Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Anticuchos, etcétera

Last night, Little Brother and I went to a Peruvian restaurant -- Machu Picchu -- in Somerville's Union Square, home of Korean mom grocery stores. What fun!

Never have I ever encountered such a baffling menu, such a lack of reverence towards pork, which until now I thought was a staple of all Spanish and Spanish-colonized diets. (And let's not forget the Chinese and their pork buns!) For example, a typical Pinoy dish is lechon kawali, aka pan-roasted pork:

The perfect blend of flavor and heart attack!

By contrast, Machu Picchu offered beef, chicken, fish, and all the corn and rice you can stuff in your face.

We started off with a little bowl of round crunchy things that reminded me of giant mutant raw popcorn kernels. Don't let that description discourage you from this pre-appetizer! It was yummy. It came with two sauces: one super spicy, and the other creamy and green, color origin unknown. Little Brother, being the type who polishes off everything placed in front of him, slurped up all the sauce, which turned out to be our flavorings for the coming foods, if we'd wanted, whoops.

Out came the actual app, which was anticuchos, aka marinated beef strips with a fat potato slice and some corn. Enough beef for a meal as an appetizer? I had no idea the Peruvians were my food soul mates.

lomo saltado
My main course was the lomo saltado, aka more beef but this time sirloin strips with onions, tomatoes, and french fries in awesome marinade, with rice. It was delicious. See, the secret is the sauce. It was flavorful without being obnoxious. It was bold without being presumptuous. It was amazing without being annoying. It was like a Latin lover without the loud shirt, overpowering perfume, and flamboyant hand gestures. I could go on, but I know you know what I'm talking about.

As all this food appreciation was going on, I was sipping some truly fine beer: Cusqueña, aka the Gold of the Incas, that's not cheesy at all. But that's what their website says (the beer, not the Incas).

We finished up with some budin (bread pudding), which was decent but refrigerated for a bit too long. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was filled with secret pride at Little Brother's fluency in Spanish. Ladies: he's single! gwehehehehe

I shall spare you the sordid details of what the weighing scale told me this morning. It wasn't pretty. When is science going to get me a get-thin-instantly pill that works without destroying my liver? Huh? Huh? Am I asking for too much?