Think Ink – Black Food in Lima

Think Ink. Black food seems to be trending in Lima. There seems to be at least one black item on every menu. Most black dishes are made with squid ink. But a few are not. Here are a few restaurants and the black dish that shows some of the diversity in the black food.

Statera: Delicious aguaje butter made black and slick with caramelization that goes to the limit. Aguaje is a jungle fruit that looks like an armadillo egg. (I was told that since it’s high in estrogen transexuals eat this fruit in lieu of pills.)

Don Doh: They have a black burger where the bun is black. In this preparation, the squid ink seems to help keep the bread moist (also because it’s a “bao” style bun).

El Jefe: This is a barbecue place that serves burger buns with the meat, and some of the buns are black.

Food Rockers: This is one of the most unique dishes on this list. Their bourbon black ice cream is served with bacon and maple syrup on fries (yes, you read it right.)

Matria: The starter plate of bread is some of the most delicious I’ve had here. They make a black bread that uses a tuber. The bread is warm and sweet reminiscent of Kings Hawaiian rolls.

Jeronimo: Black rice with grilled octopus.

Central: one of the dishes is river snail foam. It’s black. Another dish was made of tuber flour.

Plus, lots of places make black pasta. At San Ceferino, the black spaghetti dishes look like writhing bowls of serpents.

Kumo: They have black sesame seed soft serve. It’s actually gray, but gray is a shade of black.

Mex Tex-Mex Rex in Lima

c-_48JtHj6YPF4O0yyJB8VCgeDCscvwItQ-lj1ynpFeSfd3mG-ViE08sMrsrS06uHfhuWguglBz9dLSuPaMDff3i3HFtIpDj6yeY4fu8tXU5aU-LtiRD43mHa8geBMNn8_25nN3n9TsTeeSohLe3aSp3d7BRn38rTqKBJi6lClsPoP-Ln3RQhL37jaB2MSw_VRvdWXl23KgnmJRjDgaRUZNnGoZtcQaIn the eight years that I’ve been writing this blog, one of the prevailing questions I receive is, “Where is the best Mexican/burrito/taco place in town?” To quote the Princess Bride, I will not get involved in a land war in Asia by discussing the difference between Mexican and Tex-Mex and will leave that for others to parry. Instead, unless you can go to Mexico, let’s sally forth to my roundup of “Mexican” in Lima.

Los Meros Meros, Tacos Mexicanos, Jirón Peña Rivera # 179-A, Surco: This place feels like a hole-in-the-wall because it sort of is. The male owner speaks with a Mexican accent so for those who take this as an indicator of authenticity, there’s that. The photo montage at the top is from here.

Frida, Calle Gral Mendiburu 793, Miraflores: Elegant and large, this is a proper sit down place over in the west end of Miraflores near La Mar. People love the Baja California shrimp taco.

_tyvONoQw0wvwscb0jyzWmRNVife1rOI-Tyx5-HrA61IIFEB-vPt_IYGmKNIjHqxXcS-4Grv-bu3K_46XjP_9m6azQR7WXCpbmb8DxaDBQHJjdWxG_eTbVqY8GnukYzaJgriL13c4HHXjKLbo45FvL7dUYFxQyWc_erHc5s07Yt-rIs73A9QEGZQJDaG3rl9FfOzxo1zXxH92jxjMfr-UeZJp_WIy5FEl Mexicano, Calle Manuel Bonilla 248, Miraflores: Located down an off-street from Parque Kennedy (with a new location about to open on Benavides out in Surco), this restaurant is well geared to tourists with its English speaking waitstaff and all you can eat and drink options (on the menu, they ask you not to go out and throw up…)

The Burrito Bar, Av. Almte. Miguel Grau 113, Barranco: It’s in Barranco and quite popular with those who miss burritos from the U.S.

Chinga Tu Taco, Av. Mariscal La Mar 1300, Miraflores (plus other locations): A casual offering from the owner of Frida.

JV3KmSdFLZ6uBvV54XWE6wN7n-bJ9rwhaORzpAQJnJCaib35j1hUV29jzLS7DrduKZqQ0pTauYtURlMow9PRx_QKWEyYoFrlR2Ctug1ATxC1c1PPxm_h6kvuSsQM2UOZGYnqSs0kpqFTy_IBDPgl9Tsiw_Tt-o5p8YfFTbvhyginpvBHWvD3D2q_F-QsOoOihVq8otyeZbg4CmYTmTjx5yV5x_rH9WlAnd for those who miss Chipotle… you could always try Picogallo. I’m told it’s the closest to Chipotle that you will find here.

But, frankly, these days, most places in Lima seem to offer tacos, nachos, burritos, or wraps. But probably not what you miss from your hometown.

Just a thought: As this week is Easter Week or “Semana Santa” (holy week) in Peru, we’ll see what is open…

10 Best Burgers in Lima

*******Update October 19, 2019****** Since Peruvians love hamburgers, it’s hard to pick the best, since there are so many burgers to try… But, for the fun of it, I will. At most places, the meat patty is about 250 grams. Peruvians like a meaty burger. Not thin patties.

1. Don Doh: Given that one of the co-owners is the butcher who runs Osso, I’d expect the burger to be good. The black bun is slightly chewy and moist due to the squid ink that makes it black. Inside the burger is a good 200 grams and made with chopped kimchi.

eOuAOrXFdlc-4jKO1bsCulBcoIO8r1bTGDSBk5tZXMQa3qWuC_wy1xnBE3Nl69pvYZ_IM4Y244665Tm-dCl1cZz5oa0gqoSCrn575220GTIsm_viYgKD4PB1Lcu9WrW4cBMJcqIe-0oMR65EG6izFCPSLlct9MGiS-zCpbTYZAoRqdrurCFXDS2T0szn-hBztf1DS3taNW6D2d1LVvhW-AlJOlGJcvk2. Osso: It’s a steak house so they should have a good burger. The burger is actually a chopped steak burger. It’s meaty. But, the fries are what makes me keep coming back.

3. Sushi Pop: Thin and made from Angus beef. The patties are more like Five Guys in the U.S. As you can see below, it’s hard to find the patties under the cheese, sauce, and fried onion… but the meat was good even if it was hard to find. Next time I’ll get it without the sauce. Sushi Pop serves the burger on a “bao” or steamed bun.

7in9K6JkiL6u3bt7r7cJQouG4EaFCGFXpfrEn79uYpEMUV8FoRPJeFPBpX42AcLxR7td1EhD0IX7sAwcMfd5pA1SfPdWqoyWQixj2134BrL-Pla3oDtXfMpXWAEOx7Jr-1Z41bKlSX2v_JOZSEQXvuS1O-isabMwP_z971mE5D8xdCYFANAp58cSCsy__WHSMcPZ6u-mn2sNYHAGAvE7wVCexLU2Kso4. Cosme: The burger is good.It’s just another secret thing about Cosme.

5. Papachos: They no longer have a Wagyu or Kobe. The “luxury” Angus burger is a solid burger.  I’m told that many think that the burgers are too salty. I didn’t think so.

6. Juicy Lucy: This burger isn’t that large but it’s a solid tasting burger. The fries are local round potatoes. (This chain is from the same owner of Carnal so at Carnal you can get the sinfully delicious version of the juicy lucy.)

7. Bon Beef: The burger is a burger much like at Fridays or Chilis. Bon Beef is that sort of place.

8. Django Burgers, Hipolito unanue 101, Miraflores (10th block of Ejercito): good burger. so so fries.

Okay, eight. Then there are these other places that have been recommended to me or that I have been to:

Cafe A Bistro: This gas station bistro was recommended to me for their burger. I thought it was okay until I hit a piece of cartilage (set the grind on a finer size!). Then I stopped.

El Jefe: It’s a burger but I didn’t find the meat tasty and it had that mealy cardboard texture that makes me think of certain fast food chains…

Food Rockers (not Fuddruckers): Located a bit off the beaten track in San Borja, this place has a burger but it’s the black ice cream that’s worth the visit. More about that in another blog posting.

Quisso: First raclette based restaurant in Lima. They melt cheese on everything including an artisanal burger freshly ground for the restaurant.

I have not been to this place but, Hamburguesas Artesanales, Av. Gral. Eugenio Garzón 977, Jesús María, won the 2018 Burger Fest.