Friday, June 12, 2009

Machu Picchu Restaurant in San Jose, Costa Rica

On our first night in San Jose, we asked at our hostel where we could get some good food nearby. The owner asked us a few things about ourselves and discovered that Gonzalo is from Peru, so he suggested a great Peruvian restaurant a few blocks away. Machu Picchu gets its name from Peru's most well-known tourist destination, the centuries-old Incan ruins of Machu Picchu. Gonzalo and I went there when we visited Cuzco in 2004.

The food at Machu Picchu was excellent! Gonzalo ordered Lomo Saltado (or Salteado), a beef tenderloin stir-fry with marinated beef, red onions, tomatoes, fresh cilantro and fried yellow potatoes, served with white rice. Almost all Peruvian dishes are served with plain white rice and potatoes - potatoes have different flavors in Peru and are used for their flavor, not as a main starch. The beef had a great flavor and the vegetables were cooked perfectly. It also came with a spicy sauce - so spicy that we started coughing if we tasted too much!

I ordered ceviche and a seafood soup. The soup came with scallops, shrimp, crab (a WHOLE small crab!), fish, and oysters. It had a great tomato-vinegar flavor and the seafood tasted great. The ceviche tasted old, not like it was freshly marinated. We both ordered fresh juices and they were amazing. I hadn't had guanabana before, so I decided to try it. It was a creamy white drink that tasted tropical and slightly like banana.

The total bill was more expensive than we were expecting (around $30 US) but worth it.

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