10 Realities of Hotel Living

I have spent more than 300 nights in hotels in the past few years, and this experience has made me appreciate the joys of having a fixed home. Here are some of the experiences that I had while staying in hotels and being “on the road” for months at a time. It’s not all bad, and, it’s not all good. Even at the most expensive and fancy places.

Toe nails: There is nothing so sharp and hard as a toenail shaving. And they don’t shine like diamonds.

Beads: I have stepped on more random beads (is it Mardi Gras everywhere?) than I care to count. I suppose it’s the nature of them being round, usually small, and many.

Shampoo: All those little bottles. It gets tiresome.

Laundry: Some hotels charge $24 per shirt. There seems to be not consideration for those who stay in a hotel for more than a week, and do not have 30 changes of clothing with them. Traveling makes one miss doing laundry.

Take out: I’ve had lots of it. It can get tiresome not being able to cook for oneself.

Bored of the food: Related to the point above.

Microwave or stove: you miss a way to heat up food.

Tiny fridge: not the name of a band. Also, why? Why oh why are these tiny fridges so low to the floor?

Cameras: yup. They are everywhere.

No privacy: Living in a hotel, one is never really alone as there are constant knocks on the door.

Knock knock.

Peruvian Snack Foods = Carbohydrates!

On many a street corner, there are mini carts or “caritos” selling a massive array of fried carbohydrate snacks. It’s not simply a question of potato chips or peanuts. One day when visiting a typical liquor/corner store on Calle Preciados 130, (near the “Polvos Rosados” mall), I asked the owner, Edgar, to write down the names of some of the snacks.

Most are varieties of fried something.

 

 

 

Pollo a la brasa – La Granja Azul

I finally went to the place that started the craze for Peruvian rotisserie chicken, “pollo a la brasa” — La Granja Azul, out in Ate (over an hour outside Miraflores). In the Washington, DC, area, I had been to both El Pollo Rico and Edy’s Chicken (this one preferred by my Peruvian friends for the lucuma ice cream and fried yucca, and actually owned by a Thai lady), so it was fun to go to the source.

Granja Azul is a “country” restaurant, a type of restaurant that includes a play area for children and a gift shop. It’s a large rambling restaurant with heavy colonial style furniture and interiors. There is a courtyard that fits many extended family lunches. The menu includes the standard 80 sol all-you-can -eat menu of pullet/poulet (young chicken), fries, salad (iceberg in one bowl, tomatoes in another, and onions in a third), bread, butter, anticuchos (beef heart on a stick), chili sauce, and a small pitcher of mayonnaise (yes, you read that right). The picarones (Peruvian doughnuts) are not included in the menu.

The chickens are on long spits rotating in a large oven and the chicken turner is happy to pose the chickens for a photo op.

The fries are delicious. I think. I may have been influenced by the 1.5 hour drive and hunger. The chickens are crispy and dry. Who can eat more than one?

I went on a day looking for sun. There was none. But I did enjoy the gift shop. And going to the pollo a la brasa source! From Ate (what a fun name!) to the world!

The Next Big Food Trend in Lima

Last year, I predicted that poke would be the new food trend in Lima. This year, I’ve seen the rise of food halls, burrito/tacos, shawarma, gluten free, and artisanal EVERYTHING.
Food halls: with the advent of Mercado 28, a food court with 10 or so restaurants and bars, is all the rage. It is a food hall, a concept that started trending a few years back in Europe.
Burritos/tacos: With the return of Taco Bell, the arrival is complete. It seems everything is in a flat bread these days.
Shawarma: shaved meat in a flat bread. Sort of a burrito on a upright rotisserie.
Gluten free: Yes. Also, keto, and other types of diets.
Artisanal (most of the artisanal bread is the antithesis of gluten-free): What goes around, comes around. In the old days, this was called home-made or hand-made. Now it’s artsy.
But, I’m predicting the new trend will be gourmet food for your dog. You read it here first! Event cookies that you can share with your dog! More and more restaurants are advertising pet friendly, but I’m predicting they will soon have dog menus too!