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Aug 25, 2012 08:55 PM

Peruvian in Gastown--Silvestre Gusto Latino

Spotted this place while maneuvering past the tourists on Water St. today. Looks like it opened in April and the menu looks authentic. Will have to try it one day and hope it lasts since you can count on one hand the number of Peruvian places in the city:

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  1. !que padre!

    (yes I know that's Mexican but it is my main dialect)

    1. I smell a chowdown... I was just lamenting the lack of Peruvian-style rotisserie chix in Van, bless your tiny cotton socks, els!

      3 Replies
      1. re: grayelf

        unfortunately not chowdown worthy, imho.
        they only have a smattering of latin items.
        it is more of a gelato/bakery/sandwich store catering to tourist.

        1. re: betterthanbourdain

          Their Peruvian menu seems to offer more or just as much as Mochikas or El Inka Deli. While I'm not a fan, I don't think anticuchos (beef heart skewers) are exactly tourist fare. Hope to TOFTT this week.

          1. re: el_lobo_solo

            Looking forward to it, els. Drop me a line if you need an auxiliary stomach for research purposes :-).

      2. Stopped in for dinner this evening—I tried grayelf : ( And for most of the hour it was deserted—just me, another diner, and Shakira over the speakers. I wonder how this place will do without the summer tourist traffic. I started with the purple corn drink (chica morada) and ordered the tamal criollo appy and the ¼ roasted chicken (pollo a la brasa), which you could choose white or dark meat. The chicken came with a trio of condiments, like in Peru, which included 2 aji de amarillo (yellow salsas—one with more of mayo flavour and one with chili) and ketchup. I used the yellow salsas often for the tamal and the chicken. The tamal tasted like it should and the pieces of fried pork (chicharron) made it tastier. The chicken came with a green salad with the usual and simple oil and vinegar dressing (a bit salty) and some ordinary fries. You can see the rotisserie near the kitchen, but it was empty when I was there. I liked the seasoning on the moist chicken, but I still liked to add the salsas. It’s $10 for the ¼ size, which is identical to the ¼ size chicken as you’d find at the bbq spot at the PNE, meaning it’s a bit small, not sure if the ½ and whole sizes are worth the price. I ended off with a sweet alfajor (a delicate cornstarch cookie with dulce de leche filling) and an Americano.

        The owners are from Lima, and the servers are friendly. As btb says, it looks like it caters more to the tourists who want a quick bite or gelato. No need to ask for a check, just pay at the front after you’re done. I’d like to go back and try their other dishes, especially the ceviche. The anticuchos, like El Inka Deli, are a weekend specialty.

        5 Replies
        1. re: el_lobo_solo

          Glad to hear that they have a decent aji amarillo (I love that stuff!) Too bad the fries are just ordinary -- I still dream about the chicken and fries at Inka Cafe in SF. Sounds like you got a good overview.

          BTW I have a new email...

          1. re: grayelf

            OT: Re: aji amarillo - I have purchased some decent jarred aji amrallo at Killarney Market in the past.

            1. re: fmed

              Good to know -- I did notice they had a fair number of Peruvian items on hand last time I was in, including manjar for alfajores and picaron mix.

              1. re: grayelf

                sorry just thought i'd correct myself. they do have a full peruvian menu.
                they do still tend to not solely focus on this dishes.
                i guess my concern would be how well the peruvian dishes would be executed considering the long service hours and lack of volume for the peruvian dishes.
                i love to see a peruvian resto added to the cities dining destination.

                1. re: betterthanbourdain

                  I should follow up. The food I had was decent.
                  I've had the empanadas, lomo saltado, ceviche pollo, lechon with rice and lechon with sweet potato chips in a sandwich.
                  They do some of their own baking, though from what I saw a large part of it what bought in.
                  It wasnt as good as the home cooked peruvian food I've tasted. The food is defo more comfort food than a dining out experience.
                  But if you are in the neighbourhood and craving peruvian, why not.

        2. I stopped in after the PuSH festival this evening. They were about to close so had to get take out of alfajores and a spicy chicken fried empanada (aji de gallina). I've always liked the fried version since it's the kind I grew up with. But their menu has a few more Peruvian dishes since my last visit in the fall, including Cau Cau (2 different types of beef tripe), Olluquito (Andean tuber), and Arroz chaufa (fried rice that combines Chinese and Peruvian spices). I still remember the times I had chaufa in Peru--delicioso.

          1 Reply
          1. re: el_lobo_solo

            Oooh, chaufa, really? Need to get my self down there. And I do loves me a fried empanada, though cheese is my preferred filling (that might be Chilean or Argentinian, though, not Peruvian).