima beans to the pork.
Also tried the Torta Tres Leches ($3.99) - Sponge cake soaked in three different milks. The Peruvian answer to Tiramisu. Also got to sample (for free) three small servings of these Peruvian drinks: Chicha Morada (Purple Corn), Cebada o Emoliente (Barley) and Maracuya (Passion Fruit.)
Service was very attentive and friendly. Although they listed three entree specials, I'd like to see more vegetables. For example, the choice on side dishes are Rice, Fried French Fries, Fried Sweet Bananas and Fried Cassava.
1828 W. 11th Street
Wilmington, DE 19805
Tues-Thurs: 3 pm to 10 pm
Fri: 3 pm to 11 pm
Sat: 11 am to 11 pm
Sun: 11 am to 9 pm