Oldies But Goodies – Eateries Only Known to Limenos

***May 1, 2020 — See update about San Antionio*** Peruvians have been through many tough times before, and through them all, many of the older restaurants made it through too. Let us dream a little of times gone past, and those to come…
These restaurants may not be Internet famous like La Picanteria (which is almost unknown to Limenos), but, they are places that Limenos have eaten at for decades. Here are some of them. One thing I’ve found that many of these places have in common — the waiters seem to have been around since the beginning, and many wear bowties.
Tip Top is a drive-up diner from 1953 (drive-up only available at the location in Lince).
Punto Italiano is out in La Molina, famously at a gas station, but really that’s the name of the road (as in “gas station” road).
Monstrous sandwiches are about 20 percent larger than the usual size and this place has been around since the 1980s.
La Preferida is a classic place in a residential area of Miraflores. Well-known but still a local place. Second branch out in Surco.
Cordanos is quite famous and is located across from the presidential palace. It was, in its heyday, a hotspot for political intrigue and gossip.
San Antonio is a chain of sandwich shops where many Limenos go for a bite to eat, often for “lonche” which is the “tea” time snack here in Peru. (Update May 1, 2020, San Antonio is returning to their original business — they started out as a bodega selling groceries — and then switched to only selling sandwiches and cafe items. Now they have returned to selling bodega items — the location is the original location on Angamos. Like I said, these places will survive.)
El ítalo is an Italian style place, as are many of these places, located in Magdalena del Mar. It has quite a bit of charm and an old fashioned counter straight from Happy Days.
Elia in Magdalena del Mar is a time warp from the 1960s (even though the place is only from the 80s) and reflects the food of Italy when it encompassed the other side of the Adriatic sea. The stuffed artichoke appetizer may be their best dish.
Calamares is a ceviche place over in a less refined part of town. A favorite dish here is olluquitos (a waxy sort of tuber).
Rose bakery also has that faded photo sort of feel. The current owner is the son of the original owner.
Mozart is a new place located in the basement, out on the extension of Primavera Avenue. They are also Italian themed but with a bakery, salad bar, ice cream counter, deli counter, and lots of sitting areas. Favorite hangout for ladies of a certain age to gather for gin and tonics on a Friday night.
Tumbes Mar is a ceviche place in La Molina. Huge portions. Popular with Peruvians.
Cafe Tostado is located in Lince.
Don Tito is a rotisserie chicken (“Pollo a la brasa”) place in San Borja.
El Bolivariano in Pueblo Libre is a famous creole restaurant that foreigners go to when on food tours. Peruvians go for lunch.
Once we are allowed to go out again, these places will need customers more than ever. Try them out!

Seven Restaurants in Lima

Lima is a seventh heaven for food so perhaps that’s why there are so many restaurants with the number seven (siete in Spanish). Here is a list of the ones people ask me about:

Siete, Jirón Domeyer 260, Barranco (around corner from Isolina): high end restaurant.

Lima 27 and 27 Tapas, Calle Santa Luisa 295, San Isidro: restaurant and a tapas restaurant that is connected to the Lima 27 restaurant. (I didn’t like this place — the food was just odd in a not tasty way).

La 73, Av. el Sol 175, Barranco

Siete Sopas, Av. Arequipa 2394, Lince and second location at Av. Angamos 609, Surquillo: This is the 24-7 soup (they have nine soups — soup of the day and the two house soups — in the photo at top is the “sopa criolla” which has beef,noodles, and milk) restaurant chain by La Lucha Sangucheria. The location on Arequipa is the first. Their bread is kind of magical.

Maracas Bay, Trinidad, West Indies

IMG_4476Probably the most famous outing from Port of Spain is the beach at Maracas Bay. It’s about 35 minutes outside of the city along a windy hilly road.

IMG_4468The view from the viewpoint is not the only reason to stop. There are chow stalls where you can try the famous “pineapple chow.” Chow is a dish of fruit in a brine with shadon beni (culantro) and chili peppers. They also make chow with green plums, mango, and cucumber. The pineapple is the best with its contrast of juicy sweetness, salty brine, and slight spice. All the basic electrolytes in one bite!

IMG_4460Maracas Bay is a popular beach for the locals and it’s a good place to hang out. There are lifeguards on duty, a good thing considering how fierce the waves the day we went.

IMG_4484For a foodie, the reason to go to Maracas Bay is to eat “bake and shark” or a fried fish sandwich. This sandwich was made more famous by Anthony Bourdain. The most famous place is Richard’s with the many condiments including pineapple chow. Uncle Sam’s is on the beach side and overlooks the beach. You buy the fish sandwich and then put on the condiments of your choice from garlic sauce, tamarind sauce, pepper sauce (pureed scotch bonnet peppers), slaw, pineapple chow, mayonnaise, etc. The sandwich reminds me a bit of po’ boy sandwiches.

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